Home Poultry Tales From The Coop: Learning From Mistakes!

Tales From The Coop: Learning From Mistakes!

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Tales From The Coop: Learning From Mistakes!

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Predators and Corrective Action

When a turkey or chick gets moved on to the next stage of life where it has open-air, grass, and sunshine – the ability to be outside, forage, and enjoy being a turkey or chicken, it should be a happy day, but this year, this day was not as happy as I’d hoped it would be. I have a fully covered pen that over the years has housed both turkeys and chickens successfully. I generally use it for meat birds, but occasionally have moved my laying ladies into it for a time and most have been housed in this area without any issues. Over the years I thought I had perfected it and secured it from predators. Sadly, once again, something was amiss.  

It seems my predator-proofing was lacking this season. I found 2 things to be problematic.  First, when using this pen, I make temporary roosts with bales and 2 x 4s. I put them in the center so the birds can go to them at night and all is well, usually. I don’t know why, but this particular group seemed to have at least one turkey per night that stayed on the ground and close to the outside edge of the pen, right up against the fencing, although plenty of roost space was available. So, unlike previous birds, the turkeys weren’t in the center of the pen at night and some raccoons were provided a very tasty, tender turkey dinner by reaching their little hand-like paws in the fencing and killing the turkeys. Since they were unable to take the whole meal away.  I was sadly left with a carcass to clean up in the morning. I added additional barriers to any areas that I thought were weak, hoping to protect the turkeys from the raccoons by blocking them from the edge of the pen.

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