Thursday, August 25, 2011

Predators Again!

I'm so frustrated and saddened this summer with the loss of so many of my chickens. I've lost more than half of my hens even with a chain link pen with chicken netting over the top.

Something is getting into the pen AGAIN and I've lost another 6 hens in 2 days.

I guess I'm going to have to get another live trap. One would think 1 should be enough. I'm having trouble knowing where to put it to do the best job. When I bring it up near the house to trap from around the cat food and over to the compost pile, I have losses at the barn. When it sits at the barn I'm seeing varmits or signs of them up near the house. They do seem to be in good health with all the cat food, table scraps thrown on the compost pile, unhatched eggs from the incubators, etc. We seem to have an abundance of chicken and cat food eaters.

I HATE dispatching them and it's illegal to relocate. Rabies is an issue but not as bad as some areas. Plus, a coon can supposedly find it's way back to it's home territory from 25 miles away! That is one mightly long trip for an animal that size. But then cougars/mountain lions usually have a territory of about 50+ square miles around here and up to about 250 SM out west.

I just HATE having to go into my chicken/buck pen and find my pretty hens dead. I hate dispatching predators, but in the country, there's going to be loss of a life. So I have a choice to make that I don't like having to make at all. But I choose to keep my hens alive. It's one of the negative homestead tasks. So the choice is mine and it's part of farm life and livestock in general.

And so is the loss of my best light Brahma hen who was so calm and friendly, not to mention all the others. And why don't predators seem to get the egg eaters instead of the hens who come to see me and let me pick them up to check them over?

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