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Written by Carole

Out of nowhere you get hit, the predator comes and kills your chickens. Lucky for me the varmint or varmints did not get into all my chicken pens. Unlucky for me he got my five little Lt. Brahma baby chickens and my five Australorp chicks that I hatched.

Light Brahma baby chickens

Light Brahma baby chickens

Black australorp baby chickens

Black australorp baby chickens

The Australorp chicks were over 2 months old and the Lt. Brahma’s would have been two months old this week.

I have to admit the Lt. Brahma chicks were my favorite. They have such a sweet personality. Very friendly, easy going, just made you smile at the antics they got up to when I was around. The Australorps were more skiddish even though I had them both in the same pen and handled them just as much. I definitely could tell the difference in the personality of the two breeds.

The day that it happened I called the lady I bought the Lt. Brahma chicks from trying to buy more but she had none to sell. I searched Craigslist and posted an ad expressing my wants with no luck. So a couple of days later when I was still missing my Lt. Brahmas, I found a hatchery that would let me order in smaller quantities and did just that…I ordered 15 Light Brahmas and 11 Golden Wyandottes.

I own a Silver Laced Wyandotte and she does a great job of laying eggs and everyone who sees her always oohs and aahs over how pretty she is.  She is not very friendly but then the breed is known to be off-standish.

So in the meantime I am preparing to varmint-proof my coop. It has been so rainy here that we haven’t been able to work on anything. But they say that after today we are supposed to get a few days without rain. I hope so because we are living in a swamp right now. And the new fashionable footwear is rubber boots!

Our plan for protection proofing from the varmints is to dig a trench around the coop and place mesh wire into trench around the bottom edge of the coop so they cannot dig under again. We have already have wire overlapped at the top of our coops so the varmint would not be able to climb in from above. We were lax in working on the bottom and now I have lost my little babies.

In the meantime my Buff Orpingtons are in the next pen over and the only thing separating it is chicken wire so we have been tying our dog up at night at the coop. She doesn’t like it but neither does the varmint because it hasn’t been back.  I’m going to do my best to make sure any of my other chickens meet the same fate anytime soon.

In the meantime, one of my hens went broody and she hatched out five little chicks last Monday. Today I have 11 eggs in the incubator that are due to hatch anytime so I will be busy the next few weeks taking care of more baby chickens until the new ones arrive. And getting ready to varmint-proof my chicken coop.

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9 Responses to “Protecting Your Chickens Against Varmints!”

  1. I’m sorry you lost some of your babies but it sounds like the next batch will be safe!

    SimplyFortiess last blog post..Re-Evaluating the "Truths" About Ourselves

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  2. I’m sorry about your babies! I know how awful it is to lose them like that! Sounds like they will be protected this time, though. My one light brahma is my favorite hen. I wish I had more like her too!

    Nancy M.s last blog post..Lunch From the Garden

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  3. I lost an adult to a raccoon and had another chicken have 170$$$ worth of stitches because of the same raccoon. Funny enough all I had to do to keep him out is keep my front porch door open and give him access to cat food and he comes to visit me now instead of the chickens. :)

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  4. Sorry to hear about your loss. I, myself, am on a small 10 acre plot that I call home. Over the last 5 years, I have waged war on the varmints that have invaded my property. For the time being, I seem to have a varmint free environment. Even my garbage remains unmolested. I accomplished this through heavy use of a mostly unknown tool, a high powered air gun. The gun is charged to 3,000 psi from a SCUBA tank and propels a pellet with enough power to kill a racoon from 100 yards. That, in tandom with a low light scope, has seen to several coons demise. Also there was a problem with feral cats. Those I don’t kill as there is a possibility they belong to one of the farms around me. It’s astounding how quickly they learn not to come around though when you shoot them in the tail. Motion detectors mounted near ground level, closly around the area you want protected, can be used to sound a buzzer in the home and are fairly cheap. If you take care of, on a regular basis, the pests, it is not long before they avoid the area. The people around me complain of racoons and such causing problems but I have’nt had any problems in a couple of years now. I will still take precautions, but my main line of defence is the mition detectors that are placed at ground level around my temporary coop. The same will be set up around the perminate one I have under construction. Good luck with your new chicks and I hope you have better luck from now on.

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  5. Sorry about your little chicks! I have been getting a bit lax about making sure that the door is latched at night. This will serve as my reminder that they are safe only with the door secure. Knock on wood–we still have them!

    Light Brahmas are one of the breeds we considered when we were getting interested in chickens. I still think they would be very nice to have for a friendly hen. They are still on my list for when we need to get some replacements.

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  6. Oh, I’m so sorry, Carole… I hope you can tighten up security around the coop! The brahmas are very sweet- I’m glad you were able to get some more.

    Farm Chick Paulas last blog post..News from around the farm

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  7. Hello, I am sorry for your loss of chicks. I will dig around my coop this weekend and install hardward cloth to prevent a predator from digging under to get at my recently hatched biddies.

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  8. Just this week I have lost 3 of my little bantam Cochins to a racoon. When I went out to the hutch 2 were completely gone, one was laying dead and mauled and littl Tippy was very much alive, but has lost one wing down to the “quick” and the other one has all but 3 feathers missing. I guess the coon was full and didn’t feel like fighting that hard for her. I have been flushing the wounds with hydrogen peroxide and putting triple antibiotic on and I have put a mild solution of the chick tetracycline in her water. Surprisingly she never went into shock and is running around like nothing happened. She is a tough little girl.
    We moved her hutch to the patio where there is a motion detector light, put a rasp and lock on the lid and at night I cover her hutch with a bed sheet and put 2 bricks on top! This has worked very well.
    So, I just wanted to say “I feel your pain!”

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  9. Penny, So sorry to read about your loss. It is so irritating but part of raising chickens. I hope your hen heals quickly.

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