The predators have gone mad!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mama24, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2010
    GSO, NC
    I lost a bird to a raccoon in the middle of the day 2 days ago, my poor children's favorite, our only Sultan hen. I also lost a bird to something unknown the same day. She simply disappeared, leaving only a few small black feathers, not a huge clump like the trail the raccoon left (I found 3 clumps of feathers and several bits of skin on the raccoon's trail.) I think I solved that mystery. I went outside a little while ago and heard my chickens making terrified screeching noises. I walked over to where they were all looking and a Northern Harrier flew up into a tree right above me! He just sat there for the longest time staring at us. Meanwhile, my only little bantam cuckoo Marans cockerel came out of hiding. I think I barely saved his life! The hawk just sat there. I finally threw a stick into the air, no chance of coming close to hitting it, but he finally flew away.

    wth? What is going on the past few weeks? The day before Thanksgiving, my beautiful Pyncheon pullet was saved from a red tailed hawk by her miniature rooster mate (all 15oz of him!), and my son who heard the ruckus and ran outside just in time. She was injured, but has fully recovered.

    What advice do you have for protecting a large flock (40+ birds altogether) from hawks and raccoons crazy enough to come out during the day and climb over fences?

    I need a dog, but my dh is dead set against a dog for some strange unkown reason!
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  2. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    Unfortunately it's the same situation for me. The only thing I think will work is to stop the free ranging. My whole flock stays in the coop and covered run now [​IMG]
  3. CrazyCatNChickenLady

    CrazyCatNChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2010
    Berry Creek, Ca
    My main preditors are bears, dogs, and coyotes so mine never get to leave the hotwired coop. I have noticed everyone seems to be stocking up for winter though, especially the coyotes and bears. Its the bad weather and lack of other food that makes them come out more in fall. Spring is also a really bad time for us here. I dont really have many problems after I locked them in.
  4. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I keep my trap set 24/7.Have not caught a thing in a week or 2. For raptors all you can do is provide cover,cd's,bird netting,fishing line,and mylar ribbons. Nothing is 100% except a VERY secure run.Oh the things I would like to do to the hawk....shall remain in my thoughts only.

    I have no idea on how to protect from bears except an electric fencing.
  5. UncleTommy

    UncleTommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2011
    Sanger, CA
    Quote:you hit it on the head. You could also only let them out while you are out there...but its a little too cold for that these days. I've heard that making hiding places helps with hawks but you have the double whammy. They're probably going crazy because they're usual source of prey is hiding in burrows or migrated, either way they now know where to get an easy meal so they'll be back.
  6. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2010
    GSO, NC
    I'm in NC, but I'm ffrom SW PA, so I wouldn't say it's cold. LOL. It's a little chilly today, in the 40's, but it was in the 60's the last 2 weeks!

    Thanks for the advice. I will string up some fishing line and CD's and see if that helps. I hate to keep them in a small run all the time! But it looks like that's what I'm going to have to do. My dh has been putting up fence posts for me slowly but surely on weekends, so hopefully that will get finished this weekend. [​IMG] Maybe getting the goats that I am supposed to pick up this month will help ward off some of these predators as well.
  7. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I suggest traps as well. Or a gun. If you have a pred that will during the day into a fenced in yard.

    I've only had one attack by a pred. , a coon and beat him good inside the coop and never saw him again since I did'n't kill him. Hawk once too land in the yard and chased it off. It landed in a tree and took off and I never saw it again either.

    You might try a scarecrow or two. Something you can move around the yard on a occasion.

    Now I have no trouble mentioning it but if DH won't get a dog then have him go out in the evening and "mark " his territory. In places around the yard and as far into the woods as he would like. I do this when I close the chickens up at night and so far no preds.

    Some days I let the out of the covered run but in the winter they stay inside the run. It's not always covered with plastic but in the winter most of it is.

    I wish you well,


  8. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2010
    GSO, NC
    LOL. My dad is a firm believer in marking his territory, but he always had a dog marking along with him. I'll have to see if my dh is up for it. Ha ha! If not, I think my 12yo son would do it! I grew up always always having dogs. I don't understand how my husband can reasonably expect me to live without one forever. We've been married over 9 years now, I think it's time for him to give in! I really need to get a shotgun. All I have night now is a bolt action 30-06 without a scope, not the best thing for trying to shoot coons! I don't know anything about traps. Do I need a special license for those?
  9. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    I think one thing helping me here with the predator issue is the deer. We're getting so many hit by the vehicles on the highway all the creators that want my chickens are getting their guts full courtesy of the torn up cars and trucks.
  10. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2010
    GSO, NC
    Maybe I should just breed and release a whole bunch of rabbits. Maybe that would help. I doubt it. Chickens are easy pickins. [​IMG]

    I was outside working on a rabbit cage just before sundown. Sun hadn't even gone down yet and I heard an owl start calling. Then right after the sun went down, before it was dark, I heard the pack of coyotes I know are out there howling! We're on over 40 acres, most of it pasture, but there's several acres of wood with a creek and a big pond (maybe 2.5ac pond?) Lots of critters really like this property, I am finding since we moved here the end of Aug. Does anyone here know anything about coyotes? First day of deer season I was sitting on the edge of my pasture when I heard something coming out of the woods. I was expecting a deer, but I saw a pack of 5 coyotes! The first one leading was HUGE and black, looked like it had to be part dog or something to me. It was seriously as big as a German shepherd! Is that normal? I should have shot the darn thing right then and there, but I wasn't sure on the laws for shooting coyotes in NC (I'm from PA) and they were so darn cute! I think the big one was the mom and the 4 regular colored small ones were her pups. They frolicked around for a good 5 min before they left the pasture and went into the woods on the other side!

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