Leggy the Potential Predator???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kyle7630, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. kyle7630

    kyle7630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Semora NC
    We have several young guineas and a few chickens. They are kinda young still so they are still penned up. I plan to let them free range when ever they are old enough. Since we have been here, I have noticed a hawk on occasion that I named leggy because he only has one HUGE leg. He seems to be healthy so I guess he has no problem hunting. Anyway, should I keep my chicks and keets penned up longer to grow more, or would it even make a difference?? How old/big should I let them get before letting them out to range? How worried should I be about leggy??? Also, what about my 2 young cats with the chicks and gunieas?
     
  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Douglasville GA
    A hawk is a preditor, even with only one leg, and will take what food is available. When you free range, your chickens no matter what their age, are on the menu.
     
  3. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    vermont
    cats will take your young birds. i even have a couple of cats who are overly interested in my grown bird. i don't trust cats with chickens. i had a cat once who brought me an adult ruffed grouse.

    the hawk will always take your birds, whether they're three ounces or 10 pounds. that's one of the drawbacks of free ranging or maintaining a run with no roof. the best you can do is make sure your birds have a lot of things to get underneath so they can escape from hawks, eagles, and ravens. it's probably best not to clip their wings, either, so they can escape from ground predators, too. keep in mind that such predators as raccons, even foxes, can climb trees and a determined raptor will pursue chickens even under cover, so losing birds will be a sometimes occurance.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2008
  4. kyle7630

    kyle7630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Semora NC
    I haven't seen leggy in a few days. I am considering keeping the chickens in their run and only letting the guineas free range. Our land is so wide open and all of the trees are a good bit away from their coop. It concerns me for them to be in the open but the guineas were brought here for bug control so they need to be out of the coop. Maybe I could let the chickens out for just a little while during the day while I am out too. Another question, will a rooster try to protect the hens from a larger predator??? How far will he push it to defend them? We have a little over 13 acres so I'm not as concerned about the noise. Would this be enough space for more than one roo or would they be on the menu as well?
     
  5. HeadHen

    HeadHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2008
    Houston, TX
    I think the fact that leggy only has 1 leg makes him more of a threat to your birds. Catching chickens is an easier meal for a handcapped bird then foraging.
     
  6. LilBizzy

    LilBizzy Chicken Storyteller

    May 20, 2008
    Maryland
    Leggy is definately a predator, and whether hens or roos, they are a free meal. As to how far a roo would go to protect, well sometimes they'll protect till death. We currently have 4 roos, and a few weeks ago, the neighbors dog got loose. I heard this horrifying sound and thought a chicken was being mauled. Nope.. the chickens had all run into the shrubs in the back of the yard. The horrible sound was the tiniest roo, standing as tall as he could, yelling at the dog. Luckily, the owners got to the dog quickly.
    The thing is.. that lil guy could yell as loud as he wanted.. if that dog was faster than the chickens it coud have been different. I have heard (seen) stories on here indicating that some roos will go as far as they need to protect the girls.
     
  7. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Douglasville GA
    A good rooster will defend his flock to the death.
     

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