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Ok I am on my 3rd batch of chickens. If this doesnt stop I will never keep chickens again. First batch went over to the neighbors where their brothers and sisters were (free range) then the second batch was my fault made a small cage without a latch, figured the heavy planter I put on top would keep them safe. WRONG. everything got knocked over nothing left no feathers nothing. Then this time I put them in 3' by 3' cage all hardware wire 12 " tall. Not only did whatever it was kill the chickens, first it tried to dig under the cage and when that did not work pulled it away it dragged the cage 30 feet. It had no way in so must have reached in. I am guessing at this part because what I had left of the chickens was in the corners . Sorry to be so graphic just need help.
Here is what I did to keep the varmits out of my chickens. I put an electric fence up around the OUTSIDE of my chicken lot, see the attached pic. This pic was taken last winter. It is a strand of barbed wire about 10 to 12 inches off the ground. Remember to turn the power off when you turn you chickens out of their lot. I usually just turn it on at night. The fence juicer I bought is strong enough to kill a chicken.
Even so, it is a continuous battle to keep the raccons, opposums, and stray dogs out of your chickens it seems.
BackyardHens , the cage I had/have is a portable one, you are right I need a solid Coop/Pen. My dh is going to build me one before we get any more Chicks.
Crestedchik I appreciate the idea but I am afraid what it would do to the poor critters heart. Besides I guess they are just doing what comes natural to them. Even if it makes me hopping mad and sad.
Virginian, Thanks that is an awsome idea. I will be implementing it when we build the stronger Coop. I was so hoping to be able to use a chicken tractor, but I think that will not be a solid enough structure.
Thank you all your advice, and just listening to me. I sure needed to vent.
A proper tractor made with good strong beams and hardware cloth can't be pulled up by anything but a bear or a person who knows how to lift it: you have to lift one end sort of by levering it onto its wheels at one end. The Mother Earth News one is great, and no one I know who has one has lost a bird to critters. You can build it bigger, as well.