Predators in Mass

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by 18chicks, May 25, 2008.

  1. 18chicks

    18chicks Hatching

    May 15, 2008
    Hi all

    I am currently building the run for my new chicks, we plan to lock them up every evening. So I am wonder ing, how concerned about predators should I be? I am using 1/2" hardware mesh for the enclosure, and have buried it 1-2 feet in the ground. I also plan on covering the top but have not selected the material yet.

    We live in SE Mass, any and all comments on what type of predators, and how to avoid would be great!

  2. mmajw

    mmajw Songster

    Jan 31, 2008
    Well with the top covered you wont have t worry about hawks or eagles.

    Make sure the sides are strong and in the ground good if you have Raccoons, Coyotes, fischers, or weasels or minks around.

    Oh and [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 25, 2008
  3. Both of you live in similar situations to me! Our biosecurity is documented in the homepage links below. I think it's worth investing in high levels of protection. Costly at first and far less heartache...[​IMG]
  4. tygab

    tygab Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    MA/NH border
    I'm not in southern MA but figure you could have problem with lots of different kinds of preds -

    racoon, neighborhood dogs, fox, coyote, and raptors are probably tops of the list for you. Where I am we also have fisher cats too so... your plan sounds pretty good to me, at least of 1 ft of HW cloth in the ground... we're going to do the same once it's time to build the run (still working on the coop).
    Last edited: May 25, 2008
  5. cristina33

    cristina33 Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    I would try to make the top as secure as the rest of the pen because racoons can climb and break thru almost anything! If you can do the hardware cloth on the top that would be great! If not I would go for some type of plastic roofing! ( Not that I should talk I have bird netting ) Good Luck

    Take Care
  6. gostlady6

    gostlady6 In the Brooder

    Mar 23, 2008
    Im not sure about where you live but snakes are a big problem here in Texas. I put moth balls under my brooder box and on top so far so bood . But, the lady I got my chicks from lost 3 chicks to a snake and she had the moth balls out. My sis in lay lost 2 duck chicks to a snake . So keep an eye out for them as well.:eek:
  7. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    Welcome 18 chicks! I live in SE MA. Most of the predators for this area come out at night such as what is listed above, raccoons, possum, fox, coyotes and fisher cats have been seen in my town. During the day hawks will be your biggest worry but at this time of year they have plenty of other things to eat but can still be a problem.
    I originally had covered the top of my pens with that mesh plastic netting but the snow caved it all in so I just had all chicken wire put on top. My birds all free range during the day but I still keep covered pens because in the fall and winter the hawks are hungry and the birds have less cover to hide in even though I live in the woods.
    It is just nice to have a secure area to put them in if the problem gets out of hand. I always lock them in their coops at night. The one night that I forgot I lost 18 beautiful chickens that were just getting ready to lay, one night was all it took!
    Good Luck and you will find all your answers right here! [​IMG]
  8. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I live in a Southern suburb of Boston.
    We have:
    Red Foxes
    RedTailed Hawks
    Golden Eagles
    SharpShinnede Hawks
    Great Grey Owls
    Barn Owls

    AS an FYI, chicken wire keeps chickens in and nothing ELSE out.
    I'd use welded wire or hardware cloth on the top also.
  9. DDRanch

    DDRanch Songster

    Feb 15, 2008
    Hi, sounds like you are getting some great advice from the folks here. I let my girls free range during the day when I am home and have provided some small structures outside their coop and pen for them to take cover from hawks or anything else that might scare them. In case they can't make it back to the coop/pen in time. I have 2 medium sized redwood doghouses, (without the dogs of course) and a small table and chairs (that I use too)

    Furniture and other structures placed around the coop and yard were recommended by this site after I lost one of my young girls to a hawk several months ago. They love resting in the dog houses during the day and if it is a bit windy or light rain, they all crowd in and look out.

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