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Author Topic: Missing chicken  (Read 11004 times)
oliver
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« Reply #40 on: January 02, 2011, 07:12:28 AM »

In this area 20 yrs ago fox would be the first suspect, coyotes dominate now. I have lost turkeys and chickens both, they will take them in broad daylight..
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winginit
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« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2011, 09:58:34 AM »

Our chickens are acting really weird. It warmed up for a few days and we (and by "we" I mean my bf) cleaned out the coop. Now 2-3 chickens aren't going into the coop at night. We have to put them in. Three were roosting right next to the door last night and the temperature was dropping. Two of the three seem to be those lower in the pecking order.

This morning, it's 25 degrees out, usually cold enough for the chickens to stay in. We upen up a small door to give them the choice. And one came out and paraded right in front of our sliding glass door. Hmmmm.
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Acebird
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« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2011, 11:51:19 AM »



Chickens have no problem with 25 degrees as long as they can get out of the wind.  Build a simple sun room from old thrown out windows and a tin roof.  Throw some hay on the ground and they are real happy.  This will keep your coop cleaning down to a minimum.
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« Reply #43 on: January 02, 2011, 11:59:32 AM »

I would go easy on the hay. After usage, it clumps up and molds underneath making it a nightmare to clean out. I use wood shaving/saw dust from my shop and now I have people that brings me their shredded paper that I mix in with the wood shavings. Works great and is easy to clean out. Just shovel it up, throw it in my spreader and hit the field. Green streaks everywhere come spring!
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Acebird
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« Reply #44 on: January 02, 2011, 12:17:29 PM »

That's funny.  Our chickens eat the seeds and scratch it up so there is nothing left.  We just added  more.  I suppose one of these days we will have to clean it.  Maybe next year.
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« Reply #45 on: January 02, 2011, 03:37:49 PM »

After not losing a chicken for a couple weeks, lost two in the past 48 hours. Tomorrow, I'll be putting on the top net to the chicken run and access will be limited until we get something in the traps.

This time we found a pile of feathers in the next field over. Nothing but feathers, but something had a good time.



I've never lost any to raccoons or opossums, although I have caught some chubby opossums in the barn stealing eggs. Have lost a few to fishers--which do indeed kill everything they can reach and leave the bodies.

My vote is for raptor. Have seen hawks grab a chicken and fly off with it, especially if you have a dog. The hawk learns pretty quickly that if it hangs around to eat, the dog will be on top of it, so it grabs its meal and flaps away. We've also had owls go after the smaller banties.

If you don't have a farm dog, I would suggest getting one. Our Great Pyrenees is pretty much the only reason we still have chickens when all the neighbors' poultry have been et by coyotes, foxes, and free-range Labrador Retrievers.
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AllenF
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« Reply #46 on: January 02, 2011, 05:02:27 PM »

We all know what happened.             
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Acebird
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« Reply #47 on: January 02, 2011, 06:05:09 PM »

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Have seen hawks grab a chicken and fly off with it,

I suppose it is possible but a full grown chicken is a little heavy for a hawk.  Usually they will just take pieces and come back if it is still there.
I don't know the breed you are speaking of but the highest death rate for free range chickens is the family dog.
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hardwood
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« Reply #48 on: January 02, 2011, 07:46:01 PM »

Dogs have killed all of our chickens twice this year (oops, last year) and we are now chicken-less until spring...GRRRR.

Allen, I was walking home late one night when I was knocked unconscious by a large, disc-shaped object and...yes, probed!




The next day I realized I had staggered into my neighbors satellite dish! grin

Scott
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« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2011, 08:02:17 PM »

Dogs have killed all of our chickens twice this year (oops, last year) and we are now chicken-less until spring...GRRRR.

Allen, I was walking home late one night when I was knocked unconscious by a large, disc-shaped object and...yes, probed!




The next day I realized I had staggered into my neighbors satellite dish! grin

Scott

Well my question would have to be....what did the probing? Neighbors dog?  lau
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BjornBee
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« Reply #50 on: January 02, 2011, 08:14:25 PM »

Spent half the day reinforcing the chicken run that was not really used up till this time. We were just free ranging them and closing them up every night in the coop. I netted the top of the fence with a large mesh. So if it is a hawk, it will not get through. I think we will leave them inside the enclosure for a few days. It it about 12 x 40.

The sides of the fence are reinforced 2 inch hard wire. It will take a good amount to get through the fence.

Nothing caught last night in the traps.  Cry




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winginit
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« Reply #51 on: January 02, 2011, 10:33:31 PM »

One day I was home sick from work and a hawk got a chicken that was out free-ranging. I was so proud of myself for getting my butt up and removing the dead chicken so Mark didn't have to deal with it when he got home.

Well, the hawk wasn't happy. Next thing you know, he's gone into the coop after another chicken. The cat has gone in after him and the chickens are scurrying everywhere. Got the hawk out but he'd already killed another chicken.

And Mark's comment was--"You had a hawk in the coop and you let him go?!!"

