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Responsibility to Secure Your Birds

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by carlf, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. carlf

    carlf Chirping

    Jul 2, 2016
    Mobile, AL
    I just cant take it anymore, I have to comment. Sorry if I offend anyone, but sometimes it cant be helped.

    We all lose a bird every now and then. Stuff happens. I lost one of Christmas to a possum (a now deceased possum).
    But that should be the exception.

    But I've a member here only a week and I have just read at least the 20th thread that starts out with:

    "I've lost (pick a number more than 2, some as high as 10+) hens in the last (pick a multiple of days, nights, weeks). What's doing it and it and what should I do?"

    OMG people, if you have chickens and you lose more than one bird to predators in a short time frame, you have a serious problem!
    Your birds are dying. Don't wait until the 3rd, 4th, 5th + plus one is dead and then come on here asking what to do!

    You have a duty to take action immediately.

    You have duty to protect your birds because they cannot protect themselves.
    Do not wait.
    Take action.

    If that means locking them up in a secure coop for days until you figure it out, that is what you do it. You do what is needed as soon as possible to secure the lives of these birds.

    But, If you wait until you have lost 3, 4 5, or 10 birds over the course of a week before taking serious action, IMO you are simply not being a responsible owner and you should give your birds away. Period.

    Sound harsh? Yep, but this is serious. You are responsible for the lives of these birds. Period.

    Some things every chicken owner should have:

    A lockable coop that is as predator proof as possible. Windows should have hardware clothe covering. All doors must be lockable.
    A securable run that is predator proof as possible. That means quality chicken or welded wire with wire or net top. Lockable door.
    A cage trap capable of catching raccoon size predators.
    A means to kill a predator that you catch or a friend/family member that is willing to do it. Or you need the number for your local critter control company.
    Never relocate predators, in most cases, its illegal.

    Sorry to rant but I just cant believe some of what I have read on this forum.
    7 people like this.

  2. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Songster

    [​IMG]Thanks for posting, carlf.
    Very wise words-- I hope this helps a lot of chicken owners before they suffer a loss.
    Best wishes!
  3. TheLazyBFarm

    TheLazyBFarm Chirping

    Mar 26, 2014
    Lincoln County, TN
    I would add "and the ability" to kill a predator to that statement. Responsibility implies maturity. Maturity implies the ability to deal with reality. The reality of owning chickens is the need to kill to protect your flock. If chicken owners can't or won't deal with this reality, they need not be chicken owners.

    For the TL;DR crowd: Some chicken owners need to grow up. No offense.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
    2 people like this.
  4. This looks the start to a great thread...I'm with you on all points. You and I have been to a lot of the same threads, and basically saying the same thing over and over and over....adnausium.
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I've had chickens for over twenty years, and started with bantams roosting in the barn, because 'they'll be fine'. Not so! After losses, we redid a garden shed into a coop. MUCH safer! Then added a semi good run, for times when there was a hawk. Now have FT. Knox, and still free range, but so much better. Many new folks want to believe that their neighborhood is 'safe' and still want to find out the hard way that it's not. Walt Disney has a lot to answer for; wildlife is WILD, not like the movie Bambi. I loved the movie, but it's fantasy, so there! Mary
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Like you, we started raising chickens... casually. DH was raised on the farm where we live, his mother raised broilers every year. Honestly, I don't know how they did it. Maybe they had enough chickens to start with that they didn't miss them when some disappeared. We had a little coop. Used that, then built a "run" (put up a 4' chicken wire fence) when the dog we had at the time decided to "retrieve" all of my 2 month old chickens one day. Granted, it was our fault 100%. Let the chicks out, left for church, left young dog unsupervised, decided to go to town for lunch, came home and found all the chicks on the doorstep, guarded by a very proud-of-himself young dog. [​IMG] So, we put up the fence for the next flock. No cover. Dog discovered that if you run around the fence enough times, chickens panic and fly out. Catching flying chickens is much more fun than catching a flying frisbee! We have progressed from there. Attached covered run, hardware cloth on the windows, chickens locked up every night.

    OP, I agree that it's our responsibility to take care of our birds. I understand that sometimes things happen. A door gets left open, there's a weak spot in the setup, whatever. But then I read the posts about losing numerous birds over several days or weeks and think, "Why are these people not doing something about it after the FIRST bird lost?"
    1 person likes this.
  7. lalaland

    lalaland Crowing

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    Agree 100%. It is amazing how callous people can be about losing chickens.

    I'm also surprised by the number of persons not understanding the idea that chickens (or any animal for that matter) are your responsibility forever.
    Yes, after they no longer lay. Yes, after they get sick. Yes, after they turn out to be roosters. Yes, if you get bored with chicken chores. Yes, if winter is coming and you don't want to deal with winter and chickens.

    Wish this article was required reading for everyone thinking of chickens:http://www.nwedible.com/you-absolutely-should-not-get-backyard-chickens/
    1 person likes this.

  8. Great article...should be read by all that are thinking of getting backyard chickens
  9. TerryH

    TerryH Songster

    Mar 12, 2016
    NW Arkansas
    My Coop

    Good article. Did you read through the comments? Wow. :/
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    About the comments; it's amazing what people will say on the internet that they wouldn't say in person. Wow x2. Mary
    1 person likes this.

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