Hope this doesn't make me the bad guy but ~

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by GaNewChick, Oct 1, 2009.

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  1. GaNewChick

    GaNewChick Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    McDonough, Ga.
    I read story after story about unattended free ranging chickens killed, raccoon attacks, possum attacks when they are locked up at night.

    And then there is this big mission to catch and destroy the villain.

    I'm interested in those that lose chickens that are locked up...how many are because of improperly built coops?

    Would you allow your 3 yr old to roam the yard and hope no one kidnaps them, or wanders into the road in front of a car?

    I'm not trying to provoke a debate ~ just really wondering why it is always the predators fault.


  2. MakNat

    MakNat Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    I agree with you 100%!! If humans want chickens than they need to keep them safe. Otherwise its human's fault!! All creatures deserve their space here on earth.
  3. Catstar68

    Catstar68 Songster

    Sep 7, 2009
    Franklinton, NC
    You know, I've thought the same thing from time to time while reading these posts about foxes, coons. possums, hawks....if it makes you a bad guy then move over, I need some room...
    THAT said, I let mine in the yard and go inside to cook dinner, check email, what ever and it could easily happen to me. I have a secure coop and everyone gets locked into Ft. Knox at night. then I crack the window on a hot summer night. [​IMG]
    I'm guilty. Nothing has ever happened but we have all those predators and more around here.
    I think it's just that we have different perceptions of the danger, have different ecosystems, views of what is 'safe'.
    Honestly, I thought before today that if you cut your finger on the blade of the microtome at work that you were an irresponsible moron. I mean, how could you? You've have to actually TRY to do it. Well. Guess who was in a hurry and cut her finger today. Moron me.
    So the peeps that lose chickens to predators.....well, I cannot judge. It could happen to anyone. We minimize the danger as we individually see fit and then we learn from our mistakes.
  4. Catstar68

    Catstar68 Songster

    Sep 7, 2009
    Franklinton, NC
    and as an aside, I cannot blame a predator for being a predator. No more than I can get angry at my chickens for being chickens and mowing down my lettuce.
  5. greathorse

    greathorse Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    Very wells said Catstar. I have lost a few birds to predators in the last couple of years. I do not have "Fort Knox" but I do have a reasonable coop with a run and a dog that is out at night (most of the time). I do not begrudge the pedator the occasional dinner, it is just what they do, but if I had more trouble would certainly step up both the security and the trapping or whatever it takes.

    So far the only big loss has been neighbor dogs which is a story in itself but other predaotors do not trouble me or my birds very much.

    I have backed up my dog on a couple of occasions with "Bertha" the 12 guage. I have found that a round or two in the air gets anything around on the run and may provide them with a reason to hunt elsewhere.

    Of course I would not hesitate to remove something permanently if the need were to arise.
  6. citrusdreams

    citrusdreams Songster

    May 4, 2009
    I free range my chickens from dawn to dusk because it's healthier for them, and it's cheaper because I don't have to feed them as much grain. This is the way I choose to manage my flock. I do not feel it's healthy to coop them up in a run. And I understand what you're saying about making secure coops and runs, but we all have the right (within the limit of the law) to manage our animals the way we feel is best.

    I don't think predators are "villians". They just don't belong in my yard. Not only are they a threat to my dogs with the diseases they carry, but if they go after my chickens, I'll shoot them. Period.

    Though, I haven't had to go after a predator in a few years because, I believe because my dogs make so much darn noise, that they really don't bother us. *knock on wood*. But, If I kept losing chickens, then obviously, I'd have to do something different.

    As for roaming dogs, I don't have to catch them in the act where I live. Here, if it's running at large, and on my property, I can shoot it. In addition, I can get monetary losses for any damages from the dog owners. We don't have animal control here, so that's not an option. Now, I again add, I don't have too much of a problem with that. I only have one neighbor with dogs who have gone after my chickens and they have been asked, told, begged and then warned so many times that it's plain silly.

    I've never lost one in their coop or in the run, and it's not fort knox like some people have. I lost two chickens who didn't return to the coop one night, and I didn't bother trying to look for a predator, and I lost a few to the neighbor's dogs before I warned them that I was going to shoot their dog on sight.

    Chickens aren't children. So while I wouldn't leave a child outside unattended, it doesn't even make sense to say that because I wouldn't leave a child out unattended, I wouldn't leave a chicken out as well. My chickens are livestock and are not as important as a child (heck, they're not even as important as my dogs). A child goes to school, chickens do not. A child gets tucked in at night, a chicken does not. And I know I'm a bit different, but a child gets a diaper and lives in the house....and my chickens....do not [​IMG]
  7. WilczenskiFarm

    WilczenskiFarm Songster

    May 6, 2009
    Pembroke, MA
    well said Citrusdreams!
  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Raccoons are considered "nusience animals" by the AGFC (that's Arkansas Game and Fish Commission) and legal to shoot year round.
    They're hardly an endangered species [​IMG]

    If my chickens get out (they did today while I was working on the fence) - out of my fenced yard and a dog gets them, well "stuff" happens and I can't be upset at the predator for being out there.

    but when a raccoon manages to make it into my coop despite all my efforts - that's another thing entirely. And you know that once that coon knows where to get a chicken dinner then he's gonna keep coming back and trying to figure out a way in, which is bad for the chickens if he gets in and potentially exposes my other pets to Rabies and other diseases due to him coming on my property every night trying to get back in my coop. I protect my "family" - all of it - dogs, cats, chickens included. Firstly with a secure house/run/yard/place to live and back it up with a gun if necessary.
  9. chickenwhisperer123

    chickenwhisperer123 Whispers Loudly

    Mar 7, 2009
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Nevermind. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  10. jeanniejayne

    jeanniejayne Songster

    Nov 30, 2008
    I, too let my hens have the run of our large back yard during the day. We have privacy fence 6 ft tall around most of it, and all is fenced in. So far we have not had any problems. We have a good secure coop and run and they get shut in at night. But they love to graze and take their dust baths under the bushes, and hang out on the lawn furniture sunning. Their coop window has hardware cloth over it, and they have a fan when it's hot. I do know we have coons around, but so far not had any around the houses in our small (five houses) development surrounded mostly by fields, and a very wee woods just behind us. If I go outside the fence to our vegetable garden or orchard, the hens troop out after me and keep me company and scratch for bugs, but are happy to come right back in after 30 minutes or so. I buy a 50 lb bag of crumbled layer mash about once a month for my 5 hens, so I figure their grazing saves me a bit of money, and their egg yolks are a gorgeous bright orange from the grass. Of course, I also scout the yard every night for manure to keep if clean and sweet-smelling. I guess I could save myself some trouble by locking them up, but I know they are happier and healthier being out and about. [​IMG]
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