UK BYCers Kites and Buzzards

Chicalina

Songster
Aug 1, 2020
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1,481
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UK
Just wondered if any other fellow BYCers in the UK have ever had trouble with kites or buzzards taking chickens?

I know they mostly feed on carrion but will take small birds or mammals if they need to. We have a lot of them around here, and my flock free ranges, but I have only ever had one chicken disappear on me in 15 years, and even then I am not sure if it was a predator or she just wandered off on her own!

My cockerel is a good lookout and they all shelter under trees when birds of prey are circling overhead. I do worry a little, especially my wacko polish who can't see anything not in front of their beak. But not enough to coop them up very day.

What are your experiences?
 
Nov 28, 2017
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I live in a village near smallish town. Lot of crop fields and woodland. I’ve seen birds of prey and crows around here but never had an issue. Only problem I had was the villagers feeding foxes, so one evening when there was no dish of food left out, a fox came and took one of my chickens as they were going to bed. They stopped feeding the foxes and I never had another casualty... apart from the neighbours dog. Though my experience doesn’t mean that a BoP won’t swoop down and take a chicken. It could happen to any unprotected flock. Just never happened to mine
 

Chicalina

Songster
Aug 1, 2020
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UK
I live somewhere similar. Loads of fields all around the village, woodland, and an open landfill site on the edge of town. We have loads of kites especially, scavenging around. Plus a rookery across the road from my house full of jackdaws. They chase the kites away a lot and never bother the chickens.

We don't have a big fox problem here. Haven't seen foxes since I lived in London where they are a real pest, though i do hear them at night. Plenty of wild rabbits, partridges and pheasants around to keep them full (I hope).
 

Chicalina

Songster
Aug 1, 2020
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UK
I worry I am getting too complacent. This year I have left my hens unlocked at night and my tortoises out. Previously I would always lock them up/bring them in. Maybe I need a kick up the arse!
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
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:welcome :frow I live in the US but there are similar predators here too. I mostly see Swallow tail kites and vultures. They have never bothered my birds but my pens are totally covered with heavy duty netting because of hawks, owls and eagles. I caught a vulture once in a live trap when I was after a fox. Good luck...
 

Chicalina

Songster
Aug 1, 2020
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UK
I'm always amazed at the variety of wild animals you have over there that might pose a risk to you and your flock: snakes, bears, wolves, coyotes, alligators, giant lizards, raccoons, and in some parts even lions!

I got stung by a wasp last week and was raging! lol
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
23,661
14,510
641
Florida
My Coop
Depends in which part of the country people live to what they have as predators. I have my birds well protected. My best thing was putting up the electric wires around the coops and pens. The predators know they are there and don't mess with them. They haven't tried to climb over but I also have good heavy duty netting covering all of the pens and concrete under the gates. All due to losses from predators over the years. Some of the predators that have killed any of my birds, I did eliminated if they came back. I have had something try to dig but once it touches an electric wire it abandons the attempt and doesn't try again. Probably was a coyote, fox or bobcat, maybe possum. I have game cameras in different places on my property. Here most of the predators roam at night.
 

Chicalina

Songster
Aug 1, 2020
1,067
1,481
163
UK
I have a game camera too, but I'm going to put it in one of my brooding hutches to watch the chicks hatch!

The other thing that strikes me as a big difference is the amount of land a lot of backyard chicken keepers have in the US. Like acres of it. Land is so much more of a premium here in the UK (especially the South East) that you have to be fairly wealthy to have that.

I live in a rural area, but only have my garden for the chickens, not a load of land. And it is a fairly large garden by UK standards.
 

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