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Losing lots of chickens to some unknown predator

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by costello, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. Chickeemomma63

    Chickeemomma63 New Egg

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    My Coop
    But a pack of them can scare the heck out of predators. It's not just one dog; I have 28. I've had no issues with coons, opossums, or the like. Even a fox came around but left in a hurry.But I agree about coyotes. About all you can do with that is a camera and lay in wait with a rifle. I also use chain link fence instead of chicken wire around our lot. Inside the coop is 1/2" mesh wire for individual lots.. Fortunately, knock on wood, I've not had to deal with coyotes... yet. Hawks are more of an issue for me. I feed the crows, and they keep the hawks run off. It's nice to be able to use natural predators who are not a predator to the chickens. Love our crows! [​IMG]
     
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Around here, the coyotes lure dogs away from the pack and murder them. They have about cleaned up the neighborhood of ferel cats. Nobody puts small dogs outside without watching them......
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    The dogs coupled with exiting fence and a strand of hotwire will keep even coyotes out. Dogs are too heavy for coyotes to pack off and fencing can make predators visits more complex and not worth effort if small dogs come after you every time you visit. I am missing something if birds still be lost with so many dogs and a fence.
     
  4. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Arizona
    The OP only seems to have one dog ... but it "should" be able to handle a coyote or bobcat!

    Quote from 1st post: A different poster has the pack of RT's

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If the chickens can't be secured at night ... then you need to let your big dog deal with the visitor! (or sit out there yourself)

    Are you sure your fence is working properly?

    Water the ground rod, and the perimeter of the fence line!

    If the ground wire is the one that has the nick, don't worry about it, as the ground rod is bare, and is SUPPOSED to make contact with the ground.

    Touch the fence yourself, it won't kill you, but if it doesn't feel like you stuck you finger in a light socket, it is not doing it's job!

    When it is quiet out there, can you hear a ticking noise? find it, and you will probably find a tiny spark, where it is grounding out! Fix it!
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I would like to see how dog's ranging abilities compare to fenced in area were chickens are being lost. Dog needs to be able work perimeter at very least. Mine always have that ability and usually can get into where chickens are as well when motivated to do so. Dog must also be responding to alarms produced by chickens as well as stimuli provided by predator.
     
  6. costello

    costello Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2013
    Thanks for all the additional responses. The losses seem to have stopped, and I'm stable at 42 birds. I'm not sure if this is because the fence is charging better or if the predator can't reach the remaining chickens. The ones that are left are roosting very high off the ground.

    The dog can't get into the fenced area. He's killed a chicken in the past so is no longer allowed access to them. He has a healthy respect for the electric fence.

    The house and barn are at approximately the center of 40 acres with a wooded hill behind and a field in front. A predator could easily use the woods as cover to approach the barn from the back. On the other side of the barn I have three goats in a lean-to. They have their own electric fence. There's a space of maybe six feet between the two fences. So plenty of room between them to walk through, but I wouldn't try it in the dark. Too easy to bump into one fence or the other.

    Based on the sound of his barking, I can tell the dog is actively moving around the property. Mostly I hear barking from the front, because that's where my bedroom is, but I've seen him going through the wooded area to the back too.

    I haven't noticed if he responses to alarms made by the chickens. I'll have to watch for that. He does take an active interest in anything coming into his territory, but he's only one dog for a pretty big area.
     
  7. costello

    costello Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A picture is worth a thousand words. Here's the part of the property with the house, barn, and goat shed. As you can see the barn and goat shed are surrounded by trees and bushes - to the point that the woods and the trees by the barn have merged. The fence runs along a path between them.

    The dog ranges all over the open area to the front and side and even goes up the hill straight up the top of the picture, but to my knowledge he doesn't go into that densely wooded area.

    Edited: Well, I couldn't get the photo to appear so I put it on photobucket, but not before I shrunk it down trying to paste it here. Hope you can see it.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  8. costello

    costello Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And a picture of the dog Zeke, because he's so darned cute. You can see the barn and goat shed behind him in the distance.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. costello

    costello Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I posted a Google Earth picture of the property two posts up from here, but it's not showing to me now, so I don't know if others can see it or not.
     
  10. the poppster

    the poppster Chillin' With My Peeps

    I lost a almost full grown Brahma pullet to a weasel a few weeks ago...after four red squirrels...I finally got the weasel...a big one...he won't be beheading any more of my birds.
     

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