Loving the Free Ranging but Poison Ivy

Woodchick

Chirping
8 Years
Mar 8, 2012
27
1
77
St Augustine, Florida
My Coop
Ok, my girls, 6 sexlinks, are 13 weeks old and loving the free range lifestyle. They are more active and so curious and also cautious which I am glad of. They love my garden and I have trained them to eat caterpillars which was a blast. They followed me around while I pulled leaves off and had them eat the caterpillars off the leaf, now they do it on their own. They have lots of natural cover, dense woods on each side and they have a covered run they can go into. My only predator concern is hawks and I have a solar powered owl that is suppose to deter other territorial birds of prey. So....my only concern right now is because I love to pick up my girls and pet them and yes sometimes I can't resist kissing them on their little heads, but what about poison ivy. I know dogs and cats can carry the oil on their fur but does it adhere to feathers as well. There is so much poison ivy out there that it's a danger zone. Has anyone ever gotten poison ivy from their free rangers?
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 3, 2009
102,816
233,792
1,887
New Jersey
Never caught poison ivy from dogs/cats/or chickens, but if you are extremely sensitive (think my wife) I would guess that it might be a possibility. I would be worried about bobcats and other mammals (dogs included) as possible predators. Many from Fla. post on here about bobcat problems.
 

Woodchick

Chirping
8 Years
Mar 8, 2012
27
1
77
St Augustine, Florida
My Coop
Bobcats are a concern but are mostly nocturnal. My girls are tucked safely away in their coop by nightfall. Our neighborhood is rural but active so I doubt many critters would chance coming out in the day time. I do know that I am taking chances but they have such a great live chasing bugs and eating fresh greens. It's like with kids, you just have to let them explore sometimes even though there are dangers.
 

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