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Monday, November 29, 2010

When your neighbor gets chickens

That may not be all you're getting. [Via Lelo.]

Comments (15)

Be glad you guys don't have Harris's hawks up there. Parabuteo unicinctus is smaller than the standard red-tail, but it's the only known bird of prey that hunts in flocks. They moved into the Dallas area about fifteen years ago, and there's a flock that lives in scrub just down the road from where I work. They normally go after rabbit-sized prey, but since they hunt in flocks anywhere between 4 and 12 in size, they could take down deer.

Coyotes, & eagles, & rats, O my!

Raccoons, & mice, & hawks, my O my!

You'll get them all sooner or later. We share this part of the world with them. Most of them were here already and putting either the chooks or their food out will make them eager to revisit your homestead.


Just yesterday I saw a peregrine falcon in my yard, staring at the chickens though the fence of the chicken run. Luckily they weren't out for the day yet. He sat there, and the chickens went into the coop. Then when he realized that he couldn't get any chickens, he flew up to the power line and sat for a bit. This is the second time I have seen one at my house this year. It's only a matter of time he gets a bird.

I hope that if he does get one, he gets the really old one who hardly lays, and I can replace her next spring. I tried eating the old chickens before. Really, way too much work and the meat is lacking as they are layers.

I couldn't stop laughing at this woman!

Didn't she ever watch Foghorn Leghorn as a child?

"It is the size of a small eagle" - wait until an eagle comes by!

You have all these animals and try to cohabit with nature, and you don't even know what the most common hawk in the US looks like?

I especially liked the part where she lets the goats out, as if the goats would gore the hawk - she doesn't even understand goats and she raises them


She's in Austin, TX , it appears

Up here she might get a golden eagle, then she'd know just how big an eagle is

When I lived in PDX, those huge, aggressive raccoons used to weird me out. A whole family of 'em moved in under my porch at one point, and refused to leave. I remember hurling this gallon jug of water at the big, fat Mama Coon who was blocking my front steps, some of the little ones in tow, and she just stared at me and snarled, like "That all you got ?" Not intimidated in the least.

Ever heard one of those things growl and hiss ? Not fun. Vicious.

I can only imagine what a raccoon would do to a chicken coop. They have little hands that are quite adept at grasping things...it would be pretty hard to build a coop they could not get in to.

Its called chicken wire for a reason, even when its horizontal....

Chicken wire sucks as protection. Coons can work it with their little facile paws until it fatigues and gives way. I recommend rabbit wire....welded steel wire of a much higher gauge...or construction cloth is even better, because it's 1/2" x 1/2" and prevents the raccoons from reaching in and grabbing. They'll kill, even if they can't have it.

Building against raccoons and dogs is the challenge for chicken tenders. It took me a couple of years to 'muscle up' to handle the raccoons. I lost two hens and two pullets to ringtailed invaders because I took them too lightly. Luckily, they are pretty much a nighttime problem; They are nocturnal and hens roost at night. Dogs hurtle to the top of the problem list during daytime.

Eagles and hawks aren't much of an issue for me. I have lots of overhead foliage, so it's cramped to begin with, and it provides lots of cover. The thing is, anything big enough to fly off with one of my hens wouldn't have the space to take off. I also have a very active murder of crows living nearby. They keep me, and my hens, apprised of raptor presence; I doubt that any raptor could get close to my flock without setting off all sorts of clatter and uproar. I've had a red-tailed hawk sit and watch....

I'm just glad I don't have to deal with skunks or weasels.

Oh, wait...There's City Hall.

"Building against raccoons and dogs is the challenge for chicken tenders."

MMMmmmmmmmm. Chicken tenders!

"Chicken wire sucks as protection", whatever you say my loyal bojack friend.....

Besides raccoons, skunks (I remember that episode really well-couldn't go to school for three days), birds, coyotes, rats, mice and more, add chicken lice to the equation. They were dreadful and hard to exterminate, especially when they got in the house. Our coop was over 300 ft. from the house.

These urban farmers don't understand why many decades ago farm animals were excluded from our cities.

Cabbie, when I used to live on SW 16th, my next-door neighbor asked me if I'd noticed anything strange involving cat food at my place. He'd noticed that he was going through a lot more dog and cat food than what one dog and one cat would normally eat, and he couldn't figure it out. His girlfriend solved it about three days later: she got up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water, and found the biggest raccoon she'd ever seen in the kitchen, contentedly pigging out on the dog food. (Since this was the middle of summer, they left the door to their fire escape open to take advantage of the north breeze at night, and figured that nobody and nothing was going to get in. They weren't expecting a monster raccoon climbing up the rainspout for dinner.) She popped him in the face with a broom a few times, and he gave this desultory "Do you MIND?" look before waddling out and down the fire escape.

The next evening was a bit more entertaining. Heat be damned, they closed the fire escape door that night. You've never heard such a racket as a raccoon throwing a full-bore temper tantrum outside a locked door.

Wanna know what will send a raccoon squealing? Put some habanero chilies in peanut butter and put the mess near your coop. You'll hear those sons of bitches howl when they bite into it! And they hate being laughed at! Those little punks will never bother your laying ladies after that!

Sal, I'll have to try that myself. (Not that I have chickens, but the little vermin regularly come onto my back porch as if I'm going to invite them in for dinner. Possums I don't mind, but raccoons?)

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