Trees protect chickens from predators

Chick running awayI was watching our Light Sussex
chicks forage in the garden when…out of the blue…a hawk swooped
down on top of them.  Chicks scattered everywhere, I screamed in
anguish, our scaredy cat ran for cover — quite the excitement for our
quiet little farm.  I think the combo was just too much for the
Sharp-shinned (or was it a Cooper’s?) Hawk because he missed his prey
and flew on down the powerline cut and out of sight.

Except for losing
chicks to rats
we’ve never had any trouble with predators on our farm.  I’ve
always given credit to our
, who patrols the
perimeter day and night, but I think I should also consider the fact
have more
going for them than whatever food the trees produce.  Those trees
shield our flock from avian predators.  Our open garden is much
more like a traditional pasture, with no cover for the chicks to hide
in and no canopy to shield our tasty morsels from birds of prey soaring
overhead.  Small wonder that our near miss occurred when the
chicks got bold enough to try out this open habitat.

I wrote previously that chickens
are much more likely to go out on pasture if trees and bushes are
, and I can’t
say I blame them.  I wonder if the reason
laying flock refused to forage in the oat and pea pasture
was because it was suddenly
a wide open expanse with no tall weeds to protect them?  Yet
another data point to add to the mix as I design the optimal chicken

Our chicken waterer is an essential ingredient,
providing happy chickens with clean water.

Latest Comments

  1. Athena October 28, 2011
  2. anna October 29, 2011

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