Our first loss

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SkenderLake, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. SkenderLake

    SkenderLake Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2013
    Knox County, IL
    We jumped into the chicken world on St. Patrick's Day when we got 3 Leghorns and 3 Black Australorps. I try to let them range as much as possible. Lately, they've been heading into the cornfield right next to our property (about 40 feet from their coop/run). I've been pretty nervous about them heading in there, but it's part of their routine. When I let them out of the run, they head down to the mulberry tree and then go into the field. Well, I heard a lot of flapping and squacking when they were in the field yesterday and only 5 emerged. I would assume there was a raccoon or something in there that grabbed the hen we named "Noisy".

    I hate taking away their freedom to have free reign of the yard, but I would only assume that the predator knows there were others and would wait to pick off another hen. They just love walking around all over, but it's not worth the risk, I guess.

    Any advice? Should I feel crummy not letting them out of the run? I will be more comfortable after the cornfield is harvested...and next year when it's soybeans.

    With the loss of Noisy, I'm looking into adding a couple more to our flock. It just feels weird only seeing 5 of them.
     
  2. Whittni

    Whittni Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Southern Utah
    Sorry for your loss. I think you could help with predators with a flock of guineas and a few big roosters. Otherwise I think they should stay penned so no more are nabbed.
     
  3. Mathew544

    Mathew544 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2013
    Danville, PA
    It's so hard to break chickens from there habits. Maybe if you keep them locked in there coop for a week or so, and then give them something to distract them from going into the field when you finally let them out. My flock has a huge 2 acre yard to roam around but when they were about 16 weeks old they started wondering about 1/4 mile down the middle of the road in front of my house. They almost made it to our neighbors yard with two "unleashed" german shepherds! I bought some chicken scratch at the feed store and spread it out in front of there coop in the morning and when I got home from work. They stopped wandering right away and seem to "wait" for me now to give them treats. I hope everything works out ok for you!
     

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