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Predator Control -SECRET WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Davaroo, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    I was perusing what has, to me, become yet another classic from the Golden Age of Poultry. It's a 1947 promo copy of "Profitable Poultry Management, 25th Anniversary Edition," by Clarence E. Lee
    The were given away to customers in the N.E. stats by the Beacon Milling Company of Cayuga, NY., and could be had for a small fee outside of that area.

    It has 262 pages and the more I read, it the more I realize it packs as much wisdom about poultry keeping into it's covers as is found in half a dozen modern books.

    In the chapter on Range Rearing, Clarence goes into great detail on the methods developed at the time for range rearing poultry. Our notion of "free ranging" is almost laughable compared to the methods developed at the research stations of the northeast during this period.
    On the matter of predator control here is what Mr. Lee had to say:

    "We have found two rather successful measures against predatory animals, including dogs, foxes, skunks, etc. First, by the use of a good electric fence with two charged wires, the first at 6-7" and the upper wire 6" above the first, losses from predatory animals on our range facility at the Beacon Poultry Research Farm have been practically eliminated (charging only the lowest wire might be enough).

    A weasel can theoretically get under this fence, or a large dog jump over the upper wire without touching, but in practice this has apparently not happened.

    The second method is a spraying program. Damage from foxes and other predators may often be prevented by spraying a mixture of one part turpentine and 20 parts furnace oil, covering a band about 3-4 feet wide around the range perimeter. This will not normally be needed more than once per summer and where foxes are quite bold, a 4 ft. wide band is needed.

    We have found that with the electric fence, a spraying program is desirable both for it's deterrent effect against predators and to keep vegetation from growing up around the fence and shorting it out, particularly in wet weather. A 50:50 mixture of kerosene and carbolineum (creosote) works well for this, keeping a 3 ft. wide band clear of growth. One spraying per seaon will usually be enough. **

    In most localities, it is necessary to install expensive fox-and-dog tight fences, extending two feet below grade and curving outward 2 ft.... or else use the inexpensive electric fence and spraying program above described. Since there is no comparison in the cost of protection of the latter, it is obviously the one that should be adopted."


    If your predators run on the large side, like bear and wolf, then electric fences of industrial power capacity along with heavy guage, below ground fencing are going to be needed. These beasts are quite resilient and just as determined as any other.
    But if you face the usual small, chicken killing predators, this information may be of some interest to you.

    My research to date indicates that most average pens/runs/paddocks can be protected as Mr. Lee suggests for $150 or less, where reliable electical AC power is available. Double that for solar powered systems, if you should choose - or need - to go that route.

    ===================================================================

    ** Today, most people would have a howling fit over the use of kerosene and creosote as a weed/grass killer. However, it was considered acceptable practice in 1947 and was recommended on a small scale. I personally doubt there was much long term harm as a result of the practice, but I would be remiss to endorse it in today's "green aware" world. Do what you will with the information.

    However, the fact remains that it DID offer both predator deterrence AND vegetation abatement in one fell swoop. I don't know what would serve both needs as well today and still be readily available, cheap, effective... and ecologically friendly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  2. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

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    I love those old books.
     
  3. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Dave,

    Once again you have shared some great bits of knowledge with us. Those old books are hard to beat.

    Replace the weed killing mixture with more modern herbicides and the procedure should work just as well.
     
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:I agree with you - whether it would be 'green minded' to do so, on the other hand, depends on one's point of view, I suppose.

    But will that also deter predators, I wonder?
    Remember Mr. Lee claimed that through research and subsequent evidence, it did so. A double whammy, so to speak.

    Interesting....
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  5. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    Would it deter the chickens, too, and keep them in the area designated for them?
     
  6. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I use an electric fencing method almost identical to the article Davaroo posted. I seem to catch quite a bit of flack, from some members on here in doing so. I'm told all the time about how a determined preditor, will just ignore the shock and tear through it, or that they will back up and dig under, etc., etc., etc.. Glad to see I'm not out in left field in my way of thinking. Thanks for posting this, Davaroo.

    As for the chickens being kept in, or out, of areas using these same methods: I don't think so. i use a charger that runs a voltage somewhere around 20,000. It'll jump a 3/4' gap. Just the sound, scares the h*ll out of my mules. My chickens get nailed by a big zap all the time while free ranging outside their runs. The same ones get into it time after time. Their brains don't seem to associate the bright yellow electric twine with the sensation of mind numbing shock. Just what I have seen going on at my house.
     
