Literally just got my pen all fenced properly and this.....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by JoeOxfordCT, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    [​IMG] I took advantage of the long holiday weekend to finally get my fencing run around my pen. I had set fenceposts nearly a month ago but then stalled over what type of fencing to use to keep my birds safe. I finally settled on using 3 feet of chickenwire with 1 foot's worth laid onto the ground and staked down. On top of this I ran 5 foot high 2"x3" green wire fencing. It's approximately 130' feet around my enclosure. I lock my girls in their coop every night. I had only been letting them outside the coop on weekends now that it's dark by the time I get home during the week.

    Well I had out all nine of my RIR hens and the 4 younger Buffs too. Tonight is the first night that they will be all in the coop togther. My cordless drill had run out of charge so I had plugged it in the charger and came in the house to grab a snack before returning outside. As I'm walk out my front door and start walking up towards the coop I see a large (I'm assuming) hawk flying away from my pen towards the woods with one of the Buff's in it's talons. I yelled as loud as I could...as if that would do anything, but it just flew into the woods. I stood there for a couple seconds trying to figure out what to do and then took off into the woods figuring it probably could go too far carrying the Buff. Sure enough about 25 yards into the woods I stopped to listen to see if I could hear anything. I then caught sight of the hawk flying away from a tree about 15 feet from where I had stopped. I walked over and found the Buff on the ground. She was still alive but was dead by the time I made it back into my yard.

    What a kick in the behind !! :mad: I finally get the fencing all done and now this.....I was planning on running fishing line between the posts to keep the hawks away. Now that I've spent more time around the pen I am probably going to set at least two posts in the center of my pen so that I can run a tighter pattern of fishing line. Just bumming now because I instead of feeling a sense of accomplishment about getting the fencing run I'm burying a dead chicken. [​IMG][​IMG]

    Here's a pic of my setup.......I chose that location because the large oak tree casts shade during the summer months. In retrospect I might have located the coop in the woods on the other side of my house but that side hardly gets any sun which I thought would make the birds extra cold during the winter months.

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  2. johnnyjack

    johnnyjack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 21, 2007
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    sorry about ur loss. gota keep them chicks covered tho. top and bottom. or ur gona keep having problems of some sort. trust me i know.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I'm so sorry; what an awful sight that must have been for you. You're doing things as fast as you can and that's all you can do. I've had good luck stringing mason's line crisscrossed over my pens with CD's hanging from that. They bounce and spin and throw reflections all over, making it a little more difficult for a hawk to make a dive at them. Not foolproof, but better than completely open.
    Again, I'm sorry you lost your girl.
     
  4. Mac

    Mac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2007
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    Oh good grief, thats painful JoeOxfordCT. So sorry.

    Looking at your setup (which is very sweet, BTW) with your coop about in the middle, a suggestion would be to drape deer netting using the coop as middle support all the way to the fence. Its inexpensive and might add more protection. You can see through it - hardly know its there.

    I used to live in Deep River, CT.

    Take care,
    Mac
     
  5. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    I had/have come to the realization that my pen is rather open...especially this time of the year when there's no leaves on the trees. I even had it in the back of my mind to post a question here on BYC as to what types of small trees/bushes/shrubs I could plant inside the pen to give the girls some cover that would still stand up to being pecked at.
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You know where my girls hide from hawks? Under the Leyland Cypress trees. If you plant one right outside the fence where the branches will extend through the fence, then they will be able to duck underneath. They grow really fast once they're established, too. I guess you could plant one inside the fence, but they do get very large, so you may not want that.
     
  7. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Sorry Joe, that s**ks. I don't get it. Our birds have free ranged all
    over here since they were that little. I hear hawks but none of them
    have ever dared try and steal a chicken.

    I like the idea of cover. They will usually sense a hawk attack and run
    for cover. Sometimes they aren't so lucky
     
  8. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Hi Don, yeah the first thing I thought of when this happened is, "Boy Don is going to be mad at me for losing one of his birds..." You're the first person I've ever gotten birds from...before this I always picked mine up from C.L. Adams in Woodbury.
    My other thought that I was going to post to you was the birds are finally old enough where I can tell that one of them is a Roo. Luckily, he wasn't the one who got it today. I'm hoping that a mature Roo will help me guard the flock......They're out there now with the RIR's. I had a box in the coop that I just put wire on the face of so that the Buff's can come and go without the Red's following them in....


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  9. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    No man, I felt bad. I was also worried that the unlucky chick might
    have been your only roo. Hey, things happen. We lost a chick today
    due to a freak accident. We also had our last hatch go really bad
    because of bator issues. I was afraid the people I got the eggs from
    would be mad at me. Nope, they were upset for me.

    Out of the 2 Buffs we kept it looks like we have 1 roo and 1 hen.
    I draw the line at eating a Buff. Nope, can't do it. [​IMG]

    Glad to hear you've got the whole flock together. We are working
    on ours.

    Chicken People... Go Figure... [​IMG]
     
  10. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    I thinking now that I'm going to have to build a couple of outdoor shelters for the birds.....basically a sheet of plywood with legs so that it's approx. 18" off the ground so the birds can shelter underneath it.

    I am at least satisfied that my idea of keeping the main coop 12"-18" off the ground gives the birds a place to get out of the sun and away from airborne predators. One of the coops I had at another house was about 6" off the ground and rats eventually nested underneath it. Keeping the coop higher off the ground avoids this problem as well. :|

    However, for now I'm wondering whether I should let the birds range in the pen tomorrow......and here I'd been looking forward to getting the pen fenced so I could let the birds range while I'm at work too.....:mad: I guess next weekend I'll be setting a couple of extra posts in the center of the run and stringing fishing line in a grid. You know, I love my birds but I'm getting a little tired of spending weekends (& money) getting them squared away......I had storm windows for the coop on my "Honey Do" list and had been thinking of insulating and panelling the inside of the coop as well......but man I have projects waiting for me inside my own house.....:mad:

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