HELP!!! Getting rid of ants & fox/coyote

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Miss Pearl, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. Miss Pearl

    Miss Pearl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2013
    I have a predator and a pest, that I just can't seem to get rid of. The first are ants in my chicken yard. What can I spray or dust to get rid of them to where it won't hurt my chickens.

    The other problem I'm trying to wrap my mind around, is losing 2 of my chickens to either a fox or coyote. I would love any suggestions. I want to free-range my girls, but just can't stand to lose another one.
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    My girls scratch at the ant piles and eat them. Have you had a problem with the ants and your flock? If not, leave them. If so pour dry grits down the hole. Only a little bit, as grits swell in their bellies and they "pop". When you make grits they are like rice, 1 cup grits to 1 cup water makes 2 cups. Keep this in mind when putting them out there. A little sprinkle will kill them and not harm your girls, however if you pour the whole bag on it and your birds eat it all uncooked the fate would be the same for them. Good rule of thumb... no more uncooked than half of what one of your girls eat in one feeding (just to be on the safe side if you have a greedy girl).

    As far as the predator problem, many people have many different tricks. The most common however are electric fences (easy to move), dog kennels, and cow (feedlot) panels. If you go the cow panel route, think about digging up the ground and putting hardware cloth or poultry netting down, than cover with dirt and grass seed. This makes it harder for them to dig underneath. Both the chain link and welded dog kennels cost a pretty penny ($600-$999), but for some it is well worth it. If you go this route I would suggest the welded ones as the holes are smaller. I have seen them 10'X20'X6'. So they can be a pretty good size.
     
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  3. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
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  4. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The mere presence of ants in the yard is not a problem for chickens. We have a couple of ant hills in the yard where the girls forage. I have not noticed the chickens being bothered by the ants. The only time I have noticed ants in the coop is when an egg gets broken in the nest. I just clean it up, and the ants move along.

    The thing about grits is an old wive's tale. Moreover, when chickens eat, the food goes into the crop with the grit and is ground up finely by the muscular action of the gizzard. I feed my girls sunflower seeds. I never see any sunflower seeds come out whole in the poop. Chickens would not be efficient and effective if they did not have some way of preparing their food for digestion.

    My chickens free range daily. I have a fenced 3/4 acre area for them. I haven't seen foxes or coyotes here in the daylight. I have seen coyotes in the area at night. We have hawks. The girls are locked up at night. I have an Australian Shepherd who keeps an eye on them in the daytime. I would imagine that his presence would tend to keep foxes and coyotes away.

    Unfortunately, every predator likes chicken. It makes for a challenge in free ranging them.

    Chris
     
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