Hello all, I've been reading posts on BYC for a while and then I had a tragedy and lost Lynard so I decided to join to ask questions (see post in diseases). Wife and I built a house 2 years ago in the middle of nowhere. Sunlight is pumped in daily but they have to start 2 days in advance. Seriously, we're living the dream come true after years and years of appartment and subdivision living we are in the middle of 40 acres in the country. Our driveway is a quarter mile long so if someone shows up they are lost or looking for us. After getting the yard in shape I started working on my desire to have chickens. I really wanted to have "free range" birds but that turned into a disaster. they never went to the yard or garden but stayed in the woods and with dogs, cats, coons, opossums, bobcats, coyotes, owls and hawks I couldn't furnish the meals fast enough for the critters. So, I built a chicken run. Not being the sharpest tack in the box, I jumped right in and made it 75' x 50'. Chickens loved it! It's got trees, big trees, for shade and stumps to scratch around and I left briars and weeds to get under and places with soft dirt to dust themselves and of coarse I had bought more chickens to put in it. I put an electric fence around the outside to keep the critters out and locked the girls up every night as insurance. Then the "death from the sky" started. I could be outside all day and things would be fine, but if I left for 30 minutes a young pullet would get killed. Two or three days later I'd loose another then another and another. Any idea how hard it is to cover a 75' x 50' area with 6 trees in it? It ain't easy, but I've got about half of it covered with plastic bird netting and plastic hay netting. That has been working very well. I haven't lost a girl in quite a while now, but, with all the recent rains making the ground so soft and the snow on the netting pulled my posts in and now the electric fence is shorting out. Maybe I should just start over....... On the farm so far; 1 house dog, Bandit a Pekingese 8 years old. I drove to Birmingham Al. to get him as a puppy, he's my heart. 1 outside dog, Tazz a border collie mix I think. I picked him up as a puppy on the side of the road. Someone had thrown him out. Name is short for Tazzmanian Devil, he's into everything, very hyper andgoes insane over a ball. I love him anyway. 1 old outside cat, Oreo. Son just had to have a kitten at the ballpark one day.... begging me in front of everyone in the stands..... I caved.... that was 12 years ago. I hate cats. 7 muskovie ducks, Fat Boy, Speck, Luckie & 4 of 12 9 week old babies left. There is a long story here I won' go into. I like these cause they don't quack... 4 dominique laying hens 1 Rhode Island Red laying hen There will be more chickens and maybe some guinea fowl come spring time. I normally don't ramble like this but it's cold and rainy today so please forgive me.