New from Raleigh, NC

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by CoupDePoop, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. CoupDePoop

    CoupDePoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 25, 2010
    Hi All,

    Glad to have discovered the site (quite a long time ago.) I have been trolling for years but decided that today I need to join, so I can figure out what to do to save my flock (or keep a new flock from succumbing to the same fate that has decimated my flock so far.) I'm just about at wits end.

    First; Introductions according to the posted instructions:

    (1) Are you new to chickens / when did you first get chickens?
    I got my introduction completely by accident about 2 years ago. I got "thrown in" to caring for a flock of 30 chickens, three peacocks, and three horses while living as a tenant on a very neglected "Gentleman's Farm". The chickens were starving, dieing of various diseases, and overcrowded into a tiny make-shift coop that was not built as a chicken coop - just a four walled building with a roof to protect them from the elements. I never cared for chickens prior to that, so I learned a lot, REALLY fast. I dealt with scaly leg mites, brooders who had nowhere to brood (literally brooding their clutches on the open dirt floor), giant snakes who liked to eat eggs (and later biddies.) It was a cluster that first year - but I got the hang of it.
    I moved away from that farm this past summer and brought twelve (of the 30+ biddies I raised this past spring) of the half grown hens with me into a neighborhood in town. We're allowed to have Hens - but not roosters. (I took the protection that roosters provide to their harem for granted out on the farm. Now I fully appreciate it.)

    (2) How many chickens do you have right now?
    I started with twelve. I am down to just three as of today. (In less than 4 months.)

    (3) What breeds do you have?
    Heinz 57 - All Proud Mutts!

    (4) How did you find out about BackYardChickens.com?
    Google. (Is there another way to find anything?)

    (5) What are some of your other hobbies?
    Gardening. Veggie gardening, specifically. Chicken poop compost is the answer to the best, healthiest organic veggies. Period. I love POOP!!

    (6) Tell us about your family, your other pets, your occupation, or anything else you'd like to share.
    Me. My elderly Mom who I now live with due to her declining health. My elderly autistic uncle who I am guardian of. Two dogs (My Mom's.) Two cats (Mine.) The hens. A possum that lives under the house (peacefully coexisting w/ the birds, thank you very much!) And now... an incredibly brazen, GIGANTIC hawk that has taken to hanging out in our back yard. This thing was 24" tall, black & white, had a wing span of about 4.5 feet, and his talons looks about the same spread as my hands!!

    So.... In the last 48 hours I have lost 3 hens to this demon from hell. He is so confident that he nearly lets me walk right up to him before he's willing to part w/ the carcass of my beloved (deceased) birds. Prior to this week I was loosing a bird a month to this guy - tho he wasn't as brazen. He killed two in one yesterday. Ate 'em both. I think he'd just doing it for the sport of it at this point.

    My girls have been free-ranging the fenced back yard since their arrival here. This morning they would not even come outside their coop into their run for fear of this raptor. They stayed in the coop all day long.

    This morning I ordered bird netting to protect their favorite range area. And I am going to string the yard with fishing line tomorrow (assuming I can get out there in the snow.)

    I am also going to replace the lost bantams with large breed, full-sized birds.

    I am looking for a rooster who doesn't crow (suggestions?)

    And now I am looking for any other advice I can find to help solve this problem. I am tired of putting chicken into the ground in the yard (it's starting to look like a cemetery!!)

    That's my story. I'm looking forward to learning a lot from the community and finding some friends who are as fowl crazy as I am.

    - Grace
     
  2. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    Oberlin, OH
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from Ohio. So glad you joined. If you can take a pic of your predator. Could it possibly be a young eagle? Putting a net over their run will help. Just make sure it is not to thin. There are many folks here that will tell you that some hawks have torn through them. As far as I know, there isn't a roo that doesn't crow at all. Some breeds might not crow as much, like I had a bantam barred cochin roo that barely crowed, only a few times in the morning. As far as disposing of dead chickens, I can't help there. I bury mine. Good luck. [​IMG]
     
  3. CoupDePoop

    CoupDePoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 25, 2010
    Thanks so much for your warm welcome!

