I think all chicken owners should.......

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Rocky Top Chick, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Rocky Top Chick

    Rocky Top Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2009
    North Carolina
    take on the mantra that "If I have not protected my chickens to the best of my ability, then if something can go wrong, it will". I am sorry for all the losses I read about on this website when good folks lose their chickens. I have been very lucky and have not lost one, but I have them confined in Fort Knox while I am away, and if I let them out to free range I am always with them. If I decide to go into the house when they are out, then I am taking a chance with their lives. Listen to your gut feelings, they are mostly right! If I eventually have a loss to a predator the I only have myself to blame. I am not getting on anyone's case here, but just reminding people that it is our responsibility to protect. Don't let the little buggers make you do something you know may be putting them in jeopardy just because they act sad. Mine do the same thing [​IMG] I keep telling them it is for their own good [​IMG]
     
  2. redstars

    redstars Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2009
    south dartmouth ma
    Well said!
     
  3. Garin

    Garin Out Of The Brooder

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    ditto. I live in an area of high predation. Chickens don't leave the runs unless I'm outside with them.
     
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I also live in an area of high predation. In fact, I have a wildlife corridor running right through my backyard. I closely monitor my birds at all times. I have still "lost" one to a hawk attack. (The hen actually lived after 2 months of ICU care in my basement, but her flock would not take her back and she ended up being re-homed for her safety.) Sometimes stuff happens. Nobody is to blame. Certainly not the owners who have genuinely tried to keep their birds safe.

    I understand what you are trying to say in your post, but you yourself said that you have been lucky. Your luck could change at any moment.
     
  5. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    I also agree: although i am saddened for those whom loss their chickens due to predators, thats helped me build a safer enviroment for mine. I hope that sounded okay, what i too am trying to say, is i dont want to be in their shoes, if i dont have to be.
    when my chickens go outside to free range , i am with them, i am in the country so we have all kinds,,, i have to prepare before letting my chickens loose, like my 2 young kids have to be with me, i dont want distractions. My 2 young children even have learned to help me guide the chickens back to their run when i think the've had plenty to eat etc.
    its a risk. i worry about them when their just in their run. but i feel its a safe run, built with hardwire cloth dug 12 inches deep around the run and poured cement too.
    i still worry, after all i am their momma![​IMG]
     
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    This is why I only let them out in the yard for a couple of hours in the evening, when I'm home to keep an eye out. I figure less time = less chances of bad things, and with me and the dog watching. Plus, I just built a nice new fence that will keep out any roming dogs (my biggest daytime threat) and then I lock them up in Fort Knox at night to keep out the raccoons (my biggest nighttime threat). It's a system that I'm comfortable with the amount of risk involved. They are my feather kids after all.

    We all get in the car and drive every day, but hopefully we wear our seatbelts. We're comfortable with the risks involved because we do what we can.
     
  7. stephhassler

    stephhassler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, here's the thing. I think free ranging makes for healthier chickens. I have read so many posts about lice, mites, illnesses, etc., etc. While I have lost a few chickens to predators, I have never had a problem with mites, lice, no respiratory diseases, or any problems that occur when chickens are bored or cooped up all day. I think it is a trade off. People lose chickens to illnesses and disease - same as some of us lose chickens to predators. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there.
     
  8. georgialee

    georgialee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    While I agree, I also agree with people's choice to let their chickens free range full time... which will result in losses. I still think they have a right to be sad that they lost a chicken due to a predator as well as come on here for condolences. I really think it takes guts to do what you think is best for your chickens/pets (ie free ranging) even though it may result in less than desirable outcomes. Just my 2 cents [​IMG]
     
  9. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    I have to agree with Steph (imagine that [​IMG] )

    Ok, the following is my opinion and my reasoning for free ranging - I am not slamming anyone for their own choices to free range or not.

    When my chickens are cooped up - they hate it, I feel guilty and they do get dust/respiratory problems - cant be helped. When they free range they are fat, healthy and get lots of fresh air and excercise - they are just happier healthier chickens.

    Have I lost any - yes, I lost a chick just the other day in broad daylight to a coyote who came right into our yard - hubby was out back working, saw it all happen, gun was too far away in the house.
    I've lost a couple of ducks to hawks, and at night (in the coop) I've lost two or three to coons.

    The ones that died in the coop I felt guilt for - I fixed the coop problem, but I am not going to coop them up all day (unless I am trying to get pure bred eggs - this will happen for a couple of months for eggs, not all year - they have runs to go into then).

    Why? The same reason I allow my sons to grow up and move out on their own and make their own mistakes.

    What sort of life is it if you are always "safe"? Life isn't safe, and a purely protected safe life is no life at all, IMO. Would you want someone to let you out once a day, supervised, and then leave you locked inside all day otherwise?

    I understand we all have different opinions, and whatever you do with your chickens is fine for you - for me, however, I will keep on free ranging, and if one gets killed now and then - it's the cycle of life - coyotes and hawks need to eat also, I guess [​IMG]

    Some people live where they cannot free range, this is fine for them also.

    I am wondering what the ratio is for predator deaths as opposed to disease deaths on here....


    meri
     
  10. Soccer Mom

    Soccer Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    West of Crazy
    Quote:Well, I also think keeping them happy and healthy is part of the bargain. I have always and will always free range. I agree with those who believe that it is healthier for them. I do lock them up in Fort Knox at night, but I prefer a more natural life style. My birds are extremely healthy and the occasional loss to preditors is sad, but I console myself that the bird had a happy time while in my care.

    Just my .02.
     

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