I’m locking the chickens and geese up tight every night. Nothing new in that department, but not for lack of trying.
We have a live trap.
Meanwhile, of course, most of our chickens actually roost out at night, many of them on the goat pen gates.
Others roost on hay stacks and other areas all around the goat yard. I’ve always been of the belief that the presence of the larger animals is protective. The dogs are also on duty in this area. We’ve had very little trouble with our free-roosting chickens. Ironically, it’s our chicken house that is more dangerous! (Yes, I have thought about moving the geese to the goat yard! And I might…..)
Granny Trace says:
Ugh…A fox was my enemy last year..No problems this year yet. Knocking wood.
On June 28, 2011 at 6:18 am
Liz Pike says:
If the live trap doesn’t work and you continue losing chickens, might want to consider contacting trappers in your area to come set traps on your farm. We had to resort to that when we lost 25 of our 300 pastured poultry in chicken tractors and day rangers. It cut our losses down to 0, but unfortunately also trapped one of our cats who ended up having to have the caught leg amputated. So if you go the trapper route, keep the domestic critters close or indoors.
On June 28, 2011 at 8:50 am
My sister was just telling me a story about a friend who has chickens, sheep and a Great Pyrenees (sp). She used to show the sheep but only keeps a few now to keep the Great Pyr happy. One day, she heard a squawking and commotion in her yard, headed out with the shotgun and by the time she got out there, her dog had everybody… sheep, chickens, small children, herded into her barn for safe keeping. There was a fox slinking off in the distance. In the daytime; that can’t be good, can it?
On June 28, 2011 at 9:11 am
We’ve been getting foxes around our property (interested, of course, in our ‘roos and ducks) during the daytime (at least during any season that’s not winter) for at least a year now. I don’t know if it’s an issue with food supply – the nearest large city keeps expanding its suburbs, pushing nearby predators out our way – or if, at the moment, it’s because the foxes have young to feed. All I know is it’s putting a major crimp in our ability to free-range our birds! 😕 Fencing is definitely needed, but we just don’t have the funds right now.
On June 28, 2011 at 9:25 am
Miss Judy says:
Weasels are the culprit at my son’s place this year…last year eagle. I guess even animals love a good chicken dinner!
On June 28, 2011 at 10:13 am
Putting the geese in the goat yard is a good idea. We had our chicken house in the barn where the goats had free rein. When I took my nanny out for a week to have her bred, we had pure slaughter. After that, we always made sure to have at least one goat in the barn at all times. Our chickens had a 1/4 acre to roam in during the day with high grass to protect them from chicken hawks. They shared this with the goats, and went back in their house at night. After battling with racoons who would lure the chickens to the fence and then rip their heads off, we decided this method was safer!
On June 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm
We just had a major coyote strike a couple weeks ago. Got 4 of our 15 chickens in the middle of the afternoon. I saw the coyote at the end of the driveway with a chicken in it’s mouth. I went tearing after it like a mad woman. I really don’t reccomend you try this at home… I have no idea what I would have done if it didn’t run… but it did, and dropped the (dead) chicken. So we locked the girls up. Then about a week later I saw a crow flying off with an egg. hm. That solves the question of why they are producing so little. So we reworked the fencing/covering to close up any big holes. Then we caught blue jays coming out of the coop – went straight thru the chicken wire. hm. That solves the mystery of the plethora of broken eggs we’ve been getting. We are in the process of bird netting the whole run. If this doesn’t work I think they will have to move into the spare bedroom (lol – sorta) The wildlife seems to really have it in for us this year!!!!
On June 30, 2011 at 10:50 am