Urban vs Rural

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jgaepi, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. jgaepi

    jgaepi Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 25, 2011
    davis, ca
    Not to imply that urban areas are different or better than rural areas but I am trying to plan for chicks down to a "t" and I realized something tonight, will my chickens be safer out of the fact that I am in an urban area, surrounded on all sides by other houses? I have seen a raccoon crawling into a gutter, so I know they are around, and I have seen hawks in the sky, but I am wondering if I am better insulated just out of the fact that I live in an urban setting. Do I need the same precautions or can I cut some corners? My property is all fenced in so coyotes are immediately eliminated. Any thoughts?
  2. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    I definately would not cut corners...you would be AMAZED at the large number of species, and sheer density of wildlife in urban settings. We are researching urban bobcats, and we have found that there are actually MORE bobcats in urban settings than rural settings, and in much closer proximity to eachother. Humans have given bobcats, and other predators like them, life on easy street (this includes raccoons, opossums, and foxes, as WELL as coyotes. Don't forget, foxes can climb as well as or better than cats, and a hungry coyote is NOT above digging under a fence for an easy meal.) Urban settings may even make life easier for many wild animals. More accesable food (manicured lawns attract song birds, bunnies, mice, and many other prey sources, and humans feed their dogs and cats outdoors with foods that are nutritionally balanced, and most importantly, foods that do not run away), more readily available water sources (water features, sprinkler systems, dog/cat bowls, etc), and more available (and more secure) hiding/housing spaces than rural settings.

    So basically, you are looking at a vast selection of extremely intellegent predators with small territories (therefore, more frequent visits to each part of their territory ie-more frequent attempts at testing your coop defenses), long memories, and impressive life spans. Bobcats can live more than 30 years in captivity, and upwards of 17 in the wild. Coons have lifespans similar to dogs if they are lucky. That translates into an animal that not only will most likely find your birds at some point, but will also most likely try to eat them. If they are unsucessful the first time, they will try and try again...and potentially teach their offspring all about the joys of eating fresh, plump chickens if they are ever sucessful in getting through your chicken fortress.

    Just for some perspective, I work animal control for a large city. We actually picked up a full grown female coyote who had recently stopped lactating (in other words, she had just weaned her pups, which means there is a strong well established colony of coyotes in that neighborhood)...we impounded her in the front yard of a new construction home in a heavily developed neigborhood, so just because you live in an urban setting, your chickens are by no means safer than they would be in a rural setting. Don't let it lull you into a false sense of security! Build yourself a chicken fort knox! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I agree with kari...

    I'm very urban, and over the last 15 years that I have lived in this house, and 15 more in town, the only predators that I have not seen are bears and komodo dragons. [​IMG]
    Maybe the only slight advantage is some predators will go after the easy meal (Cat & Dog food) first.

  4. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    komodo dragons in Seattle? Awesome! They could be the burmese to florida!
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

  6. bleith

    bleith Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2010
    West Dundee IL
    It is not worth cutting corners. If you do it right the first time you should be good to go. If not, well you just never know. My Brother in law lives in Seattle and he found out the hard way. 2 killed by a racoon in the same night. I would suggest to build coop and run as if you have coons etc... in your yard everyday, because you probably do and don't know it. most predators are nocturnal. It is amazing how many critters come through your yard. I have seen post with game cameras on their run/coop and it is amazing
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    My neighbor lost her flock to a coyote that jumped two 7' tall fences to get into ther yard. We live in the heart of suburbia.
  8. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I am surrounded by about 12 homes.There is a 20 foot wide strip of woods running through most of the properties. About 500 feet long. Check out my sig for how many animals I have trapped. 16 coons alone!
    We even saw 5 deer one night grazing in the neighbors yard.Talk about an over load of the wild animals!

    Build a secure coop and run,but also keep a trap set 24/7.
  9. QuackerJackFarms

    QuackerJackFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2011
    I had a fox jump my 5 ft fence like he was stepping over a pop can. That same fox I saw across the street yesterday strolling in the neighbors yard. (He's out there... [​IMG] )

    Also, the hawks have been a REAL serious problem for me lately as well.

    Haven't seen any coons yet, but that means nothing. LOL!

    Oh and I'm a rural girl stuck in an urban dwelling. (for now.)
  10. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Quote:A fence didn't stop a coyote from jumping my fence, injuring one of my cats and killing the other. I am in an urban area with houses all around us. Our birds have an attatched run with their coop that is 19 ft by 22 ft. Its chainlink dog kennel panels with wire and rocks buried all the way around it to keep critters from digging under. On top of the run a half acre is fenced in in our backyard for them to forage in while we are home. I saw a big red fox just the other day eyeballin my birds while they were out in the yard. I was not even 2 ft away from this fox and he wasn't the least bit scared until I shouted a few choice words at it to get it to run off into the woods. He was ready to fly over the fence and eat my birds... Thank god I was out there at the time. He woulda made a real nice rug~!
    With that being said, you can never be tooo safe as far as planning for having chicks, Hardware cloth is your best friend when building a run verses chicken wire. I do use chicken wire on top of my run to keep the airborn predators out. My birds are locked up tight in the coop at night, I am the only one with a key to get in. Come morning I let them out into their locked run if I am going to be at work or running errands. This time of year tho they prefer to stay in the coop where it is nice and cozy.

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