Live in the woods and want to get a chicken...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MyNyssa, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. MyNyssa

    MyNyssa New Egg

    Jan 2, 2011
    Hello everyone,
    My husband and I were talking today about being a little more self-sufficient and maybe get a chicken or two, so we can get fresh eggs. We live in the Northeastern mountains of Georgia. We just moved here and are still getting used to the environment, we came from a bigger city. The land we live on is quite large and not fenced in. We have a pretty big patio that I was thinking would be ideal for the chickens. Like I said, I've been a city girl for my whole life and don't know the first thing about how to buy, keep or protect chickens. Our "neighbor" about a 1/2 mile-1 mile away lives behind a farm and has 3 chickens, but he keeps them in a garage and also has 2 horses and a jackass for protection. Since we live in the woods, I know we have much more to worry about. Our porch is pretty open, with the trees being on one side and our house on the other. I'm worried if we put the chickens up on the porch at night, the animals will just come right up on the porch and get them or try to get them. Then also during the day, they may not be able to roam free due to them not listening to commands the way a dog would and maybe never coming back. I guess we could fence it, but it would just cost waaaaaay too much. Do you think we could build just a little area for the chickens (fenced in) during the day and then put them up on the porch at night? I know we definitely have coyotes in the area, we hear them all of the time. We have 2 dogs, one may be okay for protection but he sleeps indoors and the other one barely wants to get her feet wet when it snows, so she's useless in this way. I'm sure there are many more things out there in the woods/forest, all around us we just can't see them.
    I'd post a picture of our yard and patio, but I don't know how.
    Any help is appreciated,
    thank you.
  2. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY

    We live in a similar setting in KY - 108 acres of woods, inside national forest. Any type of chicken will need a secure place to sleep at night. Check out the various categories within this forum and you will see all kinds of coops and runs. I built a small run out of 2x4 welded wire, cedar logs and scrap lumber. It has had a tarp roof for a year and I am finally putting the tin on top. I built a couple small hutch type boxes that fit inside or securely attach to the run.

    I have a dog who likes our chickens and runs to their defense if one growls or alarms. The only predator that has troubled us is hawks. I know for a fact that our dog has run off or killed raccoons, skunks, possums and heaven knows what (we have bobcats in the cliffs within 60 yards of the coop). The hawks have taken only juvenile birds, and seem to really zero in on white ones.

    For breed you can go 2 routes - get something really calm that doesn't mind staying in the coop, or a more active type that stands a chance free ranging. Hang around BYC, read up on the breeds chart, and you'll find something fuzzy you can't resist.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You may be a neighbor of mine-I live in Fannin County in the woods. Have had chickens for five years. You'll need them to have a predator-resistant coop of some sort if you want them protected. Mine do free range and are locked inside at night. You can do it, but have to pay special attention to the predators in the area and trust me, we have most of them. In fact, something just knocked over the wood pile by my door up on the deck awhile ago--heard the chickens alarm from inside the coops, safe and sound (I have a baby monitor in the coop).

    Here are my three coops---you can see we're up on a small mountain in the woods. If you look at the top of the page, you'll see a blue banner and the word "Uploads". You can upload a pic from your computer there.

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  4. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    If you're like me you'll have more than a couple very quickly. I went from 8 pullets for egg laying, to 10 more for meat and decoration, to 11 chicks from the second batch of 10. So 8 to 29 in 8 months.

    Building a good solid predator proof coop is pretty simple and not all that expensive. Remember one thing though... chicken wire is for keeping chickens in place and not for keeping out predators. A raccoon, fox, dog, etc... can get through chicken wire very quickly.

    As for a chicken run. I recommend using good 2"x4" fencing with an electric fence perimeter. I run 3 wires spaced 6" apart and from the ground with a pair mid way up and a couple across the top. The wire is cheap and fence chargers are very reasonable for smaller runs. I ran chicken wire around the base and onto the ground to slow down any digging predators. By slowing them down it gives them more opportunity to get bit by the fence. My MILs cat got bit one time checking out the chickens and doesn't anywhere near them now. You can always hang some tin plates from the wire and put cat food in them to give the local predators a quick lesson on avoiding the fence. Marshmallows work great for raccoons too.

    I also use some PVC deer netting across top portions of the run to keep hawks at bay. CD's hung from the trees help as well.

  5. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    Welcome to BYC! You can raise them where you live but you do have to build a good strong coop for them. I would also suggest surrounding it with an electric fence. Bear are pretty common in your area and I think a good strong jolt of electricity is about all that will keep them out.

    Make sure that you look through the coop building links to get ideas then go for it! By finding this site you are already ahead of the game. You will find a treasure trove of advice and encouragement from fellow memebers. Good luck to you....keep us posted on your progress!
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2011
  6. CrittersNPets

    CrittersNPets Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    W. of Salem, Oregon
    Thank you for the electric fence ideas - especially the "training raccoon" points with marshmallows. I will try that this weekend. Anyone else had good luck with electric fences - I am hoping it helps.
  7. Chicken Casanova

    Chicken Casanova Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 27, 2011
    wow i do to
  8. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Just love my electric fence. Only thing that will work for bear. Now you don't have to break the bank to protect your chickens. Keep an eye on Craigslist, there you can find alot of stuff you can use from free to whatever your can afford. A lot of times you can get it for tearing it out. Just bulid as strong as possible. You will want a GOOD GUN to use on some of the predators. Once you get your 2 or 3 chickens, if you don't have at least 25 at the end of the year, move back to the city. You will own animals you never thought of owning before and love each one of them. A good protecter is a jack ass, they will take on almost any predator and wake you up every morning. No need for an alarm clock.
  9. MrsPinkKitty

    MrsPinkKitty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2010
  10. abChicken

    abChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2008
    Gaston County N.C.
    [​IMG] love panner123s post [​IMG]
    worth reading twice
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011

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