predator help losing hope

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Wjeffgriggs, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Wjeffgriggs

    Wjeffgriggs Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2011
    Hello, I am new at this. about 5 months ago I got some baby chicks with intensions of them being free range all the time except for at night they have a good coop I built them to keep them safe. I have left them out from the morning time when I leave work until dusk when the go back into the coop. I have had 0 issues, not one loss or injury up into about 4 weeks ago. I lost 2 chickens in two days no sign of them just a pile of feathers. Because of this I decided to let them out only when I get home from work. Everything was fine for a few days but now every time I turn my back for 2 seconds one of them gets attacked. I cannot let my guard down at all while they are out. The other day I just ran to the store and took no longer than 10 minutes. When I got back I found one of my chickens had been attacked (missing all its back feathers). Now I feel like I can let them out at all and this defeats the purpose of me wanting chickens. I wanted free range chickens not chickens that stay in a coop all day. Is this a normal thing that most chicken owners that free range go through? Is there any tricks of the trade? I am starting to feel like this hobby of mine is going down the drain.
     
  2. nickie

    nickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2011
    north central KY
    Free ranging has risks. That's the main thing you are going to hear around here. Your best bet is to build them a large covered run that is secure on all sides including top and to the ground and you should cut all problems down to minimum.
     
  3. livisdad

    livisdad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2011
    central fl
    I free range too, and I've learned that loss of birds to predators is pretty much impossible to predict. Try keeping them in the coop for a few days and see if you can possibly trap whatever is attacking them.
     
  4. KrisH

    KrisH Chillin' With My Peeps

    My guess would be a hawk got them. I see a chicken tractor in your very near future.
     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    My guess would be a hawk got them

    That was my first thought too​
     
  6. Willem81

    Willem81 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 16, 2009
    Thornton, Co
    Had a hawk perched on my coup with my 5 5week old chicks inside this last weekend. He won't be back again. Identify the culprit and deal with it accordingly.
     
  7. Wjeffgriggs

    Wjeffgriggs Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2011
    If I build a 5' tall fence around the perimeter of my yard (which is approxemently 1.2 acres) will this cut down on at least 60% of my predator issues. Might run a electric fence wire at the bottom outside of the fence to prevent climbers or diggers. What do you think? Has anyone tried this that can say if it is worth the time and money. I know this want help with hawks and owls
     
  8. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Yea, sure sounds like a hawk to me too. And once they get a taste for chicken, they will keep coming back. You have to be extra careful now.
     
  9. Wjeffgriggs

    Wjeffgriggs Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2011
    I believe the first few episodes to be a hawk, but at least 2 attacks the chickens got away I noticed the chickens were wet around the wounds as if a dog or coyote might have got ahold of them
     

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