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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Karenbear, May 4, 2015.
About alittle less then a year.
Ours are five weeks old and started going outside this week. I enclosed them in two X-pens that we have for the dogs and covered the x-pen with greenhouse fabric for shade. I left them out all day this week. They loved it. Here is a pic :
I did the same thing when mine were about that age. They are now out in the coop and have a 12x16 run. I also fenced in under the coop so that they could get out of the sun if needed. I still have not let them out the free range yet. I probably will be doing that in a month or so. I have some work to do on the yard and fence to put up to keep them from heading toward the street. I am really looking forward to them free ranging, they want out so bad everytime I open the pen door they are like let us out!!! LOL They are 3 months old and already demanding...LOL
My hen has lice. I've been treating with lice powder. But I can see the eggs on the shafts off the feathers. Is it OK to cut the infected feathers off? Thanks in advance.
Yes it's ok, Just don't cut her skin.
Also if the lice powder isn't working try useing DE in their your chickens dust bathes.
I think it depends on the level of "rural" you live in. I can have my chickens free range around the grass but I live in a swamp and am surrounded by woods on all sides. If I turn my back for even so much as a second a predator appears from woods and attacks them. i lost 8 in one day that were free ranging while i did dishes, happened withing half an hour. The thing I have noted about coon attacks is that they don't seem to hunt to eat, this one decimated my 8 silkies, bit their heads and left their carcass. Now i never let them free range, and it's a big enough chore keeping these things out of their coops as it is.
Karenbear, use of treats can be employed to "call" them back. Consider live meal worms. Avoid chasing them at any point unless extreme emergency. Follow Torch404's advice for only a couple hours free-range time at end of day. A few hours likely too much on first couple of days. With juvenile flock in a limited resource setting it is generally easier to manage risk by limiting time out to periods when you can supervise. If flock female only or of some small breed then daytime predator risk will be particularly high even in urban areas.
Provide more details on what resources you have.
Yes, it's quite easy to train them to come-a-running when they hear the noise they associate with a yummy treat. I just make tsk-tsk sounds with my tongue against the roof of my mouth and they sprint towards me. I have used this when they have gotten to places I didn't want them.
When they were younger and not trained like this, I did let them out of their run into the yard. And when the sun set, but before it got dark, I wanted to get them back into the run. I tried gently herding them by walking behind them, but they were not ready to go back in so they would hide under bushes and such. I did end up chasing them while holding a stick out at my side to guide them, and I think they have never quite forgotten that. Nowadays they just go back into their run and into the coop when it starts to get dark. But back when I was starting with them, I wasn't sure if they would do that by themselves or not.
I regret having chased them around with a stick, I think they will never look at me quite the same after that.
We live on a ranch and in the middle of all predators that eat chicken. Let the chicks spend time in their run and coop until they get comfortable with their surroundings. As suggested let the group out in the evening before they roos they will return.
Predators are just that predators. There are hard working predators and lazy predators. Just seeing a predator does not mean they will harm your chickens. We lose a couple a year to fox and golden eagles. I have never seen a Redtail or others bother chickens. If you have magpies In your area they will bother very young jus hatched chicks. More often than not a hen will hide out for 22 days and we are sure she is eaten and she shows up with a brood of chicks following her.
For the new comer chickens are not dumb I have had hens peck at the sliding door if the feeder is empty.
Relax and enjoy.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but I just lost a full grown, and rather plump, hen to a hawk. My neighbor saw it. The hawk only got a few feet off the ground with her, then took my hen into the woods behind the house. They don't have to get airborne before killing them. They just have to get to a safe place.