I Need Answers Now Please

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Steph Martin, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. Steph Martin

    Steph Martin Out Of The Brooder

    May 7, 2011
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Hi out there. I'm in a terrible predicament and I need all the help I can get...

    Here's the background:
    I have (had) 12 5 week old chicks; one Silkie with 4 babies (4 weeks); four large laying hens and one Silkie rooster. The 12 chicks were in an enclosure in my back yard attached (yet fenced off) to my run which houses my four hens and rooster. My mama silkie free ranges with her babies. Inside my coop I have a small portion caged in with a heat lamp for the 12 chicks.

    Here's the emergency:

    The night before last raccoons came and pulled all but one chick out through the poultry netting...it was the worst carnage I've ever seen. The chick that survived has a hurt or broken foot and won't put weight on it but, otherwise, is eating and drinking and may even pull through. I have this chick by itself in the portioned off place in my coop with the heat lamp. The Silkie with the babies WAS outside in a box enclosed in a dog crate for the evenings and allowed to range throughout the day. The four hens and roo have a wonderful spot for the night inside and a yard outside. This arrangement was working well and I was going to integrate everyone at the appropriate time and growth period. This has all changed now.

    The mama Silkie has changed her mind about wanting to be out in the crate during the night hours (as have I).

    My huge predicament:

    I have no more space and limited resources for anymore housing. I am NOT going to lose Silkie mama and her babies to those "bleeping" coons but I'm scared to put her in with the little hurt chick cause I don't want to lose it either and am afraid the mama might hurt it cause it isn't hers, isn't the same age as hers and is injured. I do not want to put Silkie mama and babies in with the big girls and the roo cause she is the bottom of the barrel anyway and the hens might hurt her babies.

    WHAT ON EARTH CAN I POSSIBLY DO WITH THE SCENARIO I'VE DESCRIBED!!! I am at my wit's end and would really appreciate any help and/or advice you guys can give me. Thanks in advance...I'm hanging onto this computer desk anxiously awaiting replies before dark tonight!!! (6 hours from now).
  2. ParadiseFoundFarm

    ParadiseFoundFarm Goddess of Good Things

    Jul 6, 2010
    Joliet, IL
    First: [​IMG]
    You've come to the right place for your answers
    It may not be mine, but this community typically rallys with great ideas.

    My idea and what I have done also.
    I have tile floors.
    I brought them in and put just fencing around in a circle and leave them there nightly, put them in enclosure daily. It's a bit more work, yes but until you can protect them, it's the best you can do.

    Chicken wire is not good for chickens. I don't even know how it got it's name other than perhaps it's soft and easily broken - like a chicken.

    It will only keep chickens in and they can get hurt on it themselves.
    I keeps NO predators out - not one - unless it's another chicken. Give up on the chicken wire.
    Minumum you need is 1"x1" welded wire.
    Me? I got an electric net fence. But then again, got to keep those babies away from that too.

    Good Luck!
    Paradise Found
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  3. GLBRWyans

    GLBRWyans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2011
    Central Louisiana
    Quote:Paradise Found has given about as good of advice as you are going to get . Chicken wire isn't worth squat . I use 1/4" hardware cloth . I think a snake can get through 1" , don't know for sure . I am sorry for your loss . [​IMG]
  4. Moonkit

    Moonkit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2011
    Richardson, Texas
    Perhaps consider bringing in the mama and her babies into the house/garage? Coons wouldn't be able to get her there. I know someone was using a livestock watering trough to house a broody silkie with her eggs. I'm sure a large rubbermaid container would work the same way. And definitely change the chicken wire to welded wire.

    Also consider this: Give them a safe corner to run to. Put plywood around one corner so that the chickens will have a place to run through that the coons can't simply reach into. I read someone else on here had a run with all four sides wire.. the coons would not have been able to reach the chickens if they had simply clustered in the middle of the run. However, coons will work together. They'll get on all sides of the cage and scare the chickens until one of them can grab them. If you "wall off" a corner.. they'll have somewhere they can run and be safe from those little reaching arms.
  5. mjuenem

    mjuenem Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2010
    Putnam Co.
    The one good use for chicken wire will solve your problem if you are trying to segregate the young ones and mother hen from the others. It is good for making insiderooms in your run to keep some chickens apart from others. Might solve your short term issues.

    I also have had a chicken pulled through (in my case a chain link) a fence. Yes I can imagine the carnage, I have seen it with my own eyes. I know it is nasty to say, but a part of me wants to hide out in the pen all night and when that little coon hand comes through the fence I want to grab it and and pull him through...
  6. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    So there isn't room for the silke crate inside the run, or would silke mama refuse to go in the crate and run right now after what she witnessed?

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