Comment: Good Luck!

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Good Luck!

You have two preditors? You're lucky! My biggest predators are Coyote, Bobcat, Raccoon, Skunk, Badger, Chicken Hawks and 'got-loose' farm dogs. Everyone I spoke with in town about chickens had a tale to tell explaining how they were wiped out by one of the above, never to try it again. I'm not your run of the mill chicken keeper. I love all animals. I did a chicken rescue from a farmer for $2 each. The soup truck was coming for them that evening. Those three are now 6 yrs old. My chickens will live far into old age while I starve to death. All my hens are named, love to be held, petted and I talk baby talk to them. Bake what I call chicken bread, a treat for them. At times have sang Some Where Over The Rainbow to them when they roost to put them to sleep. They acted as if they liked it. Judy Garland I'm not. The door was closed so guess you could say it was a captive audience.
After THINKING I had a Fort Knox coop, found I didn't. Lost 12 of the 24 hens before finally getting the Badger who had defied all odds and got in. Needless to say, my coop IS Fort Knox now. Thanks to The Granger telling me about hardware cloth on the floor. Make sure you aren't depending on flimsy chicken wire. It may keep the chicks in but not the predators...out! That takes care of the nights. After laying their eggs in the morning, let them come and go at about One in afternoon to free range. In life, tend to believe more in the quality of life, not quantity. Freedom is worth a little danger. The goats protect them during the day. They leave their protection to come to the front of the house outside the gate to visit often. If working in my flower beds, they fly up on top of a flower wagon out in the front yard comically standing all in a row with their little necks stretched so they can see over the fence and watch me as I work. Or come up to the wooden fence with their head pressed sideways against the spaces in the wood to see. If I have time, will go out and ask if any have a low lovin' level then pick up those in turn who answer the call to be petted. Guess they know none of the above varmits would come around the house or me in daylight. They think of me as a very brave person. They've seen me in action. Little do they know that running zigzag hot on the heels of a coyote to catch it by the tail when it was chasing a zigzagging pet hen, or trying to pet [what I later found out to be] a Bobcat in the run at dusk wasn't bravery, but stupidity. Funny, but stupid.! [It was during the time I was giving it verbal sympathy for the dastardly act of the person who obviously had cut off the tail of this pretty and unusual cat that it dawned on me as my mind took on the function of a Thesaurus... Cut?. .hut OH.... Bobbed!]

You'll love having chickens but as Jb.kibs said, if you intend to eat them, watch out, they can tear at your heart strings. Being a city/suburbs gal, think chickens flying or scampering out of the way when a car comes up the drive is fantastic Farm Ambiance. It's a choreographed feathered flash dance and the rooster's crow, is morning music. I'm enjoying life on a farm, striving to be the person my chickens think I am.
Enjoy your feathered friends!

Deekey