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Discussion Starter #1
well. we've got a new chicken house. it's secure when we put the birds up at night. during the day we prop open a dog door in the door to let the birds go in and out as they like.

I ran a falcon out of it a few weeks ago that had gone in through the dog door before it got any. then, we saw a couple circling above it last week.

they are bantam birds and they were self separated into two flocks when they were foraging. I've lost almost half of them now in the last month. I don't think it's our dogs or that half have left to go out on their own. no bodies anywhere. I think the falcons are carrying them off during the day.

any tips from anyone for how to deter this?
 

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I had a Cooper's hawk snagging pigeons right outside their coop. Only thing you can do is a tight lock down. Set up a small pen of chain link or other similar or smaller sized fencing and cover the top with bird netting.
 

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Milk Maid
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It definitely sounds like something is carrying them off since there are no bodies. We used to have a duck killing dog and he killed an entire hatch of ducks and left the bodies strewn around the yard. He soon found a new home with people who live in the city.

We're lucky to have a bird (not chicken) chasing dog. He is always running off bigger birds that fly over our farm. I watched him grab a crow out of the air mid-flight when it flew too low and turkey vultures and hawks drive him crazy. Of course, even dogs sleep sometimes...
 

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We occasionally get an eagle that thinks our property is a drive through happy meal of free-range chickens.

When that happens, you need to cage them up for a couple weeks to remove the supply of free chicken nuggets for those predators.

I have these 6 x 10 foot fence panels that I bolted together to make a large cage for our birds. They can be outside without actually being in any danger.

Eventually, the predator finds another source.

Letting a dog run around works good too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
our burn barrel is out back behind this building. I was wondering if bringing it around front, by the door might be some kind of deterrent. anyone know?
 

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Short of a cover run, or a good dog. Set things up so they can run under it for protection and get a rooster. SSS the problem and forget it. Sorry not much else can be done.
 

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Grass Farmer
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Not likely that a falcon is killing them if as you say there are no bodies. Falcon and hawks eat the prey they catch on the ground where they kill it. Unless it is the size of a mouse or chipmunk.
 

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Not likely that a falcon is killing them if as you say there are no bodies. Falcon and hawks eat the prey they catch on the ground where they kill it. Unless it is the size of a mouse or chipmunk.
This is correct. When you posted you said you did not think a dog was doing it. Dogs can carry and bury. A two pound banty is too much for a falcon to fly away with. Could your falcon be a red tailed hawk? He could carry one off. But my guess is dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
we've got hawks here too. I haven't seen the birds getting taken. but, these are bantams that are about 6 weeks old, so they're still awfully tiny.
 

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Not always true about hawks eating them where they catch them. The Coopers I had was carrying birds off. Of course it was nesting season then but it was carrying pigeons off. I saw it a few times. Bigger hawks can carry off larger prey.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
well for pete's sake! let the birds out this morning and there were either 31 or 33. which means I've lost less than 5, not half of them. still means that a few are unaccounted for though.

so that's good news. everything's been stirred up since they cut the corn fields all around us a few weeks ago, so I've been on alert for all our animals staying safe from all the wildlife.
 

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12 ga works wonders. if it were dogs they tend to kill them and run to the next kill it too so you usually lose several at a time. coyotes will pack them off same for fox and ***** but usually there are feathers where they dispatched the bird. only thing i ever have carry off a bird were other birds as my place is well fenced and critters that make it past the fence end up with lead poisoning.
 
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