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Old 10-16-2019, 08:21 PM
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Predator problem

Anytime you have free range chickens in the Midwest you are bound to have predator problems. I have a couple big hawks around that have gotten a couple of my chickens. Raccoons have hit my chickens hard in recent years. An owl got one of my chickens last year and today a fox made a bold attempt. I was under my son's Jeep putting on some new shocks when I heard my chickens going nuts. I know what hey sound like when hawk is near and this was not it. I know what they sound like when a hen is sitting in another hen's box and that was not it. I walked around the side of the house to investigate and sure enough a fox was running right at me. When it realized I was there it hit the breaks, turned around the took off. I wish I would have had my shotgun on me. I noticed on my game camera the other day that the fox was showing up during the day frequently. I have a couple of cool bantams that like to wander off into the woods. They are not going to live long with that fox around.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:26 AM
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damn, I do not know the laws in MO about killing preds. Coyotes are pretty much the biggest prob here. Red tail hawks can be problematic I assume that is what y'all have?

Free range=free lunch to a carnivore.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:48 AM
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damn, I do not know the laws in MO about killing preds. Coyotes are pretty much the biggest prob here. Red tail hawks can be problematic I assume that is what y'all have?

Free range=free lunch to a carnivore.
Birds of prey are completely off limits due to federal law. Pretty much all the other predators can be legally hunted from November 15 to 31 January. Coyotes can be hunted all year long. If I catch a predator, except birds of prey, in the act of chasing or killing my chickens I can kill them, but other than that they can only be trapped or killed in season.
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:02 PM
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The raptors are always tough, they have such an advantage and once they spot the flock they will keep coming back. have you thought about snares in the trees for the raccoons, no damage to you chicks then... The fox, they are crafty lil stinkers. We have one that plays with Lexi... stays just out in front of her, knows she's a big ambling #80 watched it looking over its shoulder gauging her speed then just toy with her... was actually pretty fun to watch.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:07 PM
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A post hole set will get they fox. Just put a couple chicken feathers at the top of the hole and bank the back of it. There are plenty of videos on youtube. He will be back. I would just put it by the coop. What are your dogs doing while this fox and coons are raiding the place? You will have to kennel your dogs with a post hole set or they will get in it too.

Most states allow you to protect your livestock if you catch a mammal in the act of pursuit.

Hawks and owls can be deterred too. That requires a PM
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
A post hole set will get they fox. Just put a couple chicken feathers at the top of the hole and bank the back of it. There are plenty of videos on youtube. He will be back. I would just put it by the coop. What are your dogs doing while this fox and coons are raiding the place? You will have to kennel your dogs with a post hole set or they will get in it too.

Most states allow you to protect your livestock if you catch a mammal in the act of pursuit.

Hawks and owls can be deterred too. That requires a PM
I put many different sets out during trapping season. I catch everything except fox and bobcat. I actually have three different red fox and one gray fox that I seen on camera. Luckily only one has tried to get my chickens, the youngest one. I have not seen any signs of bobcats around my house. My buddy lives a few miles up the road and he looses about a dozen chickens a year to bobcats.

I did not have to worry about predators for about a year. The goats kept them at bay. Not that the goats would have done anything if a fox or raccoon would have came in to kill my chickens, but their presence kept everything away. I sold the goats and the predators are creeping back in. My dog is pretty much useless unless he is outside when they come around. If he hears something outside he comes to get me, but he generally will not go out the dog door to check on things unless he hears another dog then it is on. He just wakes me up when he hears something, so I sneak out the side of the house with a suppressed .300 BO.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by A1food4u View Post
The raptors are always tough, they have such an advantage and once they spot the flock they will keep coming back. have you thought about snares in the trees for the raccoons, no damage to you chicks then... The fox, they are crafty lil stinkers. We have one that plays with Lexi... stays just out in front of her, knows she's a big ambling #80 watched it looking over its shoulder gauging her speed then just toy with her... was actually pretty fun to watch.
The problem with hawks is if they want your chicken they are going to get your chicken. They will sit for hours watching and waiting for the perfect opportunity. Of course a couple of my bantams will make it easy for them. They will perch on top of a fence post giving a hawk a chance to pick them off clean. I have a large red tail hawk that doesn't give a rats ass if I am in the yard or not. He will sit in the tree and wait me out. He even dove at one of my chickens while I was out there. He aborted when I waved my arms, but only when he was about 15-20 feet away.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:12 PM
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I will give you guys the fool proof answer for keeping hawks away from your chickens. The process is not easy, but once you pull it off you can forget about hawks for the rest of the time that your new "guard dogs" are in place.

Get yourself a trio of hatchling geese. I like buffs, but embdens are good too. Put them with your broodiest hen and coop them up together for a few days. If you can get her to bond to these little guys all of your worries are over if they make it to adulthood.

They will live with the chickens and travel with the chickens. They will pretty much be big chickens minus their dietary behavior.

A hawk is a relatively small bird on the ground. He will come down and f*ck up a chicken, but he knows better than to come down on geese. He's just not going to do it. This won't help you with fox or coons or yotes, but it will solve your hawk problem.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:39 PM
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Never thought about putting geese out there. I am sure that would help. The only issue is my chickens are free range. They are only put up at night. At any given time they may be spread out over an acre or so. The damn chickens are so clickish they will not stay together. They break up into four groups. I do have one large Rhode Island Red Rooster who stands a little over 20 inches tall. I have never lost a chicken to a hawk in the group that sticks with him. I did have a beautiful Rainbow Rooster that was huge. Probably 4-6 inches larger than the Rhode Island, but I had to kill him. He attacked everyone who got within 10 feet of him. I may get some more larger roosters.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:53 PM
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Plus, geese are pretty tasty. You can eat the offspring yourself, or you can sell them...give away goose dinners...whatever you want to do. Just make sure that you pull the eggs from the nest and incubate them or destroy them. If the geese start raising babies they will get the idea that they are geese and not chickens.
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