Is there any hope?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Tapsmom, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. Tapsmom

    Tapsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2011
    Aach, my chicks are only about 4 weeks old. They will be moving outside to the as yet unbuilt coop in th backyard in about 2 months. If I understand correctly, they are not to go outside until 3 months, right? These are my first chicks and after reading everything here I am wondering if there is any way to protect them. The coop will be against our barn (Which is also not up yet). It will be surrounded by a dog kennel. The kennel will have wire across the top to keep hawks out. There will be buried vinyl coated wire fencing around the kennel and it will come up a few feet on the inside to keep the chickens from sticking their necks out and getting grabbed. we will close them up in the coop at night. They will be allowed to free range, but it will be limited to when we are outside with them. Is there anything else we can do? I am terrified that I will put them out there and they will all be chicken h'ors d'ouevres for the local wildlife. I live in the Litchfield Hills of CT and we have coyotes, foxes, raccoons, fisher cats, black bears, opossums and hawks. Am I being unnecessarily worried? My kids lov the chicks and I have explained what might happen, but I am hoping we have a chance for them to make it.[​IMG]
     
  2. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2009
    Hi Neighbor !

    I'm in the same general area [​IMG]

    I've done pretty much exactly the same (even have the dog kennel covered with wire and a tarp for shade) and have not had a predator get in my coop until last night - had a black bear rip the doors off and get two hens [​IMG] (made a post about it with pics of the paw prints) Don't want to scare you though - sounds pretty good to me. I think they'll be fine. I have all the same bag of nasty critters .... the only time I had trouble with a predator (up to and other than last night) was when I forgot to close up the run door and an opossum got in and ate a hen.
     
  3. Tapsmom

    Tapsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2011
    Well, thanks for the response, Neighbor:) We do have a bear den on our street. In fact, the bus driver stopped the bus on the way home one afternon last Spring so all of the kids could watch the bear walk through someone's yard!
    Well, our coop will actually be part of that enclosure, so I am hopeful (but scared) that they should be well protected even if we forget to shut them in. Does it get too hot for them in the middle of the Summer? we are currently clearing pasture. Once that's done the barn construction will start. So we do have time to make changes. We are also getting goats so I'll need to make sure they are protected as well. My horse is usually allowed to go in and out of his stall as he pleases. He is only shut in the barn during winter evenings or blizzards, so we may ahve to make some structural adjustments to protect the smaller critters..or get a donkey LOL.
     
  4. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2009
    for the most part no - they are fine during the summer. I put the tarp for shade ... they wouldn't go out during the day and when they did they started to pant. They really appreciated the tarp.
    I had two get overheated and die last summer - during the wicked heat wave when it got to be 100 out those few days in a row - and they drank all their water before I got home from work. But that type of heat isn't the norm around here - I had put a small fan in the coop and that helped.
    I find I have more trouble during the winter - the chickens handle it fine - it's the water freezing that is a pain in the butt! I have a galvanized 5 gallon waterer - and put a heat lamp over it. just need to be sure that the heat lamp won't fall or get knocked over onto the pine shavings.

    I think they'll be fine - but do prepare yourself mentally to have a few losses. No matter what you do to predator proof your pen - things happen.

    Me ? I just solved my opossum problem (gotta love neighbors that have an aresenal at their disposal) - and the bear takes its place. I preferred the opossum ! I think it's my payback for having the opossum shot - karma. [​IMG]
     
  5. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Cutler (and others) sell a nice waterer heater, your 5 gallon unit can sit on it and it will keep the water from freezing down to 10 degrees or so. It has its own thermostat and isn't too hard on the electric bill (likely less than that heat lamp anyway).

    To the OP your birds can go out as soon as the brooder temperature reaches 70 degrees or sooner if they are fully feathered or the outside temperature is 70 or so. It isn't based on any particular length of time. Strictly on how well feather covered the birds are. Most folks have their birds out for a bit on good sunny warm days well before that.
     

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