Protective animals/birds for my hens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hopstar, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. hopstar

    hopstar New Egg

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    Dec 5, 2014
    Hi ,
    I am new to the site and from the south of Ireland. I have been keeping ex battery farm hens for the last few years and a Buff orpinton Rooster, they have been free ranging on our 3/4 acre garden/paddock (and locked up securely in a coop at night) without any problem up untill about 3 weeks ago when a fox took our rooster then yesterday one of our hens was taken.
    I know its been a mixture of luck and clever chickens (they either go up on the windows sill which attracts our house dogs to the window or gather at around the dog run which house our Staffies at any sign of danger) but both recent attacks happened at the furthest end of the garden away from the house and dog run.
    I know a lot of people will suggest fencing of which we have but fox proofing 3/4 of an acres is not an option and dont want to keep my girls penned up .
    So My Question is other than another dog (4 is enough) are there any other animals/birds that will give my Hens some protection, I have read geese maybe a possibility but i am open to most suggestions.
    thanks in advance
    Hopstar
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I can repel red fox with rather cheap high tensile hotwire. Cheaper than dog for sure. What do your dogs do when fox visits?

    Large geese might work but they will chew up your pasture if only 3/4 acre.
     
  3. hopstar

    hopstar New Egg

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    Dec 5, 2014
    not to worries about the paddock getting chewed up , my dogs if the are out in there run they will create an awful lot of fuss, the problem this time of years is the spend a lot time in the stable where they shelter during the day (they sleep inside at night).
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    When do losses occur? I free-range over multiple acres in a predator rich area employing dogs that cannot be everywhere at once. Cover and .limited fencing buys chickens time until dogs can get to them which usually less than a minute and dogs can pursue fox off property sometimes to retrieve stolen chicken alive. Fox seldom has time to hunt because birds betray him by cackling which alerts dogs. .
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
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  5. hopstar

    hopstar New Egg

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    Dec 5, 2014
    so far both attacks have been in the morning around 10 am -12 pm.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Form a much smaller paddock using electrified poultry netting and move it periodically.
     

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