How much does lighting help?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ninjapoodles, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Yesterday afternoon--yep, in broad daylight--my husband saw a NEW fox in our stallion paddock (on the far opposite side of the property from where the chickens are). This is not the same fox that killed 22 of our chickens back in the spring--we still have not seen that one show up again since we got our depredation permit. This new guy (another male) is bigger, heavier, and more fully red where the other one has black points. This one is gorgeous. Gorgeous.

    ANYWAY. [​IMG] We're trying to shore up our defenses, especially since this new fox was inside one of our perimeter fences during the daytime--the other fox never, ever was that bold. And besides the fox (or foxes), the raccoons have apparently finished nursing their new families, because after about a 2-month respite from them, we're dealing with them in large numbers again.

    Free-ranging only happens when we're at home, and we've discovered that the turkeys are fantastic alarm systems for anything unusual. It's night-time that worries us. We've got the runs and flight-pens heavily fortified with electric fencing, even more so since a raccoon showed us a weak spot--we now have the support posts encircled with loops of hot-wire at regular intervals. There's a double-spotlight in front of the chicken yard, and the turkey pen can be lit with the barn lights. We have a motion-sensor alarm in place (which, unfortunately, gets set off by the cats from time to time), and Hav-A-Hart traps are set every night.

    We're considering the addition of a couple of new night-watcher lights, which would illuminate the area and just stay on all night--we'd have no control over when they turned on and off, it would be automatic--AND/OR adding some motion-triggered spotlights.

    My question, to those of you who have tried lights as a predator deterrent, is: Does it work? Does it at least seem to help?
  2. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    In my experience no. I had a dusk to dawn light installed on top of my coop years ago.
    I had a very bright light installed, you could have place Monday Night Football in that run it was so bright.
    Did not stop the coons or the yotes from visiting.
  3. MagsC

    MagsC Queen Of Clueless

    Jul 27, 2008
    I have heard different opinions on this. But if it cant help, at least it cant hurt, and if its even a little bit of a deterrent, thats better than nothing!
    My aunt had her ducks in a well lit area at night while they were ducklings, not in, but over by where her pig pen is. She moved them when they were bigger to another area of the property, not well lit, and two were picked off that night.
    So who knows?
  4. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Have you considered herd-guarding dogs, such as Great Pyrenees? They are pretty laid back, and can be trained to ignore/guard fowl as well as other farm animals. I was recently on a farm out in the boonies where there were goat herds and a flock of chickens ~ and there were plenty of coyotes, foxes, hawks, etc. in the area. NO predation losses on that farm, though: they had three Great Pyrenees dogs. I heard them at work the second night I was there, and it gave me chills.

    Just a thought. Good luck; sounds like you are already very proactive with your preventive measures.

    Jen in TN
  5. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Quote:We have considered fencing the area surrounding the bird pens and just rotating our dogs through there at night for "patrol" duty. About half of them would be good at it, if I could stand leaving them outside all night. With our allergies, we're not too interested in a "regular" dog breed (meaning any that shed). We love watching them, but couldn't own them. We broke our own hearts a few years ago when we obtained a TO DIE FOR English Pointer to show, and wound up having to return him to the breeder because of our allergies to him.

    I think if I rotated the dogs outdoors at night one or two at a time, and only one night at a time, I could stand to leave them out, and they'd probably even enjoy the duty!

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