Missing chick during the day...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by brandislee, May 13, 2011.

  1. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
    I was gone today the whole morning and early afternoon, and when I got back one of my 4 week old chicks was gone. No trace at all. I stood there and counted for twenty minutes to make sure... I compulsively count them every time I go in the coop, so I know all were there when I let them out of the coop into the yard this morning. The yard I have is 6 foot 2x3 welded wire with the bottom 2 feet covered with poultry netting and an apron of poultry netting. For the top I strung a bunch of wire back and forth between all the posts... but I'm thinking it wasn't enough (um duh, right?). That would be a hawk, right?

    But my run is huge- it's 30 x 30, and the idea of fully enclosing it seems overwhelming, mostly financially. How would I support something? For now I took all the extra poultry netting and hardware cloth I had and kind of laid it over the top of the wire, but it only covered about 1/4 of it.

    Am I right to suspect a hawk? Any advice at covering a run that large? I'm going on a five day vacation in a week (someone will be coming over to feed them and lock them up for the night), and I want total coop confinement to be the absolute last resort.
     
  2. zookeeper15133

    zookeeper15133 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2010
    SW PA
    Get what they call deer netting. Lowes, Tractor supply carry it. It is about $20 for a roll. 7' x 110'. Drape it loosely over the top so if something tries to go through it will get tangled up. It is plastic, so if something is determined it can get through.
    An alternate idea. Hang CD's from your fishing line. As they spin and catch the light it reflects.
     
  3. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
    Thanks! Right after my original post I went out to scrounge up what I could to at least make it less appealing for now, since that hawk is probably like "wow, that was an easy lunch, I think I'll eat at the same place tomorrow" and I can't get anything else to cover it until Sunday at least. I had some extra poultry netting and hardware cloth, so I placed the leftover pieces over the larger gaps between the wires, I put up more wire to cover other holes, and I hung a bunch of CD's. I'm going to be brave and let them out and see what happens. I'm thinking about also getting one of those owls- I saw one at the farm store whose head moved back and forth. I figure if I get one of those and move it to a different fence post every few days that might also keep the hawks guessing (or give all my chickens a heart attack!). But it really depends how much the owl costs- I don't want to end up spending as much on "alternatives" as I would on just covering the dang run in hardware cloth!
     
  4. Two Creeks Farm

    Two Creeks Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Hedgesville, WV
    Dont waste your money on the decoy.....you will scare off all your songbirds and attract crows LOL

    The deer netting will be cheap and effective.
     
  5. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
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    Definitely don't want to scare off the songbirds... We have so many awesome ones in our yard. I'll have to look into the deer netting. I covered most of the East and West ends with my leftover fencing, it shouldn't take too much to put the deer netting over the middle section. Of course, if it looks better than the chicken wire I'll take that down and replace it with the netting- I was pretty bummed to have to "tack up" my yard.
     
  6. Two Creeks Farm

    Two Creeks Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Hedgesville, WV
    My run is uncovered, but at 3:30 this morning an owl got a rabbit 50 yards from the coop. The birds are locked up but I have watched owls hunt at daylight here so I figure I better "net" it up. Hawks and owls are needed here for snake control, so I will do my part and protect the flock I reckon. I have Hawks that will snatch songbirds right off the feeder even if im within arms reach. I had to start getting mean with them just to get them out of "our zone".


    This is Barney, he is our resident owl. He got so lazy(smart really) that he would sit 4 feet from our front door at the feeder and wait for mice to come feed under it. I could walk out and stand there and watch him do his thing...very very cool expierence. They are crafty and alot more acceptable to people then most realize, mainly because you wont hear them and rarely see them. I check the trees surrounding my main coop daily before turning the ladies out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
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    What A beautiful owl! I'm sure we have owls as well, I just haven't seen them. I always check the run, itself, every morning, but perhaps I should get in the habit of checking the enormous evergreens behind it, as well...

    I'm with you, though, and feel the same way about the hawks- they do good by controlling mice and snakes and the like, and I have no desire to "get rid" of them, just to keep them away from my chickens the best that I can.
     

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