Wonder what could have done it!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by WindyOaksYokes, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. WindyOaksYokes

    WindyOaksYokes Songster

    Jul 17, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I forgot to tell you all what happened the other day. Friday I was outside cleaning the coop and getting it ready for the new wire to lock the chickies in. Anyways, I took a break, went in the house and came back out with frozen corn. Of course it was like I was the pied piper LOL... I was throwing it out and they were all gathering around when all of a sudden I hear a “screech” and then swoop... and then chickens running everywhere for cover! Scared the H*LL out of me. It didn’t get any of them and flew off... I ran in the house, grabbed a gun... and ran back outside and stood watch! It came by again... I took a shot... missed... but scared the dang hawk off. I will not go outside now without my gun in hand and loaded! I am not loosing any of my babies!!! Then today, I was finishing up with the wiring... I had to pull the pieces together so that the chickens would not get caught and so that predators could not get in through the overlap.. I think you know what I am talking about. Anyways, my son TJ came over to see what I was doing and started looking around the coop... OMG... he found three rips in the chicken wire, about 2' up from the ground!!! I told Jess to run and get daddy... He came out and looked at it and fixed it by using wire (heavy electrical) to close the rips. We were wondering what, when, how. I feel like such a bad chicken mom because I missed it. Now it is fixed, but that still does not forgive my ignorance. We thought maybe it happened last weekend because we had a problem and had to chase something off, we never saw it. Can't coons or possums rip chicken wire? We also thought maybe a fox. you know I am so happy now that the coop is completely enclosed whereas before the wire only went up halfway I think some of you have seen a pic of my coop (need to take updated pic)... but now they have no escape hole. I feel terrible! But glad I have not lost any chickens and it has made me wiser. I gave my son a great big hug and told him how grateful I was that he found the holes! Who knows what would have happened if he would not have found them. Have you ever had anything like this happen to you??? Think its time to go buy more bullets and start practicing shooting the shot gun! Will a hawk attack a 22 week standard chicken? Or was it after my polish since they are so much smaller? I guess it is time to go get that baby monitor I was wanting! Well, I just thought I would share my experience. Guess maybe there is a message in here to be sure to check your wire to your coops, runs, what ever you have.
  2. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Hi, reg. chicken wire will not, I repeat, not keep out coons. Most predators can bite/rip right through that thin wire. We have chicken wire ourselves, around the run but my birds will not stay in there. I feel like they at least have a fighting chance outside the run with places to hide if need be from predators from the sky. Very risky but we sure can't afford to fence in their large run with anything else right now. Yes, from what I hear..not experienced myself..is that a hawk will even take a full grown cat...not often but they can do so.
  3. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    My daughter worked for years as a vet tech and they used to have people bring in their cats after a hawk tried to carry them off. Most cats are big enough that they cant be carried off, but that wont stop a hawk from trying. The hawk would do alot of damage trying though. So sadly now the hawk knows where they are, but at least you are aware of it. That is the only predator i know i have to worry about. Good luck
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Tes, almost anything can get through chicken wire. That type of wire is really for keeping the chickens in, not anything out.
  5. ChickieDee

    ChickieDee Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    North Central PA
    A hawk took one of my RIR, back when they were free ranging. Sometimes I see them circling over my run. It doesn't have a top. So far it seems the chickens are very aware of the danger and they all run inside the barn. I lost five to predators while free ranging. Now they're in a run. So far so good.
  6. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    I had a big hawk a while back come down and sit on the fence post staring down one of my rabbits. I mean it was so focused on the rabbit it didn't see me walk up to it. I was so close I could have touched it. The rabbits were scared to death I thought they were going to have a heart attack. Good thing they were in a rabbit hutch or they would have been lunch that day.
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yeah, I had coons go though single layer chicken wire no problem. Luckily though I don't have many predator problems and most have been taken care of. *knocks on wood*

    My small coops are in chicken wire but it's the tiny 1 inch type that I found in the garage from decades ago. It is much tougher than the new stuff. Then my large coop has the thin new stuff in the standard "chicken wire" rolls with the 1 inch stuff around the base. No problems since putting the tougher stuff on. If your pests are high, go for something stronger than chicken wire like everyone says.
  8. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

    Jan 27, 2007
    Run with no natural cover = deer/bird netting over run.

    Chicken wire = raccoon exercise device (work up appetite tearing it apart).

    Maybe we need a sticky over on Coop Design subject line (like A.Eagle used to have posted over on EZ board - I think it was `chicken wire for newbies').

    Had to doctor up our neighbor's Black Spanish Tom yesterday (they have four ft. Chicken wire - bummer) fox went right over and tried to drag the poor guy out by the throat - think he was protecting his hens), I don't think he'll make it.

    Oh, never mention rifle and hawk in the same sentence (federal law some folk's sensibilities). To put it as delicately as possible: When Mr. Red Tail flies up from the roadside with a snake in its beak and connects with my windshield - I'm not going to rush down and turn myself in ...

    Welded wire/electric fencing - hardware cloth/cover (cheap alternative to heartache).
  9. countrygirl4513

    countrygirl4513 Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Portland TN
    Yes, from what I hear..not experienced myself..is that a hawk will even take a full grown cat...not often but they can do so.

    I believe that happened to my Fluffy. The cat that just up and disappeared on us. She was a roamer and I believe that it was a hawk or an owl. Our neighbor said their cats have been disappearing. And he caught site of a huge owl packing one off. So more than likely that was my Fluffy's demize.
  10. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    wow, country girl, beautiful cat and I am so sorry, I have lost three cats that were neutered and declawed here on the farm. No more declawing, they need to protect themselves and they always seem to slip outdoors when I don't see them do it.
    Ivan-good advice

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