In the Brooder
- Mar 6, 2012
Our three BO and three PR girls are now 7 weeks old. They've been staying outside in our heavily fortified coop/run for two weeks now. Three times this past week at dusk, when I go inside the fenced run to shut their coop door (an added protection, maybe overkill), I've scared off a hawk that seems to be observing them from a tree limb nearby. (I've observed this same hawk kill and carry off two songbirds in our backyard this past week.) While I'm not worried about the chicks when while they're in the enclosure, I would like to some day let them wander about supervised in the fenced, 10 X 20 ft area that adjoins their coop/run. This area has no overhead fencing, like the coop area does. They've explored and scratched every centimeter of their enclosure, and seem to relish the bits of weeds, seedheads, and bugs I can give them. I know they would love to do some exploring. Questions: will a hawk attack them even if two adult humans are within a few feet of them? Would running wires/string overhead at intervals be a deterrent? Is dusk or dawn the most vulnerable time? I'm sure a hawk would easily catch a 7 week old chick, but do they also go after full grown large breed chickens? If so, would a rooster defend? (we have no roo's, at least not that I know of yet!) I'm afraid to take unnecessary risks with them being this young, but would love to see them have just a bit more freedom as they get older.