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Pollitos6

Songster
Apr 30, 2018
195
216
126
View attachment 2324143
does this look like normal molting to y’all? My roo is only six months old.
Well let me first tell you that he is a BEAUTIFUL roo. his posture tells you he mean business LOL. This is my first year having roosters so I can't be much help. However, some of my hens looked very rough during molting season. is this the first year he is molting?
 

man_of_fishers

Chirping
Jan 13, 2020
88
137
78
Well let me first tell you that he is a BEAUTIFUL roo. his posture tells you he mean business LOL. This is my first year having roosters so I can't be much help. However, some of my hens looked very rough during molting season. is this the first year he is molting?
oh yeah, he’s a big dopey guy, but he’s a sweetheart. He’s only six months old, so it’shis first time losing feathers. I had a hen that also molted her first year, so perhaps it’s just early molt.
That being said, I think I’ll clean out and treat their coop for pests this weekend.
 

man_of_fishers

Chirping
Jan 13, 2020
88
137
78
Question, do any of y'all free range your chickens exclusively? If so, do you also have a dog as a primary protector for your free rangers? I have an acre of fenced in yard, but due to both daytime and nighttime predators, I can't let them free range. I've tried and the hawks especially get bold after a few days. As an example, I have a pool in the backyard and had a hawk swoop in for a kill with 20 people swimming and sitting around the pool, barely 25 yards from the coop.

I'm not a dog owner currently, but my flock is getting so big that I'm entertaining the idea of converting much of their critter-proof run to a large, walk-in coop. But to pull all this off, I need a reliable protector for the flock. So I'm considering getting an outdoor-only dog, but I want to be sure before I do so.
 

Ninjasquirrel

Crowing
May 11, 2018
2,591
6,122
366
Northwest Indiana
Question, do any of y'all free range your chickens exclusively? If so, do you also have a dog as a primary protector for your free rangers? I have an acre of fenced in yard, but due to both daytime and nighttime predators, I can't let them free range. I've tried and the hawks especially get bold after a few days. As an example, I have a pool in the backyard and had a hawk swoop in for a kill with 20 people swimming and sitting around the pool, barely 25 yards from the coop.

I'm not a dog owner currently, but my flock is getting so big that I'm entertaining the idea of converting much of their critter-proof run to a large, walk-in coop. But to pull all this off, I need a reliable protector for the flock. So I'm considering getting an outdoor-only dog, but I want to be sure before I do so.
If the hawknis being a nuisance to people let alone your chickens I'd contact DNR and let them know. They might want to catch and rehome it somewhere. Hawks generally wont attack if they see a human in the yard or a dog but if this one is attacking humans it wont care about a dog
 

Molpet

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Sep 7, 2015
10,504
41,576
1,012
New Lenox township. Illinois USA
My Coop
Question, do any of y'all free range your chickens exclusively? If so, do you also have a dog as a primary protector for your free rangers? I have an acre of fenced in yard, but due to both daytime and nighttime predators, I can't let them free range. I've tried and the hawks especially get bold after a few days. As an example, I have a pool in the backyard and had a hawk swoop in for a kill with 20 people swimming and sitting around the pool, barely 25 yards from the coop.

I'm not a dog owner currently, but my flock is getting so big that I'm entertaining the idea of converting much of their critter-proof run to a large, walk-in coop. But to pull all this off, I need a reliable protector for the flock. So I'm considering getting an outdoor-only dog, but I want to be sure before I do so.
Had chickens as a kid and parents raised St Bernards. The dog pens were 50 ft away from the old chicken coop. Coons and possums whiped the chickens out. Fast forward to retirement.... 5 years ago I got chickens again and had a dog. Several hawk attacks but no losses until this year. Put the dog down in April. So far this year, I have lost 10 poults to coons, a chicken to a hawk and have a 6 wk chick missing. Removed 17 coons
So it depends if the dog can get to the area to protect... and it doesn't eat live chickens
 

Faraday40

Free Ranging
Aug 1, 2013
9,668
13,488
611
Illinois
Question, do any of y'all free range your chickens exclusively? If so, do you also have a dog as a primary protector for your free rangers? I have an acre of fenced in yard, but due to both daytime and nighttime predators, I can't let them free range. I've tried and the hawks especially get bold after a few days. As an example, I have a pool in the backyard and had a hawk swoop in for a kill with 20 people swimming and sitting around the pool, barely 25 yards from the coop.

I'm not a dog owner currently, but my flock is getting so big that I'm entertaining the idea of converting much of their critter-proof run to a large, walk-in coop. But to pull all this off, I need a reliable protector for the flock. So I'm considering getting an outdoor-only dog, but I want to be sure before I do so.
I never had an outdoor dog, but we had a great pet dog who loved being outside and could be trusted around the flock. He was more of a deterrent than a protector, but it was enough for us. When we had a fox visiting at random times day & night, the chickens were only permitted to free range while the dog was out. I put the dog outside for 4-8 hours per day. The dog loved it! The hawks also thought twice about killing. They still swooped but never got anything. There was no way the dog would let a hawk sit on the ground to eat and he would chase behind them.

