My backyard needs more protection help, can you please give me some realistic suggestions? Time bomb

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Live2exell, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. Live2exell

    Live2exell Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2014
    USA Wisconsin
    I recently lost 2 out of 7 wonderful birds to predators. One of the situations was totally my fault as I was an hour late locking up the coop after dusk. (Hanging head low :( in shame) The second however was a neighborhood cat. It left my chickens alone for 5 months and now has decided it needed a play toy. There are two neighborhood cats that roam but like I said it had been 5 months with no problems. In the past month I have seen a small Hawk on two different occasions. One time it was perched on top of the coop overlooking my backyard the second time I just seen it fly overhead And stop briefly on neighboring tree. So... I feel like time is ticking, my teeny tiny little backyard is the enchanted Forest. I have shot the skunks and possums... But not really thinking I want to shoot the neighborhood cat or a hawk. And... Even so, I'm not hovering over my chickens all day. Someone has suggested wolf urine to keep the cats/four-legged predators away. Thoughts on that? I have talked to the neighbor who owns the cats and she is very blasé about the whole thing "cats will be cats tehee" and since she has had her cats before I owned chickens I haven't even brought up the idea of her keeping her cats indoors at all times...I already know what the answer would be. Also we are friends. At least for now anyways. Now this hawk thing ,well I lived in Florida and the restaurants would string lights above the outdoor seating. I used to think it was for decoration but I was told it actually kept the flying birds away from the customers that were dining. Do you think stringing lights from my deck to my fence would deter a hawk? Obviously all of this is to try and continue to allow for them to be able to free range during the day. My yard is small and filled with life, fun, vegetable fruit and flower gardens-boxing in an area would suck. Now that it is fall things are starting to die and there is less space to hide under things. They've been able to roam for six months and my gold Orpington would bark all day if I locked her up... I think. None of my girls are laying eggs yet they're all still too little I wonder if their behavior and desire to roam as much will change when they start laying eggs? So another question- winter is coming if my coupe is open will my girls willingly stay in the coop during winter ? Or will they not care about the cold and want out? Snow? I think all these things will affect my long-term protection plan and how aggressive I go.
    So... I'm very worried please help!
    1. Wolf urine
    2. Cat protection for free range
    3. Hawk protection for free range
    4. Winter/ egg laying behavior
    5. Are they doomed to be confined to a fenced area?
    * sorry if the thread was too long, thanks and be blessed. :)
     
  2. Live2exell

    Live2exell Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2014
    USA Wisconsin
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  3. heiditam

    heiditam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2014
    I am subbing as cats and hawks are my number one issue.

    I have a decoy owl I got at TSC. Who knows if it works, but I am hoping.

    I have heard that you string fishing line around coop roof to prevent a stalking landing. Makes sense, but for me, there are plenty of trees(we are surrounded by forest) that would make a nice resting place.

    I read that wolf urine does little to truly deter.

    I would love to get an electric poultry net(takes care of cats) but with small kids roaming, it would not be a good idea for us currently.
     
  4. heiditam

    heiditam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, looking at your setup, I think stringing fish line would be a good fix for you as the perchable areas are within your control.

    As for the cat-it shouldn't be in your yard period. Especially seeing how fenced in your yard is. I would check the regulations in your area. I would give her a warning that either animal control will be called or you will take matters into your own hands(if law allows), as it is totally irresponsible for her cat to roam free and into your yard. I presume that is not legal anyhow-this adds to the feral cat problem and diseases!
     
  5. WYNot

    WYNot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Casstown, OH
    You are a lot nicer than I. She has been warned once already and from what the OP wrote she sees nothing wrong with her cat continuing to kill the chickens. Probably didn't even offer to pay for replacement. Friend or not, SSS.

    To paraphrase someone else's tagline... "Your animal in your yard is a pet. Your animal in my yard is a predator." Predators will be dispatched with extreme prejudice and zero apologies. If someone actually cares about their pet, they will keep it in their yard.
     
  6. Live2exell

    Live2exell Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2014
    USA Wisconsin
    What is an electric poultry net?
     
  7. WYNot

    WYNot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2013
    Casstown, OH
  8. Live2exell

    Live2exell Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2014
    USA Wisconsin

    Would u just string fence to deck? Or the whole backyard? And yes legally her cat shouldn't be in my yard. It occasionally walks the fence to roam around. And as you can see by the pics- that means roam around everyone's yards. Maybe someone else will take her cats thinking they're feral and keep them inside... Awesome idea for me! But I'm dreaming.
     
  9. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Here is a link for the portable electric net fence: http://www.premier1supplies.com/fencing.php?mode=detail&fence_id=96

    Edit: I see now the same link was provided.

    Hopefully now that your chickens see the cat as a threat they will raise more of a ruckus when the cat is around which could deter the cats.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  10. Live2exell

    Live2exell Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2014
    USA Wisconsin
    I absolutely love the pet/ predator quote! My breeder told me to let her know that "this was the free warning , if my chickens end up missing or dead don't be surprised if her cat ends up missing". It's a tricky situation because I can't prove it was her cats that did it but she's the only one who has cats that are outside and the chicken did not die for substance, I could tell it was just played with and chewed on a little ---that's a **** cat!!!! A senseless killing -buy your cat a freaking toy!
     

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