Almost everything seems to love a good chicken dinner.
I’m a Chicken Hawk and you’re a chicken!
Most of my ‘chicken time’ I’m working on protecting my hens. I mean, I wake up thinking about them. Are they OK? Did they make it through the night? What new situation or predator do I have to contend with today????
A lengthy conversation with my husband about moving the door to the chicken yard into a new place, blew up into a weeks worth of investigating door construction, wire purchases, and door locking systems… Good God. What Have I Done? Sigh…
Oh wait! Let me tell you how damn long it took me to make him understand how important it was to have a secure, non-saggy door for a chicken yard. He never did understand this, until we lost a hen or five to predators. The saggy door, which he thought was sufficient to keep in hens, was not a deterrent for dogs, coons, opossum, owls or hawks.
Here we are, finally 7 years down the road from Day One, of building the chicken yard and coop. He gets it. He finally gets it. I don’t care how much investigating we have to do. I’m just thankful he is finally understanding, that you MUST have a very secure doorway to a chicken yard. You must have good strong wire. Nothing flimsy is going to work. Mainly, because it seems most things like to eat chicken… I won’t even get into the fact that most things can dig under any door, no matter how sturdy. I sunk blocks in a trench under the door. Not noticeable, but present!
This is my old door. A hazard to any chicken alive living inside. It’s not a good shot, but the end of the door is where they chain-link ends up top. It needed to have had a frame fitted with no gaps. OK, so that did not happen. Rookie chicken raising mistake…
Every neighborhood Raccoon and Opossum found a way inside. Please don’t lecture me about how Opossum do not eat chicken. They do. I’ve saved three of my hens this last month alone. When they can’t scrounge up food, they eat whatever they can grab. That includes a hen that might not be on her A-Game. Maybe she’s older and does not run as fast. Hens do not see well at night. They really don’t know all of what’s going on around them. By the time they have been grabbed it’s too late.
Here is the lovely framework for the new door to slip into, once the cement holding in the posts is cured. Psst… Yes, I said cement. I think, he is tired of losing hens to animals also. He has to bury them. I cry.. Yeah, none of that sounds fun.
You will be getting updates on the saga of The Chicken Yard Door.
Here’s a picture of Maggie. Just because. She’s a lovely, noisy Black Australorp hen.
The Chicken Mom
It sounds like your post-hurricane rebuilding is going well! I’m so pleased you’re getting extra security! It’s a wonder you get any sleep at all, wondering what could be after them. You’re a good chicken mom!
Hi K! Oh man… Snail’s Pace. Hopefully the door will be hung tomorrow, and we can get onto another part of that project. – Honestly, I sleep on and off. I get up and walk around at weird hours of the day. I know pretty much what goes on at 3:AM. Thanks for the visit to the page! 🙂
You’re so right! I’ve been able to catch an opposum up on the perch hiding amidst the semi-conscious ladies at night. All of my protective “mom” instincts kicked in and my son and I dispatched that hungry little possum. Normally, we catch them in a live trap and release them far away from us but once they’ve had their teeth in one of my girls, all bets are off.
Patti! Hi lovely! Same here with that… Normally we trap and release, but lately they have seemed so much more persistent and not easily discouraged. I have buried dead half eaten hens which demise came through Opossums. He went in the same hole… Hey, on that note, do you think their may be regional differences in food preferences in our local possums? ? Perhaps they have adapted to some quirk in our specific area? Just thinking out-loud. Thanks for the visit! 🙂
Last week’s blood curdling sqwak in the night was enough to remind me that despite popular opinion, Opossums do indeed eat chickens. I’m so glad the hen in question was okay!! -cheers- New Door!! Yay!!
Maggie ❤️ she is so beautiful.
Maggie is lovely… She’s aged very nicely, and has even gotten sweeter! Yes, Opossums do eat Chickens. Unfortunately so…