!!!!!!!!!!PREDATORS!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by micah wotring, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. micah wotring

    micah wotring Crowing

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    WV boy here!
    OK. This is only my second post so sorry if I disable replies or something weird like that. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone could tell me how they keep their free range chickens safe from hawks. I am thinking maybe a game rooster? Please help.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Approach is a function of how many birds to be protected, their age, gender and size, area they access, characteristics of area they access, losses you can tolerate and your budget.

    Fencing, cover, dogs can be considered in addition to rooster approach.
     
  3. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

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    Multiple roosters. With that many eyes on the sky, the aerial predators pretty much don't stand a chance, they'll alert the flock when the predators are still miles off. But the native birds see the raptors off with extreme prejudice too.

    I only ever had one chicken taken by a hawk, during a time when I didn't have many roosters about. But I always raise some to eat and free range them so I need them all to get along, so I select against aggressive temperaments so they're quite a peaceful flock even when there's around 50% males among them, as there often are, and with that many males around (or the more normal level it drops to, around roughly 30% mature males at any given time) there's a heck of a lot of keen and suspicious eyes on patrol at all times.

    In fact, over a 5 year period of keeping chickens on a forested property totally infested with pythons, feral dogs, goannas, birds of prey, feral pigs, rats, and even more predators, I lost only a few to attacks. One was that one I mentioned before (lost to a hawk) and another to a feral dog, and some chicks to a rat and a phascogale.

    To put that in perspective, I raised many hundreds of chickens in that time period, roaming loose on that property, even day-old chicks, even routinely going miles into the forest where most of the predators lived including a pack of feral dogs that numbered over 50. It's not so much about having an aggressive rooster and I wouldn't stake any hopes on that, because all he'd do is be the first to die. They're prey birds, their best defense is flight not fight. Against any determined predator the overwhelming majority of all chickens will die, not successfully fight them off.

    Vigilance is the best protection, I reckon. Both theirs and yours.

    Best wishes.
     
    Hybridchucks likes this.
  4. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Crowing

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    They need a place to get under and hide when the "trouble in the air" call is given ... Thick bushes, a covered run, bench, someplace the hawk can't fly ...
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

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    Generally a good suggestion, they do need cover in general, but it won't be effective against certain birds of prey which specialize in ambushes into foliage, in fact that's the most dangerous place if certain species are eyeing off your chooks, because they can't see the bird of prey stooping as easily. I hear of more chickens being taken in forest than in open fields. I would suggest you do a little research into what your local raptors are, it will give you a better idea of how and when they hunt, which can in turn give you some ideas on how to obstruct their success.

    Best wishes.
     
  6. micah wotring

    micah wotring Crowing

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    WV boy here!
    OK. We have allot of woods and fields. What about the dogs next door? Can't teach the dogs. What can I do from the chicken side. TY so much.
     
  7. micah wotring

    micah wotring Crowing

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    WV boy here!
    Also what is the half faded quote thing at the bottom of each post and how do you get it there? Could you give me a basic over view of the memberships, post and threads. I have no idea what each of them is. We have an A frame coop and a small chicken yard. I would like to free range. gotta go almost out of battery.
     
  8. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

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    Oh, dogs... The many joys of having to work with dogs that aren't your own... >:[

    A good fence is about all you can do there I guess. Unless (and maybe even if) you're willing and able to get in a livestock guardian dog or other animal. Like a Maremma or Anatolian, or llama or donkey, something that hates dogs or is trained to kill them or see them off the property.

    But really, it's not your job to keep your neighbor's dogs off your property. What is the owner of the dogs going to do to keep their dogs off your land?

    Also, by the same token, how are you going to keep your chooks off their land? Sounds a bit like the old maxim 'good fences make good neighbors'.

    The faded quote is your 'signature'. You hover above, or click, on your username (top right corner on PC, don't know how it shows on phones) and you see the option 'edit my signature'. That's where you can add your own signature line to go on the bottom of all your posts. I see you've gotten a profile pic up, so you've already been playing with your profile options. The signature is just another one. ;)

    Not sure what you mean by an overview of memberships and posts and threads... I think you'll need to do some clicking around and exploring. This might help:
    Quote: Best wishes.
     
  9. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Crowing

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    If you click on the "quote" button ... It will make a copy of that post ... And people will know that you are responding to that issue ... Like this ... :)

     

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