What's to stop animals from eating chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JenniferC, May 5, 2008.

  1. JenniferC

    JenniferC Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    I want to move forward and let my chicks out a lot more during the day- at least the older ones. But I'd like to let them all outside together and not worry- at least in the weeks to come.

    But here's my issue- What's to stop something from eating them? I get that you have to keep them cooped up at night, but what about during the day?

    I can't tell if I'm being too protective or too paranoid...
  2. They will need a secure run. Anything and everything might decide chicken is a good meal.
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Yep...unless you have them in an enclosed run the odds are they'll be some critter's lunch.
  4. JenniferC

    JenniferC Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    By "enclosed" do you mean on top as well? I have an enclosed run, 5 feet tall, but the tiniest babies could probably get out. A cat could obviously get over.

    I suppose Ill go get some chicken wire today and gerry-rig a cover. Maybe something on a slant, so I don't end up with a crushed cover.
  5. sweet_peeps

    sweet_peeps Songster

    Apr 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    I have mine in an 8x16 pen/run and don't intend
    to let them out to free range until I think they're
    too big to be picked up by a hawk.

    I purposely got a fat breed (barred rock)
    for that reason and to keep them inside the
    fenced in side and back yard which is very
    The RIR's I had would jump that fence like
    nothing and head out to the fields.

    I bring them treats a few times a day:
    grass, clover, yogurt, etc. and call them.
    They all know when I call them it's treat time.

    That way when they do free range and I want
    to put them up, I can just call them and have a
    treat waiting in the pen.

    That's the idea anyway!
  6. mmajw

    mmajw Songster

    Jan 31, 2008
    I always keep mine in an enclosed run. The only one that is actually free range is my Roo and he doesnt go far.
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    You must enclose the top if only to keep the chicks from flying OUT. It seems that they're the most aerodynamically adept at this young age. They must think they're really cool, having all those wing & tail feathers but little bulk, some of them can buzz around like little canaries.

    I have some 3X3 pieces of parrot cages that I zip-tie together to make a big bottomless oblong. I enclose the top with orange plastic safety netting that is clothespinned to the wire sides. I'll put my chickies out in the yard enclosed in this during the day, and bring them in at nightfall.

    In our So Fla climate, they can be outdoors at just a few weeks. I set them out when they get old enough to make an awfully poopy mess in their box.

    I keep a box or nursery pot in the MIDDLE of their outdoor enclosure for them to run into for shelter or safety. Because our hawks are sometimes attracted to the sight of chicks outdoors and will land on the ground right outside their fence. I once lost a chick because it ran behind a box set right by the wire, thinking it was safe, and the hawk was able to peck it dead through the wire and was in the process of pulling out bites when I shooed him away.

    There's a reason why the term "Mother Hen" has become synonymous with extremely protective parenting. There's a lot of things that enjoy a chick dinner, that's why chickens brood such big clutches. It gives them extras to spare.

    The only way to keep your chicks 100% safe is to carry them around on cushions all day. The next best thing is to take every precaution you know of and learn from your mistakes & those of others.

    I wish you & your chickies all the best.

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