New Member- need advice

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by NHduckgirl, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. NHduckgirl

    NHduckgirl In the Brooder

    Jan 15, 2015

    I am a new member that's also new to poultry/foul. We live in NH and started the summer with five ducklings (no chickens). In the last three weeks, corresponding with the cold snap we've had up here, we've lost two females to predators. It looks like one Runner female fell victim to a raccoon (hole in fencing has since been repaired and reinforced) and the second (female magpie) was taken by a hawk yesterday.

    Is there anything special you all can recommend to protect against predators in the cold season? We had no problems during the summer/fall, but I think the scarcity of prey up here has made our little flock much more vulnerable. We had aviary netting across the top of our pen in the summer, but had to take it down after a couple snowstorms because it was destroyed.

    I ran and cross-crossed orange "caution-type" tape across the top of the pen this morning as a temporary fix and we're going to replace it with sturdier wire this weekend, but is there something else we should be doing? I don't want to lose any of my remaining three (male runner, male Swedish, female Cayuga).



    P.S. - We also have a dog, two indoor cats, and a turtle.
  2. matt44644

    matt44644 Songster

    Sep 14, 2014
    Sanilac County,Michigan
  3. NHduckgirl

    NHduckgirl In the Brooder

    Jan 15, 2015
    Thanks Matt!
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I am so sorry for your losses. [​IMG] Generally if you have a lot of predators in your area you may need to keep your birds in a sturdy run. Predators are sneaky and have a lot of time on their hands. Persistant too. I can only let my birds out with supervision as I have so many things lurking and flying. You might try some electric poultry fencing. I have never tried it, but you might ask around in our predators and pests forums for more help and input...

    Good luck and I hope you can keep your flock safe!!
  5. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Crowing

    Apr 5, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Sorry for your recent losses. In our run we use the same fencing like a dog kennel. It's not a super large run as we free range, but depending on how large yours is it's an idea. I also agree with twocrows you may consider looking at electric fencing.

    I also wanted to mention that you may want to get a few more females now. Your ratio of males to females is not so promising for the female that's left.
  6. NHduckgirl

    NHduckgirl In the Brooder

    Jan 15, 2015
    Thanks TwoCrows! I will check out that thread :)

    BayBay - I am currently scouring Craigslist for a couple juvenile or adults females for our boys, but I haven't found much. A few people are selling breeding pairs. but I don't need a third male to complicate things more. I've got an eye out, though. I also have a woman in town that usually thins her flock in the Soring so hopefully I can get 2-3 from her if nothing pans out earlier.
  7. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! So sorry to hear about your losses :hugs As TwoCrows said predators have plenty time and once they know where they can get a meal there is very high chance they will return. I've had experience of this and would highly recommend you make Fort Knox for your birds. Predators can climb dig and chew their way in.
    Wishing you the very best of luck and hope you can keep your birds safe. Enjoy BYC :frow
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to Backyard Chickens- the best way to eliminate hawk attacks is to keep birds in an enclosed area with a solid top that can hold up to snow loads. It will also protect somewhat from rain, too much sun & keep raptors out.

    For raccoons , etc. you need strong wire fencing with no gaps or big spaces in mesh. Chicken wire is too flimsy to hold up to any predator worth his salt. 1/2" hardware cloth securely affixed to your framing will prevent raccoons from reaching through and biting off any body parts they can snag.
  9. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC![​IMG] We're glad to have you.

    I'm sorry for your losses! The best idea would be to build a solid roof on the run. Though, this isn't practical if the run is very large. It would protect against hawks and would prevent raccoons from climbing in.
  10. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] We're glad you joined us!

    I'm sorry for your losses! [​IMG] The other posters have given you some good advice already.

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