Poultry in Urbania

A group all about how to keep poultry including chickens, bantams,geese and ducks. Help with problems or questions and to brag about your special feathered friends.

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Picky Chickies! Introducing new foods to growing birds... 1 Reply

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Comment by Kate on September 9, 2012 at 7:51pm

what a good idea about contacting DOC for some traps. I will do that Kali. Earl now that you mention the stoat on your place getting the rabbits - I noticed that the rabbits had disappeared. Now they are  gone I guess that stoat is hungry. AHhhh

Comment by Hannah Sperber on September 9, 2012 at 5:31pm

Kate I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. How sad to lose your leading hen. Wondering if anyone can help me with a lesser but nevertheless annoying problem...we can't stop ducks getting into our backyard and eating all our chicken feed. This morning I counted 21 ducklings frolicking in our chicken water. We have a chooketeria, which the ducks have no problem turning into their own family banquet. We've tried water pistols -- water off a duck's back. Can anyone help?

Comment by Kali on September 9, 2012 at 4:20pm

we have had stoat trouble, our cat dealt to it, but not until it had killed off some chicks. I suggest contacting your local DOC office and arranging to borrow a stoat trap.

Comment by Earl Mardle on September 9, 2012 at 3:31pm

I worry about the stoat that lives in our bottom paddock, currently preying on the rabbits. But if it ever comes up the hill, I worry that it will get into the run. Nevertheless, while they are free range during the day they get locked in at dusk. Take no chances.

Comment by Kate on September 9, 2012 at 3:17pm

Last night I awoke to my chickens screaming. Knowing it was something attaching them I ran yelling into their coup. They all came rushing at me to be picked up except one. The Bossy One, who I had secretly resented for her bossy ways, had lost her life protecting the others. A nasty hateful stout had got her from the size and position of the bite to the back of her head.  After locking my arm load of shaking chickens into a totally secure, preditor proof pen, I popped my brave Bossy One into a container so the nasty stout couldnt get at her again. This morning I buried Bossy One into a new garden patch, and gun stapled chicken wire throughout the floor of the chicken house. Now I face a terrible dilemma. Nasty stout is still out there, and stouts are not always nocturnal. My chicken forage paddocks are not safe for my girls but I cant leave them locked up!!!!

Comment by Chris Hamilton on September 4, 2012 at 2:21pm

Hi Kelly, that's so sad! We've lost chooks (kids pets too) to dogs as well. Another approach besides fortification is ensuring there's somewhere in their enclosure where they can roost out of reach from dogs, e.g. a tree. Keeping away from predators is the reason chickens naturally seek out the highest roost they can get to. The trouble with an enclosure where they can't get up high is that if a dog gets in, they're trapped. It's unlikely that the dog or 2 dogs would have eaten four chooks without a trace or carried them off, so perhaps you could comfort yourselves with the thought that they've found somewhere else to live. best wishes

Comment by Rudi Brown on September 4, 2012 at 10:33am

so sorry to hear Kelly, I noticed a dog from our nearby park had got into our property and started having a go at our coup, we saw the dog being carried away by its owner.. as a kid dogs got my guinea pig a couple of times, they ripped through the chicken wire on the cage. I wonder if when the wire is taught they can break through, but are less capable of getting through a fence??  :/

Comment by Kelly Hobbs on September 4, 2012 at 9:55am

Thank you for the kind responses. I've had a good look around for them but the attack happened at night so I don't think they had a chance of escaping. I think I need to invest in a proper gate to start with. Currently the gate is a piece of trellis which is where the dog got in. Now to begin the fortifications...

Comment by Hanna on September 3, 2012 at 7:42pm

Hi Kelly, that's awful. I too have had some dog trouble with my two chooks in our urban backyard. Dogs are really attracted to them, they can probably smell them from quite a distance. My chickens are now in a run with 1.5m high fencing, which is mainly to keep them out of my vegetables, but I thought would also be safe from dogs, especially since it's quite a narrow strip, so would be awkward to jump into. I still had an attack on them that left one chicken injured, though fortunately not badly and the other missing. I saw a dog in our driveway at the time, so think that that's probably the culprit, but we also get a big black stray cat in the garden sometimes that does stalk the chickens, so I wonder... I have made sure that both entrances into the garden have gates (although one of the 'gates' is still an old compost bin lid) and have covered the chicken run with bird netting, with the idea that it might keep a cat out and at least slow down a dog. It also stops the chickens, since they othewise can get out, if they really put their minds to it. The good news is, that my missing chicken turned up unharmed after a couple of days in a garden two houses away from us, so maybe there's still hope? They may be a bit lost if they left in a panic.

My fence is quite sturdy, I think. I put in some proper fence posts and nailed chicken wire to it. Fortunately I could also use some existing fencing. It was a bit of work, but not too expensive as far as I remember.

Comment by Roxy Hart on September 3, 2012 at 4:56pm

Oh Kelly! How horrible for you. My heart goes out to you and your whanau  x.x.x Sorry i dont have any advise for you i just wanted to express my heartfelt.


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