    If he's an eagle, he's not the kind we generally have around here. Ours are all American Bald Eagles, and he's not that. His head is shaped more like a traditional hawk, and the coloration is not right for even a pretty young bird (who would not be on his own yet.) That - and this neighborhood habitat isn't what the eagles we have nearby tend to like (near one of the many large lakes in the area, and densely forested.) This is an urban neighborhood. So I think I'm either dealing with one very mutant overgrown hawk - or something that has strayed way, way out of it's usual habitation zone.

    I just hope I can thwart him. There are enough squirrels in the 'hood that he should be pretty well-fed. He sure looked well fed.

    If I can get a pic of the thing I will happily post it. Unf at this point if I have to choose between a camera and something else to point and click, I may have to go with the latter. (Not that I want to. I think Raptors are fabulous, graceful creatures. This one is just breaking my heart and picking off my birds one-by-one.) That' why I'm looking for solutions.

    --Grace
     
  4. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    What area do you live? sounds like maybe it's an Osprey? [​IMG]
     
  5. CoupDePoop

    CoupDePoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 25, 2010
    Hi Birdaholic,

    Humm... I just went and looked up the Osprey. And as much as I'd actually like to think that's what it is... it isn't. I live in NC and all the Osprey that summer here, have now all gone to South America I would think.

    Plus, my Deamon From Hell does not have that nifty stripe across his face.

    He looks very much like a Red Shouldered Hawk , but he doesn't have the red coloration associated w/ the Red Shouldered Hawk. His size is wrong too, for that breed. My raptor is 1/3 again larger than this one - tho in other respects (habitat, habits, etc. - they are a good match.)

    [I need to figure out how to post pics from my 'puter.]
     
  6. abbypeaches

    abbypeaches Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2007
    Mason,MI
    We have hawks here in Michigan,too,but not as brazen as yours though. I would build a walled yard for the chickens that you can put a strong fence across the top(livestock fence-4"x4" squares for holes). Or build a chicken tractor that you can move around the yard. Sounds like the hawk enjoys the flavor of your flock unfortunately. Rarely a crowless rooster can be found. I have one who grew up with his sisters and he has never crowed. He's normal in all the other ways.
     
  7. melodie_a

    melodie_a Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 28, 2010
    Sanford, NC
    Hi from just down the road in Sanford! Welcome to BYC. I am sorry to hear about your hawk problem. We lost a hen to a hawk last month. He actually got into the covered run, he wasn't very big but I never thought there was enough space for one to get in. Now we have a solid metal roof over the run and the hawks can only sit and watch the chickens. [​IMG] I hope you get it figured out so you can keep your girlies safe!
     
  8. CoupDePoop

    CoupDePoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 25, 2010
    Thanks all for the continuing warm welcomes. This is so nice!!!

    Melodie - how much snow did ya'll get in Sanford? We got almost 8 inches up here, just off Capital Blvd. in Raleigh. Crazy wet, heavy snow. Popping tree limbs all over the neighborhood!

    The hawk showed up today - as usual - even in the very' snow. My girls were nestled safe in their condo. But it really makes me nervous for later this week when things thaw out and they will want to walk. I hope my bird netting gets here fast. And I hope it works.

    --G.
     
  9. melodie_a

    melodie_a Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 28, 2010
    Sanford, NC
    We ended up with around 7 I think. It is beautiful but our whole yard is pine trees and the weight is killing them. We never lost power though and on this the worst day of the year our Easter egger decided to grace us with her first egg so I had to tromp next door through the snow halfway up to my knees to my parents house where my kids were playing to show them the first green egg. [​IMG] I have completely lost it!

    I hope that the bird net works for you and that it arrives fast. Our girls get mighty cranky if they don't get their outside time.
     
  10. CoupDePoop

    CoupDePoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 25, 2010
    Congrats on your first green egg!! Never seen a green chicken egg before - so that's pretty cool. Pix?

    As for your pine tree's - I bet they'll survive just fine. They can handle 180 MPH hurricanes and full on ice storms. Around here - it's the oak trees and old maples you really gotta watch out for. (Raleigh - the "City of Oaks" - is no longer so, since Hurricane Fran. The pine trees, however, are still all here.)

    I love being a southerner. We have all the fun!
     

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