Preditors by land, air, and water.


11 Years
May 10, 2008
Boynton Beach Florida
We live on a South Florida farm. Were very close to the everglades national park. In fact, one canal on our property line. comes directly from it. We have some very serious preditor problems with our chickens.

The first three chickens were killed by a beautiful eagle. Right in front of my eyes! Swooped down, picked her up and started to fly away! I just reacted! And started chasing it! The chicken was too large for it and dropped it. By the time I got to her,, she was allready a gonner. We put the rest (11) in their fenced area, that is covered with a tarp, (For obvious reasons). when we heard a comotion again, We run outside and there was the eagle again! This time she was in their cage just having a go at them! I have to say, that eagle is one magnificant bird! Just too beautiful! It stood a good 3 feet tall with no fear of me at all! I opened the door and ran around yelling at it until it flew away. She took two more of our beloved chickens.

We also have 3 of the largest barn owls in our pines. Also falcons and hawks. These are the just a few of the preditors. The wild parrots are allways screeming when one comes close and I have set up areas all over our property for them to seek shelter when one flies overhead. So far, the shelters have worked. Until this morning. A 5 foot alligator found it's way into our fish pond and BANG! another chicken gone. I had my men capture it and let it loose in the canal.

My wife insists that they roam the farm, freely. At night they return to their coup. we have a lock on the door to keep the racoons and foxes out.

It looks like we will have to confine them to their fenced, covered, locked area to keep them safe. It was nice to have them all around. but it hurts when one dies.
I don't have the numerous predators you do, however, I have a serious bird of prey problem.
Red tail, coopers hawks, great horned owls and the occasional bald eagle. I live just two miles from the Missouri River and the eagles will be showing up in a month or two to winter here in Eastern Missouri.
I love to let my chickens free range as well but it has gotten to the point I can't.

So, I simply plan as many evenings outside as I can and let the chickens out and hour to hour and half to run around and eat grass, bugs etc.
I generally make my supper go out, let the chickens out, eat and just enjoy being outside and enjoying my birds.
I second scooter's post. Due to the quantity of preditory creatures where I live I have given my chickens a good safe enclosure. I let them out for an hour or two in the afternoon when I can garden and watch them.

Mine seem happy and heathy.
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About the only thing you can do in trying to keep the predators from getting them is supervised time outside.
Erg. I thought the predators we had here were bad. Alligators????
We live very far to the north of you but we have the same problems. The district is full of lonely roosters whose free-range hens were killed. We built a large roofed run (shown in link below) and we bring plants and treats *in* for the girls. As winter approaches the run will become even more useful. It also helps in finding eggs as the girls are always close to a nesting box. They're large, glossy, eating well and laying and well, 'happy'!
Your men?

Where do you get "men" like those?

If an employer ever told me, "Hey, go wrassle that there 'gator..."

Well -- you go to HELL, Kemosabi.
I agree with locking them up. We spend so much time taking care of the little fluff balls and then to have them snapped up is heartbreaking. I believe in the circle of life, but make it a little harder to complete. We get the kids off the bus and let the chicks run free until dinnertime... for us and the red tailed hawks, racccoons, cats, dogs, etc.
Sorry for your loss. Hope you can work it out.
My wife felt safe enough now that the gator is gone to go back to the garden. She noticed that alot of leaves were eaten on our pumpkins. That means the iguanas are back! Aperently, our chickens that roam around keep the iguanas away! One day locked up and now, I'm back in the doghouse!

Thanks for the replies, We are new to raising chickens. And we need all the help we can get.

Oh, and about my men who caught the gator. I was there with them videoing while they caught and released it. I will post it on youtube and create a link to it in a few days.:eek:
About eight years ago now when we lived a few miles up the coast from here, I was on my way home one night and had to slam on brakes to keep from hitting a large 7 ft. alligator that was crossing the road with a grown chicken in it's mouth. I sat there until it crossed, pulled into the driveway belonging to the yard it came from and let the old guy know what I saw. He tore out of the house with his shotgun and a few minutes later, I heard "BOOM!" He came back and said he had been after that gator for a few years, but this was the first time anyone had actually caught him in the act. He said this same gator had killed other neighbors chickens as well. As long as I live, I will never forget it!

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