using a larger bird as a chicken pen "bodyguard"

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mommanessy247, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. mommanessy247

    mommanessy247 Hatching

    Oct 21, 2011
    particularly geese & turkeys... would that work to deter the small predators like snakes, raccoons, possums, etc.?
    i had heard that those ones are fiercely territorial & protective over their smaller coop/pen-mates... is it true?
    i used to know someone who had a single male turkey in with their chickens & although the roosters were mean & constantly pecked at legs & feet & would occasionally jump up & try to kick with their feet until you left the pen, that turkey was even more intimidating...& he knew it.
    he'd display (fluff up all his feathers) & do a slow menacing strut until you left. he had a much more powerful peck then you'd think.
    so i dunno, but if i were a raccoon or possum theres no way i'd think to go into THAT pen, lol.
    just thought i'd ask if anyone else ever used larger birds as bodyguards for chickens.
    the logic makes sense...

  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY

    Yes, I have a blue slate and he's a wonderful protector - attacks anyone attempting to take a chicken - I haven't seen any predators, but I suspect he would run off uite a few if they came close to the birds
    He's a GREAT bird
  3. mommanessy247

    mommanessy247 Hatching

    Oct 21, 2011
    a blue slate what? turkey, goose?

    are they aggressive with anyone & everyone in the enclosure or just people they dont know & potential predators?
    would a single bachelor do the job or would i have to have a female as well to give him a girl to protect (& in doing so would protect the entire flock).
    i love the idea/scenario of a small creature getting into the pen & being surprised by an crazy loud flurry of flapping wings & having painful pecks rained down on it by a sharp beak/bill but not if i stand the chance of being on the receiving end of such an assault every time i go in to clean or refill water/food dishes.
  4. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    Quote:Blue slate is a breed of turkey - you can search under the turkey index - he's not aggressive, but will rear his feet when someone attempts to take a chicken out of the yard. He has no mate and truthfully, doesn't need one. However, if you are looking for something neurotic and crazy, he is not. He does not scream or go nuts - he's very quiet - he will walk up behind you and just keep bumping into you. This is only when he thinks his chickens are being taken. Any other time, he is just as friendly as can be. He was also handraised, so I don't know if this is the nature of the bird or just him. He also does not use his beak to attack. He's a very mellow fellow [​IMG].

    If you want loud and obnoxious, maybe a goose would be what you are looking for.

    You may want to search under the 'turkey' heading and get more information
  5. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    I heard guinea hens are extremely loud when disturbed. Someone else may chime in here but I heard they are very vocal.
  6. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Well, that plan has a major flaw- who watches the watcher? I got geese a few years back thinking to use them as a secondary defense for smaller birds in the yard. Turns out I had to protect the smaller birds from the geese. The geese would attack anything that crossed their path. I ended up culling 3 of the birds for aggression. I still have one of them. She's a decent protector for her ducks most of the time, but will go after any other birds that wander too close. I need to keep an eye on her during breeding season, though, because she also gets very aggressive towards all other birds (including her ducks) during that time. So, as far as a poultry protector, I think you might have better luck using another animal or a good electric fence.

    Good luck.
  7. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    Using a bird as a watcher might work well during the day, but at night they are all just free dinner. When they roost, that's it for the watching.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011

  8. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    Quote:But, I would think at night they would be locked up?

    I don't know,guys, my blue slate turkey is a great protector and doesn't bother anyone. He wins in my book
  9. boykin2010

    boykin2010 Songster

    Sep 26, 2010
    South Georgia
    I have royal palm turkeys with mine. I do know turkeys eat some snakes. I havent had anything get my chickens *knocks on wood*
  10. Pinky

    Pinky Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    Quote:They are loud. If they think something is a threat, even if it's not, they get loud. (One time a balloon got stuck in a tree and they would not stop until I was able to get it down.)
    I also have a turkey hen and the only chicken she cares for is her rooster. She will have a fit if you try to take him from her.
    She's pretty good at spotting birds of prey and will let everyone know if one flies by.

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