  7. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:I use an electric fencing method almost identical to the article Davaroo posted. I seem to catch quite a bit of flack, from some members on here in doing so. I'm told all the time about how a determined preditor, will just ignore the shock and tear through it, or that they will back up and dig under, etc., etc., etc.. Glad to see I'm not out in left field in my way of thinking. Thanks for posting this, Davaroo.

    As for the chickens being kept in, or out, of areas using these same methods: I don't think so. i use a charger that runs a voltage somewhere around 20,000. It'll jump a 3/4' gap. Just the sound, scares the h*ll out of my mules. My chickens get nailed by a big zap all the time while free ranging outside their runs. The same ones get into it time after time. Their brains don't seem to associate the bright yellow electric twine with the sensation of mind numbing shock. Just what I have seen going on at my house.

    Im glad it's helpful. I present it for that reason alone... the way I type, it has to be good to go to all the trouble! [​IMG]

    Mr. Lee didn't just toss out information - his results came of experimentation and study. If it wasn't clear from the text, he was head research man for Beacon Feeds back then. His list of accomplishments is long nad anything by him can be considered solid. It is noteworthy that he also did these things long over 60 years ago.

    This is why I study many of the old books. They had small flock management figured out, in simpler ways, before we got on the chicken bandwagon. That was all there was back then - this was before the Age of Industro Poultry, Inc. 'Fact is, there was a time when small flocks in America were mostly composed of mostly half wild scrubs, hardly able to return a benefit to the farmer. Few knew any better.

    It took a lot of effort and research, over decades, by men like Clarence Lee to turn that around. They often made do with less than we have, yet still did it well and in an orderly manner. They were motivated to improve America's poultry business for no more reason than it sorely needed improvement. Most were at least good at it, some greatly profitable. With such shoulders as these to stand on, it seems there is little reason to re-invent the wheel... simply because we can.

    I heard something today which is pertinent here:

    "The beginner is certain that many ways will work. The expert is certain of the ones that do."

    ==============================================

    There is a lot said about the temporary electric netting that some use for poultry. Looking much like any other net, it has metallic threads woven into it and the entire fence is thus charged. I believe it was ORIGINALLY created for sheep, but gather it offers two retraints to a chicken:

    1. A physical barrier in the net itself.
    Imagine something like a chain link fence of poly twine and you get the idea.
    2. An electrical zap!

    I haven't tried it, as it is rather costly for my needs. But after listening to your tale of electrified stupidity on the part of your chickens, I gotta wonder how effective it is. Many people swear by it, though, so there must be something to it...
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  8. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I could see the netting as being effective. I was under the impression that someone was considering using individual strands, much like the high tension "New Zealand" fence systems. With the netting, the little idiots are probably discouraged from even making an attempt. No possibly "chicken sized" opening to try and escape through. Mine find them selves trying to reach something just on the other side of the wire, or even pecking the twine itself. "Gee, maybe it won't hurt this time . . . ZZZAAAAPPP".[​IMG]
     
  9. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:I could see the netting as being effective. I was under the impression that someone was considering using individual strands, much like the high tension "New Zealand" fence systems. With the netting, the little idiots are probably discouraged from even making an attempt. No possibly "chicken sized" opening to try and escape through. Mine find them selves trying to reach something just on the other side of the wire, or even pecking the twine itself. "Gee, maybe it won't hurt this time . . . ZZZAAAAPPP".[​IMG]

    It must not hurt, is all I can think. Chickens, while not the brightest bulbs on the Xmas tree, are good at learned response.
     
  10. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I could see the netting as being effective. I was under the impression that someone was considering using individual strands, much like the high tension "New Zealand" fence systems. With the netting, the little idiots are probably discouraged from even making an attempt. No possibly "chicken sized" opening to try and escape through. Mine find them selves trying to reach something just on the other side of the wire, or even pecking the twine itself. "Gee, maybe it won't hurt this time . . . ZZZAAAAPPP".[​IMG]

    It must not hurt, is all I can think. Chickens, while not the brightest bulbs on the Xmas tree, are good at learned response.

    It might be that they don't always get shocked every time. Their feathers don't conduct electricty very well. Maybe it's the randomness of the reinforcement that throws them off. It definatly hurts. I can tell when somebody gets nailed, without being there to see it. BBAAAWWWKKKK!!!
     

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