Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ktipit, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. ktipit

    ktipit Hatching

    Jul 31, 2011
    Hi Everyone
    My backyard chicken ranch is in northern New Mexico. We have been raising chickens for about 4 years. Unfortunately we have been through several flocks since we let our chickens "free range" in the yard. It seems that we go along for a while and all the chickens are safe and alive--then we start to see them either disappear or find a pile of fluffy feathers (or worse)--or as this week--I have found two of my hens dead in the yard for no apparent reason. So at the beginning of the year we had 14 hens and two roosters--different breeds, different ages, acquired at different times (plymouth barred, lace wyandott, leghorn, orpington, polish crested, cochin etc). Currently we have four hens left--a Rhode Island Red, a Buff Orpington, a Polish Crested, & a Cochin). I don't think anyone lays eggs routinelly anymore.

    I have five dogs--(golden retriever, plott hound, blue tick, cairn and chihuahua). The hounds basically live outside and "protect" (really just bark at stuff) our property. So, you would think that if there is something coming in to get my hens, they would intervene--. We do get smelly skunk critters both in the yard and in the neighborhood--but they're pretty small and I don't think they could harm the hens--just the eggs??

    So--I have joined this forum because I was trying to figure our why my chickens seem to be dying for no reason--but it looks like that is the answer--they are dying for no reason--seems odd that two would die in the same week--but I suppose statistically it would make sense.
    Anyway--if anyone has any other ideas--I would be interested.

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop

    So glad you found us!

    I suppose your answer for the near future would be making a run that's like Fort Knox and keeping them inside.

    I always say, only free range the ones you don't mind loosing. I'm putting a hen with 5 chicks back in a brooder tonight because I've lost 4 chicks in the past two nights. I'm guessing cats or owls.
  3. hcppam

    hcppam Songster

    [​IMG] Hello, from the Big Bear mountains of Ca. Glad you found us. make it tight [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. alabamayardbird

    alabamayardbird Chirping

    Jul 16, 2011
    Winfield, AL
    [​IMG] from alabamayardbird
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member

    Welcome KitPit,

    seems like there are several posts tonight about mysterious chicken losses.

    It sounds like you have more expertise than I do, so I cannot add anything except my big concern here is the awful heat. Sometimes I think our dogs would keep critters away -- definitely coyotes, probably raccoons and opossums... I have 'solar night eyes' on my run--- but I should move them around more often---although I move the whole run like a tractor....I'm sure that the varmits will catch on someday that the flashing lights aren't really eyes.

    Hopefully your remaining flock makes it through the heat wave and you don't have more losses. And of course, endorsing the forum----people here have a lot of expertise, so perhaps some helpful ideas will emerge.
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    [​IMG] from Kansas! So glad you could join the forum! [​IMG]
  7. weimarmama

    weimarmama Crowing

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us.

  8. wava1vaughn

    wava1vaughn Songster

    Jun 24, 2011
    Cairo Ga.
    Hi from Ga.


  9. ghillie

    ghillie Hen Pecked

    Nov 13, 2008
    Colorado Springs, Co
  10. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    Welcome to the site.

    I'm sorry to hear about your chickens dying or disappearing. I like to let my chickens free range because they are sad on the days I keep them cooped up but I worry about them being out. I could not keep them in the run all the time so I guess the risk is worth it but still sad when anything happens.

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