Thursday, December 26, 2019

Chicken Update

After we moved to our new house, I posted this about our new chicken coop and pen:

All was well at first.  But after a while, chickens started disappearing.  We would let them out to free-range in the morning, but when we went out to shut them up in the coop that evening one would be missing.  After losing a couple of chickens, we quit letting them out of the pen.  They were NOT happy about this and would try to get out every time we opened the gate to the pen.  The pen was built with 6 foot dog fence panels and, since we always shut them up in the coop, we thought they would be safe.  After all, most critters that prey on chickens are nocturnal (or so we thought).  

One day we came home from a 4 hour trip to Oklahoma City to find 4 dead chickens in the pen and another one missing.  Whatever killed them got over the 6 foot fence in broad daylight.  This left us with only 2 chickens.  After reviewing our wildlife camera, the mystery was solved.  There was a picture of a bobcat that was taken during the day.  Obviously, we had to put wire over the top of the pen.  

This spring we basically had to start our flock over from scratch and decided on 2 breeds of chickens, Australorp and Americauna. We got six of each.  Here's a picture of them for comparison.

Australorps are solid black and lay brown eggs.  Americaunas are tan/gold/black colored and lay bluish, greenish eggs.  

Americaunas are interesting chickens because they have "whiskers".

We have begun letting them out for part of the day, usually in the afternoon.  So far, we've not lost any.  Hopefully, the bobcat has moved on.