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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 7:22 am 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Sun May 30, 2021 6:59 am
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I am a newby with chickens and am learning that it can be a challenge to keep your flock.
I am amazed how communicative chickens are.
Yesterday morning I had 9 young chicks (always together) a hen and 2 mature roosters. I alternate the rooster so that only one is with the rest of the flock at any one time.
Around 4 I checked and they were all there.

20 minutes later I noticed that they were all quiet and allowed me much closer than they normally do....counted and I now have 8 chicks (about 9or 10 weeks old.
The largest cockerel is missing :shock: I knew something was wrong because they were not as chirpy and carefree as they normally are.

I keep all chickens locked up at night but I have chosen (so far) to let them free range from about 11 am till dusk,

In September I lost a beautiful Australorp rooster to a fox.
In the following 3 months I lost 2 more roosters to one or more foxes.
last month I finally got a fox that lurked in my front yard and disposed of it. It had about 25% of the fur left. It was badly ill with mange.
I knoiw there is at least one or two younger foxes about but since culling the old one, they have kept away.

My neighbour has a nest of currawongs and recently 2 magpies have been very friendly and visiting my yard regularly.

When a fox comes about the chickens make a loud commotion. Yesterday I heard nothing.

I have seen magpies swooping at the young chicks, quite a few times actually, but I figured they were just protecting the territory and would not harm them.
Yesterday afternoon I also saw a currawoong on a tree above the chickens and waived it away.

On this forum I read of chickens having their eyes pecked and attacked by these birds :shock:

Am I so gullible that I had a currawong or magpie take my largest cockerel from almost under my nose? :dontknow


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:41 am 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Sun May 30, 2021 6:59 am
Posts: 3
Is this a sleepy poultry forum?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:46 am 
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Clever Cockerel
Clever Cockerel

Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:53 pm
Posts: 1623
Location: West of Bendigo
Hi Red Curls, not many contributing members - was an active forum pre fb but membership nosedived as people moved to the glitzie misinformation groups. The 'search' here is useful, and brings up archives of good sound information on most subjects (including foxes). And yes I've lost a lot of chicks and some adult Silkies to magpies - but we have huge flocks around and they work as a team - if you only have one or two there it's less likely to be lethal - more nuisance value. Fox more likely, stealthy and broad daylight, quite common.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:32 am 
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Clever Cockerel
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:09 am
Posts: 1549
Location: Murwillumbah, NSW
Good chance it could be a hawk, lost young and adult birds to them over the years

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 6:44 pm 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Sun May 30, 2021 6:59 am
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Thank you John.
I have looked around for the classical signs of a fox catch...feathers and blood... None to be found.
Am still not sure who took the cockerel, but it was the largest of the lot, and this makes me think that the fox may be responsible. have plenty of friendly magpies and not so friendly currawongs around. There are also many kookabarras. For the next hatch I need to ensure they remain enclosed for a couple of months.


Speaking of hatching.
My hen has laid eggs. The first on 15 May and the last one today. I expected her top get broodier as she did with the first lot. Not so
She shows no interest in looking after them. It seems the season may be too cold.
Would you consider putting them in a home made incumator? The eggs have been outside and the temperature at night has dropped to 1 or 2.Probably too cold?

Guess it does no harm to try to save at least the last 10 or so eggs which I judiciously took inside the house soon after being laid.

Do you think I am wasting my time?



PS the hen incubated 16 eggs 12 were born, two died rather young (one was very stiff as it died, making me think that he might have caught tetanus) So 10 grew to healthy chicks, one was taken by the fox? and the other 9 are still alive. But I have a question. One of them has been picked on by all. I took it and separated it in another area. To date he lives by himself and runs away when other chickens approach him (I think he is a cockerel). have you had such an experience? Is this nature's way of saying taht he must succumb without human intervention?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:57 pm 
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Clever Cockerel
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:09 am
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Location: Murwillumbah, NSW
The eggs will be ok to try in the incubator, the only thing you have to remember is that it is harder to rear chicks in the middle of winter.

As far as the young bird is concerned, I wouldn't leave him on his own, put him with just one or two the others, see how he goes, you may may be able to integrate him back into the flock.

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