My Predetor Problem

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by AthamGI, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. AthamGI

    AthamGI Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Okay, I posted this on the other site...

    Let me re-hash. I have 62 chickens in a double coop with a run extending from the front, and a second run extending from the side. In the past two weeks, I lost a total of nine chickens, five to oldage/diease and four to some kind of predetor.

    The first three I lost while they were outside free ranging:

    -A Cukoo Silkie (I can't find a body or any trace of him)

    -A Silkie-Game Mix (Can't find a body, a couple feathers)

    -A white-game-bantam mix: A found his spine with feathers attatched, along with the legs, bones, and a couple feathers over our stonewall.

    Just a few minutes ago, I went down to the chicken coop because I was told by my brother that a hawk had swooped down. None of the birds were out, so I wasn't worried.

    But then I approached the cage that goes off to the side and found my favourite black silkie mix, Sambo, with her head twisted around the cage wire on the end of her spine, which protruded from her body. Feathers were everywhere, a long with bits of skin.

    I'm in school, so I wasn't home for most of the day. I didn't let them out this morning (my sister did), so there's a possiblity that she was dead since the morning. My dad said it looks like a raccoon attack.

    Is it a hawk, or another predetor? What do I do? I'm sick of loosing my chickens. [​IMG]
     
  2. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Since a hawk has been seen I would suspect it first. Are the pens covered with roofing or net? If not try that is a solution. If you can't get that done try criss crossing some inexpensive twine over the pen and hang marking tape in bright colours and bits of tin foil or disposable pie plates from the twine. At first it will be scary for the chickens but they soon get used to it, however the wild birds will not like flying donw between it all.
     
  3. beckt

    beckt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it is a hawk I would try and get the runs covered. What April said might help a lot. The way my runs are set up it is impossible to cover with netting or sheets of anything. So what I did was go out and by the plastic bailing twine which is bright orange. I strung it up and have most of the run tops covered jusy a few spots that are impossible to get covered no matter how I try. I do not have anything hanging from thwe twine but did leave the ends long and they do blow in the wind. If you go this route be warned that it does stretch and has to be tightened after a period of time (hense having the long ends makes it easy to untie and pull tight. Hope this helps some.
     
  4. Sorry to hear about all the attacks [​IMG]
    The only other suggestion I'd offer is a live trap.
    I have 2 here that I keep baited and catch a variety of critters (surprising what wanders around in the night).
    Good luck catching your predator.
    Lisa
     
  5. chickchair

    chickchair Rest in Peace 1959-2011

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    If your pen isn't covered, one cheap and effective way to do it is to use fisherman's gill netting... It's light but strong, and doesn't give out and tear during ice/snow storms...

    I'm so sorry...I know how it feels to find a favorite like that....
     
  6. AthamGI

    AthamGI Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 11, 2007
    I took another look, and it most defiently is a hawk. Is there anyway I can trap it/kill it?
     
  7. beckt

    beckt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Be careful. It is against the law in most states to kill hawks, even if they are taking your birds. I know where I live it is a big no no. Have you thought about the idea of putting the twine over your runs? It will help. Also maybe put chicken wire around the bottom of your fencing to keep your birds from putting their heads thru and getting nabbed that way.
     
  8. AthamGI

    AthamGI Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a covering over the coop. When I found the hen, her neck was twisted around the wiring on the side of the run. I have no idea how a hawk did that...but when I went down there, the hawk flew off, so I never saw the actual attack.

    I know it's obvious that the hawk did it, but I had second thoughts because of the unique method of killing. It looked more like a raccoon attack.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2007
  9. Sandyki

    Sandyki Out Of The Brooder

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    I would have to suggest hardware wire.... two ft wide hardware wire around the bottom of the sides of the run.

    So sorry you have to go through all of this!!!

    Hawks, or any birds of prey are generally protected.

    [​IMG]
    Sandy
     
  10. Wiggles12

    Wiggles12 New Egg

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    Check with the local authorities, but you may be within your rights to shoot the hawk, especially if you are outside city limits. The "puff" of feathers is definately a bird of prey sign. If you have birds that roost outside at night and loose one at night, and can only find a puff of feathers - it's an owl.

    Good luck.
     

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