Raccoons/Skunks/Feral Cats

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Themyst, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Themyst

    Themyst New Egg

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    Jul 10, 2010
    Maine
    I live in an area where many wild animals roam - raccoons, skunks, fox, feral cats, neighbor's free-roaming cats. Trapping is out of the question.

    I'm just investigating whether or not I would be able to have a few egg-laying hens. I would keep them in a sturdy coop at night, but during the day when I have them securely free-ranging (trying to figure out how to do that), I'm sure feral or stray cats at the very least will be interested in them. Even if I could manage to have my chickens in a screened in area when they are outside, will they stress out if a predator watches them? Is this a bad idea for me (and the chickens?)
     
  2. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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    May 17, 2007
    A good fence and an electric fence.

    Rufus
     
  3. myblackf150

    myblackf150 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Evington, VA
    Glad you are interested in hens. I keep my hens all in at night but for about 4 hours every night I let them roam in the yard with no issues. I would fear Dogs durring the day. I have stray cats here and they just watch the hens and keep their distance. I do keep mine fenced into the yard to keep the dogs out. I think that Raccoons and Skunks wont bother them till after dark. Chickens are the best pet I have ever had and I am sure you will enjoy them.
     
  4. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 14, 2009
    Oregon
    Occasionally there are raccoons and skunks that come out during the daytime. Build your coop and run as secure as you possibly can afford, and enjoy your birds.
     
  5. Themyst

    Themyst New Egg

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    Jul 10, 2010
    Maine
    Hmm ... an electric fence won't do since I live in town.

    I was thinking that I'd make some kind of movable caged in area for them to walk and peck around during the day. I really love animals, and since I'll be in charge of these chickens welfare, I don't want them to become too stressed if they know they're being watched. I knew someone who had ... eating chickens - the big, fat, white ones (yes, I'm a newbie here) and they were pretty dumb as far as animals are concerned - the blonds of the animal kingdom I suppose, heh heh. So I don't think that kind would get too stressed, they seemed to only operate on one brain cell. But other types of chickens, I think they're probably more reactive to sensing predators. This is what I don't know - do most chickens walk around rather blissfully, unaware of what danger might be lurking about? I think my chickens would be safe, I just want to make sure they're not living in terror because a cat was watching or trying to get through their fence when I wasn't around.
     

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