Sustainable Living Center Oregon
Backyard Chickens ……
Pastured raised chickens are the better way of having fresh eggs.
One thing that stops many people from having backyard chickens is the threat of predators.
Unfortunately, the answer is yes to all the above
All carnivorous and omnivorous creatures would be happy to find a chicken waiting to be dinner. There is a huge uptick in predator activity in the fall as the wildlife starts to get ready for a long cold winter. If you’re wondering how to protect chickens from eagles, hawks and owls, fully or partially covering the chicken run can keep the flock safe.
Shade covers installed in three out of four corners of the chicken run can help. This with the heavy tree cover seems to deter the hawks. Normally, they have never attempted to land within the chicken run.. On the other hand, they can and do land on the pasture land, and that is one of the reasons we don’t leave the chickens out to free range in the pasture when we are not supervising.
One can used chicken wire, even though it is known it would not fully protect the chickens. Raccoons are the biggest threat here on the West coast. Our next biggest threat is the coyotes and foxes. Knowing this, we build and secure our Chickens Sanctuaries with the behavior of fox and raccoons in mind. Raccoons have paws that work much like the human hand. Latches are often not a problem for them to open.
Most people will tell you that predators hunt and eat at dawn and dusk. No, that is not the only time that they will hunt. Foxes will hunt when hungry and a mamma fox with kits learning to eat is going to hunt at any time to provide food for her hungry babies. Young raccoons will also hunt out of the ordinary times.
In the fall, the young foxes and raccoons are getting ready to survive their first winter. They know they need calories and extra fat for the cold temperatures, so they are hungry. Increased vigilance, and increased security around the coops again. We set the timers later in the morning to let the chickens out. If we let them out to close to sunrise, they are a tasty meal waiting for predators who are still lurking. As the days are getting shorter, we have to get back to the barnyard earlier to make sure that the chickens are not disturbed by a predator as they fill their Roosting Cube before they go to roost.
Dogs and Cats
Dogs may be trained to leave the chickens alone, but any other dog will see chickens as something fun to play with. An untrained dog will probably also see a free meal. This is a good reason to not let your chickens free pasture range in a neighborhood setting. You really can’t foresee when a roaming dog might be visiting. Dogs can be quick to strike and you might get caught in the crossfire trying to save your chicken’s life.
Do cats attack chickens?
Cats are not much of a problem. All barn cats seem to have had a healthy fear of the chickens. The chickens are large enough to take care of scaring off a normal size cat. We have never seen a cat attack a chicken. Chicks on the other hand, are a quick moving interesting snack for a cat to chase, kill and eat.
Chicken Problems with Stationary Coops
Most people raising chickens use stationary coops that often have a “run” added. Runs usually consist of a fenced area attached to a coop that allows the birds to move about outside.
Problems with these stationary structures can include a buildup of nitrogen and odor from manure, pest infestation and the potential for diseases that could sicken the flock. With the Chicken Sanctuary are these problems are eliminated.
Day Time Chicken Play Pen
The Dome provides a large run area for the chicken to ear free range during the day and be protected.
It is made of grey plastic 1/2 “ PVC conduit. covered with UV resident vinyl chicken wire. Since it is made of plastic, it is light enough for one person to move it around, so the chickens fertilize the yard. The dome is to protect the chickens from daytime predators.
There are good logical reasons for persevering with a dome rather than a square shape. Chickens will naturally establish their pecking order – literally pecking the weaker chickens! Being a circular cage, it is difficult for the weaker chickens to be cornered, after chasing around a couple of laps, they all forget what they were doing, so the maintaining of the pecking order is not so relentless as in a cage with corners.
Roosting & Egg House
It is inserted into the sides of the Dome
A door at the end of the House is to protect the chicken from night time predators.
The Automatic Watering
No Waste Chicken Feeder
The chicken feeder made of 4 gallon PVC bucket and is attached to the Dome and is large enough that it only has to be filled once a week.
Never clean a Coop
Since the Sanctuary is moveable. When the run coop needs to be cleaned, the following needs to be done:
Put the chickens in the roosting house and close the door.
Locking up the Chickens
If predators or dogs are in your neighborhood, then at night the door of the Roosting House can be closed.
With the Advanced Chicken Sanctuary System it will be possible that you will not even have to lock the chickens up at night. A computer will do it for you.
All you have to do is gather the eggs.