Monitored ranging?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sunflour, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    I am preparing a place adjacent to my all-in -one coop/run to allow my chickens a small area to range in. It will be enclosed with a 5 foot chicken wire fence, it is protected overhead by tree foliage. To start, they will be confined to a fairly small area of about 60-100 feet perimeter. All 6 girls are large - BO & BR hens & I will be just a few feet away and watching closely when they are out.

    My question is, has anyone had a loss to a predator attack when you are only a few feet away?

    I have seen stories of hawk attacks right next to someone, and want to be sure I can prevent any untoward event.
     
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

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    Chicken wire? And you live in Georgia? I don't mean to come off like that, but chicken wire is a waste of money. It wouldn't prevent ANYthing from
    ripping through it like it was butter. More than likely you have raccoon, fox, coyotes, etc. and that would be like butter to them. And yes, if you're not lickety-split a coon can grab a chicken and break it's neck as it's pulling it through that wire in a split second. I would highly suggest you re-think the setup to make it more predator-proof.
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/05/chickens-predators-myth-of-supervised.html
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    My chickens reside in a very protected coop with outdoor living rooms. I am only planning to use chicken wire to contain them in an area for observed access to compost and ground. I do not intend to leave them unprotected. Sorry, if I wasn't clear about this.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Once in a while a predator will go after birds under your nose. It is far from a regular occurence and sets the stage for you to easily do a little selective culling of the predator population. Your inner perimeter when birds not supervised are of greatest concern to me. Show a picture, you may find that if upgrades are needed you can do them at minimal cost.
     
  5. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Didn't expect to be defending the integrity of my chicken's home with this question, but here's a photo of
    Here's photo of their home. It is situated close to my house - less than 30' from my back deck. I have security monitors surrounding the coop to allow me to view all four sides. All openings covered with heavy duty special order hardware cloth. All is surrounded by 2 feet of hardware cloth attached to the foundation, covered with tamped dirt. Stones on top of the surround weigh 20+ pounds each. A digger would have to dig below this in georgia clay. Doors and nest box openings protected by raccoon proof closures. Roofing is over weather proof plywood and all overhang openings are closed with wood framing. I want to add a small outdoor play area the left of the "cage" and plan to only let them out for an hour or so daily with me, my husband and Remington 870 as chicken guards. We do have all types of predators here, but have never in 20 years seen any but hawks in our immediate area WHEN WE ARE OUTSIDE. I can usually tell if a hawk is around by their calls, seeing them flying over, or just watching the behavior wild birds and squirrels at a feeder on another side of our house. I plan to use a fence in the area just to keep the chickens close to me. AND WILL ONLY LET THEM OUT WHEN I AM RIGHT NEXT TO THEM. My original question came from searches suggesting a Hawk could get a chicken standing right next to a human. I find that hard to believe, but wanted to see if anyone has had that happen. If it is true, I will also add some overhead wires or netting. But, Again, I do not plan to put them outside in chicken wire and leave them alone for a second.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

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    Hi..your setup looks great! You've pretty much covered all the bases and then some! I had to reply when I read your last post when you said, in part:
    Quote: I well imagine that it could and has happened before. My story isn't "chicken-related" but here goes: One summer while up at South Twin Lake I was fishing sitting in my chair. It was a beautiful, sunny day, loads of people all over the place. I'm what they call a lazy fisher-woman and was whiling away the time and all of a sudden I had a fish on...whoop!! I'm reeling it in still sitting in my chair when all of a sudden a red-tail hawk came out of NOWHERE and TOOK MY FISH!! For a few seconds the hawk and I were fighting for control but alas the hawk got that fish off the hook and swooped away up into a huge Ponderosa pine tree and had his feast. WHAT?????? Several people came over and said "I can't believe what I just saw!!!" Well, neither could I. Worst part was I didn't catch anything else that day.... [​IMG]
     
  7. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Oh my God, what a story. That would have freaked me out. If that had happened to me, I would never have any outside pets out of cages!!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I do plan to proceed with my plans to let my Hens out…and will be sure to stay close and watch the sky!!!!!!!
    Probably will go ahead and plan for an overhead netting anyway.


    For now, my plans are on hold. I have 2 Broodies -BUT NO ROOSTERS OR FERTILIZED EGGS. They do come join the small flock daily…but hormones are high and their behavior is unpredictable at the present. Don't want to try to let them out of the "homestead" for now….Will let y'all know how it goes, when the 2 gals get over IT!

    Thank you so much for your comments.
     

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