Keep Franken-hen safe from another hawk attack

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by sherahart, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. sherahart

    sherahart Out Of The Brooder

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    I've been reading BYC for over a year but never posted before. We bought a house last year that came with 12 White Leghorns. Predators got most of them before we found a way to secure the coops and runs from bobcats, foxes, dogs, raccoons, possums, etc. Then we added Marans, Barred Rocks, and EEs, thinking we'd sell "free range" organic eggs. Not that easy. Although I'm a former Clinical Lab Scientist, I wasn't ready to stitch up a chicken after a hawk attack because I couldn't find a vet who would help an "exotic animal." Who knew chickens were exotic? Not me. Well, Frankie, (short for Franken-hen because she looked like Frankenstein after I sewed her up) laid an egg the next day in spite of about 50 amateur stitches. Yes, she recovered and I put her back with the others once her chest feathers started growing in. But so much for the idea of fencing to keep our free-range birds safe in the orchard during the day. Our fruit trees aren't big enough to provide good screen yet. What next, overhead wires? Fake owls? What works best?
     
  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome! I have been told overhead fencing is the only good answer. I have not (yet) had a problem with hawks and Eagles. But I fortunately have large established trees that seem to help. Hope you get them protected!
     
  3. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! I too agree that the only real way to keep them safe is to have them in covered runs. Being out with not a lot of cover will always make them open to aerial attacks. I'm sorry to read about your losses. Predators sure can be troublesome.

    I hope you are able to get them safe and you suffer no more losses.
    Wishing you the very best of luck :fl
     
  4. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

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  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. The other members have given you some good advice. Covering your runs with wire or netting is the only way to protect your flock from large birds of prey once they've discovered your flock. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Cheers.
     
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  7. PinkyLee

    PinkyLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I threaded some 100 lb. monofilament (fishing line) back and forth over my last run... it kept the hawks, owls, etc. but a crow managed to get through, kill some ducklings, and then he couldn't get out. After he tried to bite me, I tangled his head in a smart mop and took him out of the coop. Needless to say, he stayed on my porch, learned to use the doggie door... when he started crapping in the kitchen he was given to an animal trainer for the movies! So... if you don't have much money, try stringing some line across, add some bells, foil, etc.... and welcome to the site! Pinky
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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  9. sherahart

    sherahart Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 16, 2015
    Florida panhandle
    Thanks, everyone. Hholy, thanks for the link. I might try that along the main path where most of the chickens hang out, but it would cost too much to cover the orchard. So I guess we'll have to limit free range territory until the trees grow bigger or put up another fence. Sigh. Sad to say, the girls don't lay if they don't get out to play. Actually, most aren't laying much now that it's colder. I hope that's normal during winter. Only the leghorns and a couple of Marans are regular contributors.
     
  10. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, a winter slowdown is normal. Good luck!
     

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