Mulitple questions....and a little of my history.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by newchickgirl, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. newchickgirl

    newchickgirl Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 1, 2010
    Appleton, Maine
    I started with 12 chicks a few months ago. My little 10 pound dog thought they were squeaky toys and killed 7. I then went (over memorial day weekend) and got 12 more and a friend gave me 1. I ended up losing 1, then a couple weeks ago we came home from work to find 5 of the bigger girls gone. Any ideas on what would take 5 in such a short time? I'm beginning to think it was a person that took them due to lack of any "crime" scene and not being able to think of any animal that would do it. So, I am now back to 12 and I'm quite positive that 4 of them are boys. They are all around 11 weeks except for 2 roos that are about 16 weeks. Is 4 too many for only 8 girls? The kids and I want to go get some more girls, but I also kind of want to wait until the girls start laying. Does it matter when or if I end up getting more chicks? Should I just wait until they start laying and let some of the eggs hatch? Any advice is greatly appreciated. We are also thinking about getting goats and I didn't know if there was anything I needed to know about chickens with goats? Thanks for the help! I LOVE being a chicken owner!
  2. Tiniest Animal

    Tiniest Animal Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2010
    I just got some chicks not too long ago and something got 1 of the hens in 2 days I had them. It is probably a raccoon that got mine and maybe yours? I put a hot wire (electric wire) around my pen and nothing yet it is working pretty good. They are about $30 at lowes or home depot. Maybe you can get one on craigslist cheaper? Good luck and I hope you find out what it is, and stop the problem.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    A fox will do that. They don't leave much evidence (coyotes don't either) and will take multiple birds when they're able too and bury the extras for dinner at a later date. Coyotes in my experience tend to take one at a time, but come back until they are no longer able. Racoons will kill multiple birds, but tend to leave a mess. Sorry for your losses.

    ETA: Four roos to Eight girls is wayyyy too many! Your girls will be bare backed messes and totally stressed out from over mating. One roo to eight hens would be good.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  4. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Predators can take birds without leaving a trace, I have had it happen. A hawk can swoop down and grab up a bird, especially a young one, and carry it off in seconds, and you would never know. Usually there's at least a few feathers around, but sometimes I have so many loose feathers I wouldn't know if there were new ones...

    You could get more now, or wait and get some later (though by the time your girls are laying this fall/winter there might not be any for sale anywhere, they are hard to find outside of spring). Be aware that your bigger, already established birds would pick on the little ones at first, so you could not put them together most likely until the chicks were at least a couple months old. And of course, if you have roosters, you can always hatch your own, but you would probably need an incubator to do it on your schedule, as not all hens will hatch and raise chicks, and those that will, do it on their own timing and not yours. It's pretty much up to you, when you want to raise more, and when they are available. I'm raising chicks year round, since I have a warm enough climate to keep them outside in my horse trailer; I don't like having lots of chicks in the house like many people have to do in cooler weather.

    As for the roosters, yes, you've got too many. One for every ten hens is sufficient, otherwise you can end up with them fighting, having horribly loud crowing competitions (I've got a pair doing that now, because they are fighting for dominance and neither will give up!), or having your hens really beaten up by so many roosters wanting to mate them.
  5. Miltonchix

    Miltonchix Taking a Break

    Jul 14, 2007
    Milton, Florida
    4 Roosters will wear your hens out! I have one with 10 hens and he's almost too much for them. You'll have a flock of skittish, featherless, ragged looking birds if you keep 4 roosters. One is plenty, and sometimes even one is too many.

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