It was a Sharp Shinned, a relatively small hawk. Sucker came back and sat on a branch watching me. He wanted his chicken. I almost shot him (if not for the community pool in the line of fire, he'd be one dead hawk.)
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BjornBee
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« Reply #52 on: January 03, 2011, 08:54:41 AM »

Ok....one less cat that will come around the trap again.

No...I let it go. It was ours. Just hope he learns to stay out of the trap.  grin

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Acebird
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« Reply #53 on: January 03, 2011, 09:00:38 AM »

Be careful about admitting killing birds of prey many are still protected and carry a healthy fine if caught.

You might want to throw out some corn.  It can be the cheapest GMO stuff available.  That will attract some crows and the crows will run off the hawks.  If you keep feeding the crows they will stick around.
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #54 on: January 03, 2011, 10:46:37 AM »

Ok....one less cat that will come around the trap again.

No...I let it go. It was ours. Just hope he learns to stay out of the trap.  grin



That made me laugh..If I suspect raccoons I bait the live traps with doughnuts or honeybuns. Works like a charm without attracting skunks and possums providing they arent the problem.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #55 on: January 03, 2011, 10:57:00 PM »

One day I was home sick from work and a hawk got a chicken that was out free-ranging. I was so proud of myself for getting my butt up and removing the dead chicken so Mark didn't have to deal with it when he got home.

Well, the hawk wasn't happy. Next thing you know, he's gone into the coop after another chicken. The cat has gone in after him and the chickens are scurrying everywhere. Got the hawk out but he'd already killed another chicken.

And Mark's comment was--"You had a hawk in the coop and you let him go?!!"

It was a Sharp Shinned, a relatively small hawk. Sucker came back and sat on a branch watching me. He wanted his chicken. I almost shot him (if not for the community pool in the line of fire, he'd be one dead hawk.)

I've had sharp-shin and cooper's hawks both follow the pigeons right into the loft on 3 different occasions.  If you know someone interested in falconry they would love to have the hawk and already have the permits to  keep it.  Both, though about the same size as a pigeon will take them in the air, on occasion, all you see is a large cloud of feathers and then the hawk is flying off with the pigeon.
A mated pair can decimate a flock of pigeons or chickens if their runs aren't covered.  I have hawks bounce off the netting over both the pigeons fly pen and the chicken run all the time.  Kind of funny to watch a hawk do artwheels after bouncing off the netting, just like a trampoline.
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Irwin
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« Reply #56 on: January 04, 2011, 11:28:04 AM »

Dogs have killed all of our chickens twice this year (oops, last year) and we are now chicken-less until spring...GRRRR.

Allen, I was walking home late one night when I was knocked unconscious by a large, disc-shaped object and...yes, probed!




The next day I realized I had staggered into my neighbors satellite dish! grin

Scott

Well my question would have to be....what did the probing? Neighbors dog?  lau
That was good.  jaw drop lau lau lau
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Rosalind
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« Reply #57 on: January 04, 2011, 07:31:43 PM »


I suppose it is possible but a full grown chicken is a little heavy for a hawk.  Usually they will just take pieces and come back if it is still there.
Depends on size of chicken vs. size of hawk. We have redtails in our neighborhood that will take off with bantams & Japanese, no problem.  Ask me how I know...  Cry

Quote
I don't know the breed you are speaking of but the highest death rate for free range chickens is the family dog.

Some breeds are specifically bred to be livestock guardians, and are very gentle with all livestock (including poultry) with some training. The training part is mostly teaching them to stay calm when the chickens approach them, not to be too playful, building on their innate territorial behavior. Great Pyrenees are popular, but other LGDs include Kuvasz, Akbash, Komondors, Anatolians, Maremmas. Sometimes herding type dogs can also be trained to work as LGDs, or vice versa--my Pyr will happily herd the neighbor's cattle. And dogs with little prey drive (many giant breeds) are usually fine once they get past the playful puppy stage. However, most terriers, retrievers, sight hounds or coon-type dogs will happily kill poultry when left to their own devices. Since lots of families have retrievers or terriers of some sort, yeah, the family dog can be problematic.
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Acebird
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« Reply #58 on: January 04, 2011, 07:55:46 PM »

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Some breeds are specifically bred to be livestock guardians, and are very gentle with all livestock (including poultry) with some training.

If it is a trained dog with a harness (like for instance a seeing eye dog) it will mind its buisiness.  Once that harness is off all bets are off.  Dogs are pack animals and chickens are at the bottom of the food chain.  You can't train that instinct out of dog.  If something goes after the chicken your livestock dog could join right in.  And they don't stop.  You can loose the whole flock.

We have a lot of red tails here, all the time.  They will kill a full grown chicken but it is unlikely that they will try to fly with it.  We don't have any netting.  The area is way too big but we have a lot of trees and bushes.  Hawks don't like that.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #59 on: January 04, 2011, 09:13:18 PM »

Thank you Rosalind.

I see it didn't take long for you to float down here for some chicken chat.   Wink

A dog at this point is out of the question. It was discussed. But maybe later.

If it is a hawk of some sort, it's taking some bigger chickens. We have Buff Orpingtons and they are a good size.
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