Predator problems

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Rowzy, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Rowzy

    Rowzy In the Brooder

    Feb 12, 2009
    Renton, WA
    I have lost 4 hens and a roo total over 1 year of owning hens to predators. Saying that I only have had 11 hens and 2 roos total over this year, that seems like a lot. I have stopped letting them out of their coop daily just because I dont want to loose any more. I only let them out if I am watching or around the yard for the day.
    The main predator - I believe - are coyotes. We live on 5 acres, about half are still forested and a large forested buffer zone is right next to us creating the perfect coyote habitat.
    I could make a run but unfortunently the only door on my coop is in the front and the only area in front of the coop without running into my pasture fence (which I dont mind them being in the pasture) is gravel. I dont see the practicality of making a run on gravel, there isnt really much for them to scratch in or anything.
    On the left side of the coop is the horse pasture. I am willing to sacrifice an area here for a run but there is no direct door into it and my chickens wont let me pick them up without a fight.
    On the back and right side is a large forested area. It is mostly dirt with blackberries and trees ect. Its pretty much a 'nature zone', but again there is no door or way to get the chickens out.
    So what do you think I should do?
    I could build a tractor but I am worried that the expense would be high and the problem with catching the chickens still remains.

    When I say run I meen made out of green T-Posts and hardware wire with some sort of cover so it can be moved if the area is easily dipleated.
  2. rockabilly7

    rockabilly7 Songster

    Dec 30, 2008
    Florida panhandle
    Awww im sorry if its coyotes there isn't much you can do besides shoot everyone you see but its not really their fault. Coyotes are nocturnal so if you see them during the day it probably means their food supply is running low (probably due to habitat depletion or some other human screw up) I dont have a coyote problem but there is alot of racoons around i just set out food for them tuna, canned cat food, scraps. I figure if they have food that doesn't run right in front of them then they are less likely to chase a meal (e.g. OUR chickens lol) You could also trap the coyotes and relocate them (if you take them far enough they will not return thats just a myth) you can buy safe traps at lowes or home depot, just be careful because coyotes do naturally carry rabies and sometimes don't show symptoms but can still pass it along. Same with coons and foxes so always wear gloves if for some reason you are close to them. On the run problem you could always just buy a dog pen thats what i use and it is very easy to move, is there anyway you could move your coop in a different direction???
  3. Rowzy

    Rowzy In the Brooder

    Feb 12, 2009
    Renton, WA
    No the coop is in a permanent location.
    I never see the coyotes (well I have once) because they arent very bold. I hear them every night and it sounds horrible.
    I see Coons in my barn though atleast once a week.
    I like the dog pen idea, but they are fairly expensive...
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Quote:If you cannot get a good LGD, and you can't afford to build a tractor, the run you propose sounds a little flimsy for keeping out predators, especially coyotes. You could invest in electric poultry netting...costly but supposed to last a long time and quite mobile if you want to keep fresh grass under them. It is said to repel bears even.

    As for catching them.....wait until they roost at night and you can do anything you want with them.

    If you don't want a mobile run, you can always build a very sturdy run out on the pasture side and cut a pop door on that side. Then run electric along the outside at the bottom of your fence with fencing wire 6 in. up and again about 18 in. up.
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Is there any reason you can't add a small door for the chickens on one of the sides where it would be convenient to add a run? That's what I would do. I think your chickens need a tiny remodel. [​IMG]

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