question to those that free Range

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Eggzactly, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. Eggzactly

    Eggzactly Songster

    Jul 8, 2008
    I expecting 15 chicks soon dont know if I should free range or not.My question to the folks that free range is have you lost alot of birds when free ranging to predators?
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Most my pred losses are at night to coons which I have now controlled for the most part. As for day, I have only lost 3 birds to hawks in 10 years and tons of chickens later. All were overly crested banties which I no longer keep for that reason. Being land locked in the city on acreage, we don't have coyotes/foxes or neighborhood dogs to contend with, which are often the worst day preds.
  3. Eggzactly

    Eggzactly Songster

    Jul 8, 2008
    I know we have coyotes in the area....
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Never have lost one bird while free ranging. But then, I have two good dogs who watch them well!
  5. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Good fences all the way around the property and 4 dogs = no predator problems. We have almost every predator in the book around here and our only real loss was to a deranged Dexter cow that went on a chicken killing spree.

    Previous owner of the property had no dogs, no fencing and suffered weekly losses.

    What is roaming your area and how hungry they are is the real determining factor. I would be talking to people in your area to find out what their experience has been with poultry.
  6. perfectly_polish

    perfectly_polish Crowing

    Mar 1, 2007
    When we first moved into out house we let the birds free range, and everything was fine for about 8 months, then the coyotes figured out they could get a free meal. Birds started disappearing but not noticeably, and then one morning we had 2 coyotes in our yard. The chickens have been locked up ever since, and we've been keeping the dogs out with them(haven't seen a coyote since), I haven't had problems with possums or raccoons, the only possum I saw, was a dead one that tried to get into the coop, luckily our dog got it first. We just recently have been letting them out to free range again and they get locked up at night, they love the free ranging and we keep all 4 of our dogs out with them, they'll protect the chickens with their life. So it really depends on where you live and what kind of protection you have against them.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  7. chcknrs

    chcknrs Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Kelso, WA
    We have two dogs and no fences. Lost one chicken to a hawk when it was a teen. I lock the chickens up at night, though.
    The blue jays and the crows run off the hawks.
  8. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    We also have most every predator known to chickens here (raccoon, coyote, other dogs, feral cats, hawk, owl, weasel, fox, very occasionally a cougar, etc.) and have not lost a chicken while free ranging... yet. I have only been free ranging for a year though so time will tell.

    My dogs are always out, now, with my chickens and/or I keep a very close eye on them. I also have larger livestock milling around (horses, llamas and goats) so I think that helps keep some of the predators away also.
  9. redkan

    redkan Songster

    May 15, 2008
    Central Maine
    The only predator we've lost anything to is a fox family raising it's kits here. Each year about this time they start teaching the kits to hunt and that's when we seem to loose someone. This year we lost our guinea cock and one of the americaunas. We almost lost our roo but so far (fingers crossed) he's recovering. He lost all his butt feathers and has several bit wounds but so far so good .... going on 48 hours and he still doesn't seem to know he's on the injured list.

    Oh, and the family is bold as brass. It was mid-day when the roo was attacked, we didn't see it but our dog did.

    Edit to add "fox"
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  10. Lobzi

    Lobzi Crowing

    Quote:I didnt know that!!!! Blue Jays are good for something? Alright! I have a lot of hawks the fly over but many more blue jays come to eat the chicken scratch.

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