Oh, great, now what do we do?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chicknmania, May 4, 2007.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    We haven't had any predator problems for a long time; over a year. The other night something (we think a mink, or skunk...maybe more than one) got in the barn and got our little Speckled Sussex hen, who we figured out had escaped from their pen. Then the predator went to the other end of the barn and killed our Shaver Red hen sitting on her nest and about a week away from hatching her eggs; chewed up her eggs, too and left bloody egg pieces everywhere; basically ate both hens down to the feathers. Well, we left a light on in the barn the past two nights since then and also have been taking our dogs down to the barn last thing at night to relieve themselves and leave a trail of dog scent in and around the barn; don't know if this works or not but we've had no more predator problems since then. The problem is, though, that our Whitey roo has decided that the garage would be a nice place to set up a new roost and he and about six hens roosted there last night. The remaining chickens in the barn are all obviously terrified and roosting as high up as they can get. Sooo...how do we convince Whitey and company to return to roosting in the barn? We thought about feeding them in the barn the late afternoon and then closing up the barn..., which is what we'll try today...any other thoughts? We haven't been feeding them in the afternoon since it has turned warm, because they are finding their dinner while free ranging and haven't really needed any afternoon feed, so don't even know if they will be hungry or interested enough to return to the barn. I've read about this happening, that if they get scared enough they will refuse to roost where they used to. Whitey has also observed that we have been keeping our four month old chickens in the garage... so he figures why play favorites? My son doesn't want to take the four month olds to the barn yet, because of the predator threat, and because he wants to disinfect the pen and feeders,etc out there one more time, after our virus problem. We plan on taking them out there this weekend.
     

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