Urban Chickens Fall Victim to Predators Too

amy elizabeth | Bobcat Kills Hen at TBN Ranch

This past year has been our worst ever for predator attacks. For twelve years, not a one, now, in 2016 we’ve had five. Three were by coyotes, one by a hawk, and yesterday, a bobcat. When the first attacks happened in February, we predator proofed all our coops better over a few months.

2016 Hatch 500 42816

We are finally done and everybody is safe. Then, yesterday I thought it would be nice to let the flock out for 20 minutes while I cleaned the coop.
They stayed close, no more than 20 feet away from where I was working. Sounds safe enough right? NO. Hard to even believe this, but, a bobcat jumped up from behind our 7ft block wall and snatched Peaches, my best mamma Silkie hen and took off with her. Seriously, what are the chances of that happening? I’m devastated. 

So much for trying to be kind to my girls with a little free roam time. I never in a million years thought a bobcat or any other predator would attack with me out there, I was dead wrong. And… if you think because you’re in the city your chickens are safe, they’re not. Our little farm is located in the middle of the city, with mega traffic and high density housing all around us. There is however, 700 acres of state leased mountain range right behind our property. Nevertheless, you’d think a busy neighborhood with a maze of block wall fencing would keep predators within their natural boundaries, or at least somewhat discourage them. Wrong, trust me, there are no boundaries.

Although I’m embarrassed to admit I allowed my flock to fall victim to a predator when I should have known better, I’m warning you now to never assume your birds are safe. Beware, chickens are NOT safe unless they are in a predator safe enclosure at all times…  even in the city, and even if you’re right with them.

Below are pics of the predators spotted on our urban farm in the last year. A dangerous mix that most people probably assume are unlikely to be within the city limits.  Guess what… wherever you live, they’re prowling in your backyard as well. Keep your chickens protected, and remember, some predators will also go after a small dog. Today we bought a large 10x10x6ft high covered dog pen so our little dogs are safe when they go outside.  All this pretty acreage, and sadly they aren’t safe to run free and enjoy it anymore.

These predators have all visited our little urban farm at one time or another in 2016.

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About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm. Raises laying hens.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Arizona Living, Chicken Managing the Flock, Chicken Yard News, Nature & Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Urban Chickens Fall Victim to Predators Too

  1. Ingrid says:

    ☹ Oh no, I’m sorry to hear and it is surprising that you have so many predators in the neighborhood. Sad that the chicks and dogs can’t roam freely.

  2. So sorry for your loss. I have five acres, rural, and had to stop letting my hens out a few years back. Neighbor’s dogs were first(they killed the whole lot of them not eating a single one) Then a hawk snatched a Rhode Island hen. Lastly, coyotes snatched one of my cats. I too miss free roaming hens scratching in the dirt for bugs. I used to have a cochin bantie that would go with me to the garden. While I weeded she took care of the bugs.

    • tbnranch says:

      OMG, losing a chicken is bad enough, but a domestic pet? How horrible! I can’t even imagine. I heard through neighborhood talk a poodle was found dead in someone’s yard. I guess they had a doggy door for their fur kid while they were at work. So sad.

  3. Littlesundog says:

    How terrible! I’m so sorry for your loss of Peaches. We too have made the decision not to allow our chickens to roam free with us around, after I spotted a coyote just outside of the deer pen.

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