On the subject of preditors winged, two, and four legged

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by orcasislandchickens, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. orcasislandchickens

    orcasislandchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2008
    My chickens have been dissapearing, during the day out of my fenced yard when I am at home, but not with them. No noise, no muss no fuss. I am now down to two and beefing up security. (I do plan on replacing the unfortunates, I want at least 4, maybe 6)

    For those of you that want queit gentle chickens, the buff orpington bantams realy fit the bill. Be aware though, that they come to anyone, and seem to make no noise or effort to cry out when they are taken by either man or beast. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I am more than sad because I enjoyed my chickens as they roamed the yard, and had no problems at all, probably because they were bantams and few in number. So now that I have padlocked them in their house and run, I would like to start designing an enclosed ranging area for the future.

    [​IMG] Please help me with ideas to keep them safe and happy. Please. [​IMG]

    If you have any sucessful extras that will make a caged chicken entertained bring it on....No flaming anyones ideas no matter how farfetched. Mailing them seasonally to hawaii, considered.

    Include pictures and links if you have them.

    So far: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    1. Randall Burkey has 4' x 4' folding free range cages, that if pegged down might safely contain two at a time to peck in any area of the yard or garden I choose for the afternoon. They fold flat for storage, come in sets of six and are pricy.

    2. I might be able to enclose an additional playard type area. It could be one large area or several small areas. Full height , or chicken tunnel height.
    Maybe I could put their space to additional good use. It must be fully enclosed with hardware cloth, but I could also grow grapevines, or espallier friut trees over sides/top.

    3. I should probably also add aditional interesting roost space, forage plants to the small run they have,any ideas?
     
  2. tellynpeep

    tellynpeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 4, 2008
    SW New Hampshire
    Is your yard fenced in? I lost 3 chickens to the neighbor's dog (legal action taken...) I was able to follow the trail of feathers though to their yard.
    If there is really NO trace of the birds, I'd be looking to the sky (hawks,etc.) Good luck,
    Mary
     
  3. lotzahenz

    lotzahenz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    I am so sorry for your loss. You may need some sort of chicken tractor that moves around the yard. Like the Egloo's?

    Oh, I saw a really cool idea in one of my garden books. Where you have the privacy fence, they made the chicken run there, only it looked like it went all the way across the back of the yard, and around to a really nice coop. It was about 3 or 4 feet wide and then had multiple plantings in front of it, vines and everegreens and shrubs. Not too thick. I think they had it covered with bird wire on top at about 3 feet tall. I am also thinking they had wood chips in for bedding. I will see if I can find that page, but it was a while back. Like a very short, covered dog run all around the edges of the yard., using wood or stone at the base. If could be expanded little by little if cost is an issue. I love to see chickens in the garden eating those bugs.
     
  4. orcasislandchickens

    orcasislandchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Yes the yard is fenced, and I too believe hawks might be an issue. We have every sort of preditor here. I ordered a small chicken tractor this evening for now. It was new and I hadn't seen it before. 2'x4.5' made out of wood and wire. Small and quite light. 89 bucks at Randall Burkey it looked secure enough for daytime use for the two I have left while I work out other options. I will set it in the garden when it comes as they are missing their bug pecking time.

    I love the idea of a small perimeter run. I could do it in sections, and landscape it in. Please post pictures if you find it. I guess where it would run behind the hedge I could kind of hollow the back of the hedge out the chickens would love it and it would be invisible. I remember something called a chicken moat that went around the outside of a garden. the chickens ate all the weeds and bugs from around the edge of the garden, which was supposed to keep down the pest population in it.

    I wonder if it worked?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008

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