One week. One hen down... :(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by betapaul, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. betapaul

    betapaul New Egg

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    I finished my coop a couple of weeks ago and got my first four chickens EVER last Saturday. This morning between 7:30am-8:30am, something got one of my birds. Not sure what it was, I'm thinking either hawk or fox. We have some neighbors dogs that I thought it was, but I walked over there and they were just wakin' up. There were three places in the yard where there was a good bit of feathers, but I didn't see a trail leading off anywhere in particular.

    Question: Since I only have three birds right now, would a rooster help fend off these predators or would I need to get more hens before I get a rooster? Also, what other preventive measures can be taken for free ranging birds during the day besides me sitting outside with a shotgun?

    These are RIRs by the way...
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  2. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry for your loss. A rooster might help, some are quite protective, but depending on what the predator is, he might not be capable of fighting it off.

    Our hens sort of semi-free range...they're in a portable run that's moved every 3rd or 4th day. We covered it because we have hawks here as well. Hopefully, some of our experienced free rangers can give you some good pointers for protecting them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. ChickNhood

    ChickNhood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A good dog goes.a lomg way...be sure he/she is WELL teained to know,chickens are not food!
     
  4. betapaul

    betapaul New Egg

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    Any particular dog work better than another? Best to buy a puppy and raise him around them?
     
  5. betapaul

    betapaul New Egg

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    *BUMP*
     
  6. Sally8

    Sally8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure that getting a dog you weren't planning on, just to protect your chickens, is the best idea. We have 3 and I'm going to say that I feel they do keep some predators away coyote's, raccoons, etc but aren't the protection of choice against owls, hawks, etc. I also think they would have to be outside at all times to protect.
    I wouldn't trust our dogs for a minute to be left alone with our girls. (I should add that 2 of our dogs are herding dogs and 1 is a bird dog, lol)
    We free range when we are home but one night as I was watching them (because my chickens are so cute) a hawk swooped down and one of our turkeys attacked it. The hawk flew away empty handed. I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it myself.
    Do your chickens have places to hide, get under? Rooster's do a great job in protecting the girls but again, come with their own problems. like crowing.
    Even though I'd rather free range, I'm trying to come up with a plan to cover my run (42 x 42 square) to keep them safe. Even though, I'm sure that I'm going to get grief, chickens love to poke around and hawks have to eat. I just wish it weren't our pets. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
     
  7. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    I have a thread about raising up Great pyrenees pups, you may want to read it. While there are many breeds of dogs that are considered livestock guardians it is going to depend on how much time you put into training and how determined you are to do it. It is not an easy thing to do and it takes time. I have had a few challenges but now I don't even shut my coop up at night. I have turkeys that roost in my pine tree in the yard and 4 chickens roost on the wood pile. My LGDS take care of business.
     
  8. ChickNhood

    ChickNhood Chillin' With My Peeps

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  9. Sally8

    Sally8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just an update.....on my comment about getting a dog. Our dogs are fenced in, so are our chickens and turkeys, (separately) of course. One of the turkeys got in with the dogs and they chased him. He broke his wing. The chickens and turkeys go out in the day but the dogs only go out when we are home. I'm not saying that some dogs will be ok but it might not be the first dog. I knew it probably could happen, I just was hoping it wouldn't. Chuck is ok now, but probably won't fly.
     
  10. Autumn D

    Autumn D Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a great Pyrenees mountain dog . A raccoon step foot in our yard and my dog teared it right up. No animals come in our yard now and she gets along with our chicken[​IMG] very well.[​IMG]
     

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