Lost More Chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sassygrrl32, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. sassygrrl32

    sassygrrl32 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Dec 29, 2013
    I posted before about losing 4 chickens. And the bobcat that was probably the culprit. That one is dead because the neighbors picked it up off the hwy after someone hit it. It's surprising that we even have them being in the city but I guess these predators are everywhere. You just don't see them.

    Sadly, when my husband went to Florida we lost 3 more. We are down to only 2 chickens. He has to take another trip to Florida in a couple of weeks and I'm sure that will be the end of our chickens.

    My husband likes to freerange but I tried to get him to build a run. When we got them alot of other things came up with our rental house and their drama and work, etc and he never got around to it and started letting them free range. I told him then, bad idea.

    Because our ex tenants threatened to kill them and a neighbor said she would get our chickens and eat them when we weren't around he's convinced it's people and not animals. He thinks because the chickens only go missing when no one is at home that it must be people. No amount of explaining that predators especially foxes are smart enough to not come around when he's there convinces him. Who knew predators were that smart?

    Sadly, we didn't even have these chickens a year. I told him no more chickens until he's ready to build a run for them. Otherwise it's going to be the same thing every year. All the chickens die and we get more every year. That's just silly.....

    I'm not there now(we are separated) but it saddens me because I was there when we first got them(they were only 3 days old) and we petted them and he had them all petted up like house pets.....

    Can anyone actually freerange successfully? I see alot of people letting the chickens run loose when I'm driving out in the country but it's terrible having to replace them every year and makes no sense.....
     
  2. circesfire

    circesfire Chillin' With My Peeps

    139
    10
    73
    Aug 10, 2013
    Surprise, Arizona
    I had high hopes of free ranging my chickens as well. We live in the a housing development on an acre, so I thought it would be ideal. Then I started to notice how many hawks we had in the neighborhood, and there are several coyotes around. I thought I would just free range them when I was outside. Then I read about hawks stealing chickens when people were less than 10 feet away. So now they stay in a run unless they are in my hands or on my shoulder. I think some people feel differently about chickens, to some they are definitely not pets, but to people like me they are. It's not worth it to me to have them free range if it might mean they become dinner, so my boyfriend is going to extend the run to give them more room to roam around.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,794
    3,751
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I guess it depends on your definition of free ranging successfully... My chickens free range most of the time - they don't like snow, so they don't go out much in winter, but when they do, they free range then, too. I had a 3-year period with no predator losses. I'd call that a success. That ended this summer when we were on vacation. We'd been gone 2 weeks and were due to return the next day. My mom had (on my request) been letting the chickens out every morning, and locking them up every night. Well, that day she'd let them out, came back over at noon to look for something, was back here at 3 or 4 in the afternoon - everything was fine. When she came back in the evening, 4 or 5 were missing, including my rooster. I think we had coyotes living in the cornfield next to where the chickens are and they finally figured out that we were not here, and there was no longer any scent of our dog being around. (We had to put him down a month earlier) In my opinion going as long as I did without a loss was successful. When you free range, there will be losses. I do think yours may be more suspicious, though, when they only happen when your husband is gone. Is there any trace of them? Feathers, carcasses.... I hope you are able to resolve these issues. One thing to think about. I have runs attached to my coops. They're hardly ever used all day, but it at least gives them a chance to be outside when it's not safe for them to free range. (Like when my son and daughter-in-law come to visit with their golden retriever.)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by