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It is the time of year to batton down the hatches......

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bburn, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. bburn

    bburn Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    We got chickens last May 8th. We have been so very lucky to have not lost even one.

    Yesterday we woke up to a dead cochin hen. The other two in the pen and coop were okay. Something got in over the top....yes, it is covered but the wire is welded but large squares. I went to town and bought smaller wire to put over what is there. I moved the remaining cochins to the chicken tractor that is VERY secure. They spent a safe night.

    This morning there was a loss in the Barred Rock coop. I battoned down all the hatches...even put cinder blocks in front of the pop doors. Something dug in.....we are so rocky it had to have taken them forever. I heard the noise and my husband was not home. My nephew drove by a few minutes later...while I was still hanging out the bedroom window and I called him to come go out there with me. We did not see anything and his dog ran around all the coops but did not get excited about anything. I just had a really bad feeling.

    All this time with chickens outside my bedroom window....I knew the noise I was hearing was just not right. But I felt good that the pop doors were closed and the cochins were safe in the tractor.

    So I am saying.....everyone go out and take another look. This was the only place on the coop that was not dug down in the ground. Today that gets fixed.

    It just makes you sick. And this is the time of year...trust me, they are out!!!

  2. wendyrun

    wendyrun In the Brooder

    May 25, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    I am feeling so disappointed b/c I have been free-ranging my girls for 7 months now with no problems....And now I feel like I'm going to have to, as you say, really batten down the hatches to keep them safe.

    After months of feeling like we were overprotective - I think I was not. I too, was worried about things digging in - we also have a tractor and after a while, I have stopped even moving it because it seemed silly. Now I think we have to reevaluate our entire set up.

    Sorry about your losses....do you even know what it was????
  3. mediazeal

    mediazeal Songster

    Feb 26, 2009
    Food for predators is scare at this time. Anyone who hibernated is now up and around and hungry.
    Migratory animals like hawks are back and setting up housekeeping.
    They all are the most aggressive in the spring.
    I free ranged without any issues summer, fall and winter but lost a hen to a hawk this month.
    My girls are all locked in their coop/run with cement floor and solid roof for the duration.
    I'm looking at different ideas for a covered 'outside' area for them for them to use during these months. They really miss being out to hunt worms etc.
    good luck with yours

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