Our current dog is too reactive to be trusted around the chickens without a leash and I really miss our old boy. The good news is that it seems our neighbor's dog occasionally coming out to chase animals around is enough to give the hawks pause. We also have a rooster, a cockerel, and 3 turkeys, so they give some protection as well.

In winter when the trees give no cover & the hawks are worse, the chickens stay cooped.
 

man_of_fishers

Chirping
Jan 13, 2020
88
137
78
Well let me first tell you that he is a BEAUTIFUL roo. his posture tells you he mean business LOL. This is my first year having roosters so I can't be much help. However, some of my hens looked very rough during molting season. is this the first year he is molting?
Had chickens as a kid and parents raised St Bernards. The dog pens were 50 ft away from the old chicken coop. Coons and possums whiped the chickens out. Fast forward to retirement.... 5 years ago I got chickens again and had a dog. Several hawk attacks but no losses until this year. Put the dog down in April. So far this year, I have lost 10 poults to coons, a chicken to a hawk and have a 6 wk chick missing. Removed 17 coons
So it depends if the dog can get to the area to protect... and it doesn't eat live chickens
I never had an outdoor dog, but we had a great pet dog who loved being outside and could be trusted around the flock. He was more of a deterrent than a protector, but it was enough for us. When we had a fox visiting at random times day & night, the chickens were only permitted to free range while the dog was out. I put the dog outside for 4-8 hours per day. The dog loved it! The hawks also thought twice about killing. They still swooped but never got anything. There was no way the dog would let a hawk sit on the ground to eat and he would chase behind them.

Our current dog is too reactive to be trusted around the chickens without a leash and I really miss our old boy. The good news is that it seems our neighbor's dog occasionally coming out to chase animals around is enough to give the hawks pause. We also have a rooster, a cockerel, and 3 turkeys, so they give some protection as well.

In winter when the trees give no cover & the hawks are worse, the chickens stay cooped.
Well, it certainly sounds that a dog isn’t the silver bullet for all predators. It’s possible I could hit a critical mass where losing a handful of chickens a year wouldn’t interrupt my egg production, but I’m not there yet. I’m just now starting to get a dozen eggs a day and am loving it. I’ll keep thinking it through.
 

Pollitos6

Songster
Apr 30, 2018
195
216
126
Question, do any of y'all free range your chickens exclusively? If so, do you also have a dog as a primary protector for your free rangers? I have an acre of fenced in yard, but due to both daytime and nighttime predators, I can't let them free range. I've tried and the hawks especially get bold after a few days. As an example, I have a pool in the backyard and had a hawk swoop in for a kill with 20 people swimming and sitting around the pool, barely 25 yards from the coop.

I'm not a dog owner currently, but my flock is getting so big that I'm entertaining the idea of converting much of their critter-proof run to a large, walk-in coop. But to pull all this off, I need a reliable protector for the flock. So I'm considering getting an outdoor-only dog, but I want to be sure before I do so.
My chicken area is about 1/2 acre fenced, the only cover come from the trees. I don't have an outdoor dog but I do have pet dogs (two females and two males). The male dogs do not get inside the chicken area without supervision. These are the things that I think it has helped me keep my flock safe from aerial predators:
I have three turkeys (adults) I am assuming this will intimidate an areal predator
I have 7 adult ducks. I have seen them alerting the flock when they see a hawk.
I have 3 adult roosters who protect the ladies.
I also allowed my two male dogs go inside the chicken area ( supervised by me) to leave their scent. I DE shed them and leave some of their hair in the fence and also they urinate in the area . I have heard that male dog scent will deter ground predator.
So far this has helped to keep my flock safe. I only had one accident last winter and that was because the trees give no cover at all.
 

Ninjasquirrel

Crowing
May 11, 2018
2,591
6,122
366
Northwest Indiana
My chicken area is about 1/2 acre fenced, the only cover come from the trees. I don't have an outdoor dog but I do have pet dogs (two females and two males). The male dogs do not get inside the chicken area without supervision. These are the things that I think it has helped me keep my flock safe from aerial predators:
I have three turkeys (adults) I am assuming this will intimidate an areal predator
I have 7 adult ducks. I have seen them alerting the flock when they see a hawk.
I have 3 adult roosters who protect the ladies.
I also allowed my two male dogs go inside the chicken area ( supervised by me) to leave their scent. I DE shed them and leave some of their hair in the fence and also they urinate in the area . I have heard that male dog scent will deter ground predator.
So far this has helped to keep my flock safe. I only had one accident last winter and that was because the trees give no cover at all.
I had a young hawk eyeing my birds. Only noticed it because the roosters did the "danger" call. I saw it and walked over to where they were and just stared him down. He flew off after a minute or two. Haven't seen him come back since. Our dog is a recent addition to the family and up until then our biggest problem was raccoons. She has managed to chase a few off and a few possums. We have plenty of cover for our birds to hide under if there are hawks around though. If I notice it is really quiet I yell "HEY YOU CHICKENS" and they all run under the porch. Now that we have a roo though he alerts the hens. Havent had a hawk attack yet this year but our first year a red tail came after them. They ran under the porch as he swooped down and then he took off empty taloned
 

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