Thanks that made for some interesting and informative reading. Twenty years ago we bought a dozen chicks and as soon as they started to feather out we thought it would nice for them to be able to come and go as they pleased from the coop. Well, we ended up with quite a few with their heads missing. I always wondered who the culprit was! We've learned alot since then. We bury fence in the ground and keep them in a nice fenced area(across the top and all around)
I like the idea of the concrete bunker. Although I would probably just make it like a foundation; couple of feet down with a foot or so wall around the exterior.
Has anyone else done something along these lines?
saanansandy, That seems to be the consensus as to what is required to keep out raccoons, weasels, hawks, dogs & cats (uncommon others). I wouldn't have poultry if we had to have as much as needed for the raccoons. I'm 10 miles out into the desert so the raccoons just don't make it out here. My sister is 8 miles closer and she see's raccoons and hears of poultry folks losing stock.
good idea! That would work well for us. The new duck pen we are building is fairly close to the pig pen(the pigs are on one side of the barn and the ducks are on the other side. We use a solar powered fence charger for the pigs so we could run insulators along the sides of the barn(near the top) and connect to the duck pen. Thanks, SJChamp!
We built our chicken pen out of dog kennel panels 5-6'x6' panels and 1-6'x6' gate panel that has a 3' gate. The pen is 24' long and about 11' wide. We built it under an old machine shed attached to the barn on the east side so one side of it is a solid wall. The coop is at the south end of the pen so the sun shines on the south wall all day to help keep it warm in the winter and they have shade all day in the summer. The roof is about 7 1/2' tall so we put chicken wire all along the top of the panels and stapled it to the 2"x6"s. The tubing at the bottom keeps any predators from getting in and we also put old rubber mats down along the bottom on the inside to keep the chickens from digging the dirt away when they're dusting themselves. I put bird netting on the outside of the chainlink fence as well to keep the Starlings and other birds out as chicken feed isn't cheap. We live in Bend, OR about 6 miles out and not only have raccoons, but porcupine, skunks and badgers. The first 3 critters don't scare me much but the 4th!!!
saanansandy, If it's possible see if you can find a company that uses conveyor belts, that's what those old mats are, they're out of the old lumber mill where my husband worked. Fairly light too. Good luck. What kind of ducks do you have?
Besides my first encounter with a predator, I've been pretty lucky. I have two "coops" or small buildings, that are totally enclosed, so is that not the norm? They have windows, and in the summer we take the windows out and there is wire on the outside. My above encounter happened when we just used chicken wire, and something broke through it in the night. I came out to two missing pullets, one dead pullet, and two injured pullets, that died later :(
So are others chickens outside all night, I mean, besides a covered roost place? I know our neighbors coop has a small door that his chickens come and go from, and it leads into a wire covered pen. He leaves that small door open all night. I close all mine in at night. They come outside during the day, of course. I'm just wondering if my set up is "oddballish" lol! I have lost a few pullets over the past few months to my #$%@% dog. He gets let out by the boys, and before I can realize it...and I do have an enclosed pen, (dog kennel panels) but it's all picked over, and just real short grass now. I like to let them roam around the yard, but it's also my fault my dog gets them, when they are outside the pen. My husband gets on me all the time; but they are just so happy free ranging.
BeautifulBrahma, I used to have a #$%@% dog. The first time he got one of my hens my husband started beating him with th poor dead bird. Unfortunately her head flew off and our daughter who was 13 at the time said "OH, WHAT CRUELTY TO A DEAD CHICKEN"! LOL!!! He was a Malamute, and from then on whenever a chicken got in the yard all I would find is a few fethers as he would kill it and have it eaten before I could even get to him!!!
Oh Gosh! I can just imagine a flying head, and your poor daughter, lol! My Dobie is the same way, I think the minute the boys and my father in law came in the house, he was probably over there catching one. He knows he's not supposed to. I hit him across the muzzle of what was left of one, and also tied him up 3 times with a dead chicken (what was left of it) tied around his neck, and let him sit there for several hours. This was something I had several other people tell me was the "cure all" Apparently not for my dog, lol! One of the 3 times, he actually ate the rest of the chicken...I always thought (when being told about this method) that it was like a "snack on a rope" it sure was!
