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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ange, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. ange

    ange Songster

    Jun 15, 2009
    Just wondering what is safe for my chickens, since I LIKEW TO LET THEM OUT FOR A FREE RANGE every day. Theyt look forward to it, they go to the door coop fence asking to be let out, I DO NOT DARE

  2. ZooNana

    ZooNana Songster

    Your post is a bit confusing to me but I'll take a stab at it.

    Only you can know what predators are in your area to know what's safe. Many people here talk about raccoons and things, but I don't have them here. I do have coyotes here to worry about, but they're rarely around during the daylight hours (and they seem to like my neighbors chickens more than mine, as they cross my property to get to his, kill them and bring them back across my property to go home. But so far they haven't touched mine.) then there's neighbors dogs, and we have hawks here. So far all I've had troubles with are neighbor dogs, so I allow my chickens to free range but I keep an eye on them when they're out of the run.

    What predators are in your area? How large is your property? Where could they roam that would get them into trouble?
  3. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Songster

    Hey ange,
    Check out the "predators" area of this site - on the one hand, it will scare the you-know-what out of you, but on the other hand, you will find that lots of people free-range their chickens under lots of different conditions, and successfully (well, some not) and there is good information there. If you have a fenced area that will keep stray dogs out - and you can and will be out with them - it's probably pretty safe. We have lots of hawks here, but I've never had a problem with them - I have good-sized breeds - but other people have posted that hawks have snatched their chicks or small chickens from right under their noses. So it just depends on your set up, your chickens, your environment, your available guard personnel (you, a good dog, a mean rooster, a donkey?) etc. And luck! It's also good if you've trained your chickens to come to you when you call them, which is pretty easy to do, so that you can put them up into the safe area when you need to leave.
  4. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Quote:Dogs and hawks are most likely daytime predators. Near to woods all bets are off as many other preds lurk there under cover of foliage/brush. Expect losses at some point. It happens and is the price of participation in free-ranging. Most who free-range know that and will accept it, especially if they do not have the money or space or both to make a large run. Of course, you have to be ready to cope with the damage and poop around your house too. Whereas a hawk will kill and eat one, a dog will kill all and likely eat none. hawks will land and kill a big hen or rooster and eat it on the spot.

    That said, I opted for a large run of around 1900-2000 sq ft so as to have the best of both worlds. Mine is open to the sky, but I do have a large resident population of hawk-hating crows hereabouts too, praise be to God.[​IMG]

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