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#71125 - 12/22/07 08:36 PM Re: Hawk Predator
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
so very sorry; it is an awful feeling to lose birds to predators; I wake up at night sometimes and think I hear something-- run outside only to find peace & quiet. . . bad dreams, I guess.

I live in the city so we don't have as many predators that actually live here or they are just passing through anyway; what I have lost birds to are pit bulls-- nothing can stop these dogs except a bullet, they can chew through metal and break down any structure if given enough time, they can also climb. The pit bulls are just an epidemic here. You'd think it was the ONLY breed of dog available (and eventually they always get loose). They usually travel in a pack too (and sometimes at random, they stroll through the neighborhood-- I have to be lucky and be home!). The neighbor behind me and very close to my run keeps three on thick chains, never walked, grew up on those chains -- when they get loose, I'm going to have a lot of trouble. January 1, though, my city has passed a new vicious dog law that is really tough because last year, we had two really bad attacks on people by the pit bulls.

wyattdogster, I haven't heard a bobcat in a long time; however, someone outside my town, but close enough, lost some birds to a bear recently which I didn't know lived here in this part of Alabama.

CHRIS

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#71126 - 12/23/07 05:54 PM Re: Hawk Predator
Wyattdogster Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 493
Loc: Virginia
Legend has it that there is a bobcat living on the 400 acres of woods and fields behind my property. I was skeptical for years and dismissed what I had heard about it. NOT anymore!

A neighbor lost a huge goose and there was chaos in her coops and by her pond one night about a year ago. She says she saw what looked like a huge cat running off. I didn't believe her, figured it was a fox. I lost a very large hen a few months ago, around dusk I believe, big mess of feathers and chunks of skin with most of the tail feathers on the ground with a trail into the woods, figured it was a fox. I have seen mysterious poop outside of my fenced pen, looked it up, fit the picture of bobcat scat. Still I dismissed it! The rare weird yowling I have heard occasionally must have been some dog. :rolleyes:

Well...we had our fist snow about a month ago and I was lucky enough not to have to rush off to work that morning. I walked the property looking at all the different animal tracks that visited during the night. Fox, skunk, cats, the usual suspects. My dog was with me and he was going nuts scenting stuff. I investigated and there was that poop again and very large, roundish paw prints. Not quite as large as the palm of my hand, but close! They were all around the back door to my barn and I tracked them back into the woods. I came in and looked at some tracking sites on the web and I was pretty certain they matched the bobcat prints, and the poop too! When hubby got home that evening he went out with me to see them, he was pretty convinced as well. The next day I got a call from another neighbor that has goats and geese. She told me her hubby saw a "huge" cat in the ditch the evening before on his way in from work. It ran off down a very long driveway that leads back into the woods. He followed along slowly in his car as the cat ran toward the trees and got a good look. He was certain it was a bobcat, described it and said it looked kind of spotted and had weird ears. I went back to the tracking site...yup, the bobcat has spots!!

I now believe that there IS a bobcat. Now, about that bear that was seen about a mile from here.....

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#71127 - 12/23/07 06:39 PM Re: Hawk Predator
Anonymous
Unregistered


I saw my first bobcat in the wild this year. It bounded across the road right in front of my car not far from home during my morning commute to work I so got a really good look. Stub tail, roundish ears, tawny body, taller and much bigger than I would have guessed. My birds are safely locked up every night, as we also have coyotes, coon, oppossum, skunk, and stray dogs. The neighbor had a black bear cross his yard one day but I havent seen one yet.

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#71128 - 01/21/08 03:38 PM Re: Hawk Predator
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
Check out the following:

http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2008/01/20/finnstrom.hawk.killer.cnn

This would go for Arizona too. NOTICE: U.S. WILDLIFE

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#71129 - 01/21/08 05:39 PM Re: Hawk Predator
Anonymous
Unregistered


We have been 'fairly' lucky about predators. Once it was the resident dog and second it was a beautiful red fox. We had picked up our first batch of chicks at the farm store and raised them to a good size, in the safety of the house. All the while we were 'reinforcing' Fort Knox. lol. It had 2x4 wire around the outside, chicken wire on the inside and then a 10' chicken wire roof. We thought we had done very well, joked about it actually.

Well, the first time our 90 lb. Australian Shepherd/St.Bernard played/pounced all but one little chick to death. Not mauled, but slobbered on. We thought it to be only a playful accident, she was still very much a pup at the time. We replaced the chicks with a second batch and again raised them in the sanctity of the house.

Our 6 laying hen(3 black sex-link and 3 red) had matured into beautiful plump hens. An egg a day from each for their first season! About 16 months later I started allowing the hens out to forage a few hours before darks. I reasoned it safe, 2-3 hours of scattering our horse poop and then going back to their home at night to be secured behind a closed door. This worked great! Well, the man of the house, like their poop-scattering skills and would let them roam and not shut the door after dark. I have never seen a fox in the area, one years ago down the road while riding my horse.

Well, one morning my love called me and asked if I wanted to see a red fox. I realized it was dead and was a little bit upset. I admire the beauty of a red fox and the many a fable about them. I drove to my boyfriend's house to find beautiful Reynald(lol, I love Aesop's fables) laying in the carport. Black feath still clenched in his teeth and our broodiest hen laying headless beside him. I took it in stride for the moment, sad for both the fox and the hen. We waited for out spooked flock to return home, only TWO hens came home. I was amazed, 5 hens in the course of ONE night!! Our 3 red sex-link and 1 black were taken by (a pair, I think) of red fox.

My boyfriend shot the fox that morning as he was running off with his 5th hen for the night. I skinned it and saved the fur. Now, we're in the process of rebuilding our flock. Predation happens, especially when domestic animals are allowed to roam in opportunistic predator's domain. I don't blaim an animal for taking a chicken, it's easy food(Who doesn't like easy food!?!).

I look at it as acceptable to shoot animals preying on your animals, but only if the evidence it stacked against them. In this case the Old Reynald was caught hen-in-mouth, what further evidence do you need? We don't shoot animals on-site, I don't believe in that. I liked the philosophy of the theives among animals. I look at is as by eliminating the one(or half a couple, lol) that was caught in the act, we may have saved a few generations. Mammals especially learn and are taught how and what to hunt. This fox either learned from his parents and learned himself how to eat chicken. By killing him we may have stopped some of the many offspring he would have taught where our coop is.

That is our experience and method of removing predators. We keep our chickens in the coop during day and night. Sometimes given their occasional couple hours of freedom before dark. Dogs, fox, and other ground predators I would say shoot. Hawks, I have a friend who says the plastic owls work great! He laughs because it took about a week for his chickens and vultures to stop having a heart-attack about it. I would agree with the providing of cover. We were at this friends house and a hawk took his dorking rooster, but after the flocks saw it happen; the slightest shadow send them scurrying.

Good Luck,
Kim

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