My only option now is to just be really dilligent on when Max is outside. Like when I'm actually doing chores, and out by my chickens, or when I can watch him from the window in the house.
Yeah, everytime I mention the first chicken Czar killed Mandy always says "SHUT-UUUUP"!!! And that was 19 yrs. ago!!! We also raised some cornish cross chickens to butcher. Well, the day came to behead them and our daughter's yearling heifer was in the same pasture as the chopping block. My husband couldn't do the dasteredly deed but my dad could so my parents came out to show us how to proccess the chickens. Upon my dad beheading the first bird it started flopping around and Princess (the heifer) came over to see what all the hub-bub was with that headless bird. I thought Mandy was going to lose her stomach. She yells GROOOSSSSSSSS!!! LOL And heads for the house, we didn't see her again until it was all over. Needless to say, she never ate one bite of those chickens. I love your "snack on a rope". I'm sure it was!! Czar would have liked that! I have to edit this as I'm talking to Mandy right now and she reminded me that Princess started chasing the beheaded body everytime it got up and ran not to mention stuck her nose where the head used to be!!! She said she just had a flashback!!
Haha, Lordy! Yeah, I have several little roosters that I'm not going to need-especially the crazy little golden Hamburgs. I have a friend that said she would teach me how to butcher...I told her, that's not the point; I don't Want to learn, lol! I know it's not cost effective, but I'd just as soon find a butcher that would do it for me :) I just can't imagine actually cutting their heads off! I'm a sissy when it comes to that I guess, lol!
And then I had a different friend tell me the roosters weren't any good to eat anyway...I thought that was weird, I can't picture pullets/hens being the only birds eaten...? The friend that told me she would help, said she does it an easy, quick way, but sounds like you don't get everything-wings I suppose? She doesn't have to pluck, something about just cutting out to get the breast, legs and thighs...
I loved your story Gardner! :) I think I will be picturing that for a while, lol!
I have Khaki Campbells. I'll have to ask my DH about the conveyor belts. He might know where I could pick one up. That would be alot easier to lay down along the fence. I do have an old rubber truck mat that's just sitting in the garage but I imagine that would be a real pain to try to cut down into strips.
I just took a pic of them having their morning swim! BRRR!
Oh my gosh all your stories are so funny! Isn't funny how you never know how someone is going to react to the birds being butchered. Now my son pretty much ran to the house when I was delivering a lamb which was in trouble but when we butchered some chickens he thought that was cool. I, on the otherhand can give vaccinations, deliver kids and lambs but stay far away when the butchering happens. The first rooster that was done in, my son came running in the house, "Mom, that was awesome! He did a backflip with no head!" I stayed in the house!
oh, yeah, my 6 year old was disappointed that Dad & I had already killed the Goose before he got up and out. But beyond pulling a few cool feathers, the kids weren't too helpful with the plucking and eviscerating process. They sorta POOF! disappeared...
TamaraFaye, did you raise the goose for the dinner table? My great-grandmother used to raise and cook a goose each year for Christmas but that was before I was born. No-one else in the family knows how to properly cook a goose.
Yeah, Mandy doesn't even want to have anything to do with farming now! She showed cattle in 4-H and FFA. Her first year in FFA she took 7 head (cow/calf pair, 2 yrlg heifers, 2 yrlg bulls and a market steer) to the Fair. What a trailer load!!! That was largest number of cattle taken to the Fair and the first time from Bend in years. That was in 1992. Redmond FFA always had cattle but Bend was always more into chickens, pigs and sheep. Redmond is more agricultural than Bend now. She now has 2 daughters and 1 son and 3 cats. She lives in town in Vancouver, WA and she loves living in town! She says she's had enough of farm life. She enjoys the animals as long as she doesn't have to do anything. What a city slicker! I give her a bad time about it all the time.
well, we got the geese to discourage some neighbors dogs, can't say if it helped, but i understood you need to eat them the first year. we had duck recently so it made sense to have goose for Turkey day LOL.
i used my heritage cookbook, it was splendid with a potato stuffing!
but oh, my aching hands. if dh doesn't make me a plucker, then i will only do one goose a year. had to cull the biggest one [most feathers] LOL
gardner, isn't it funny how we either resemble or rebuke our raisin'???