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Chicken Breakfast — 6 Comments

  1. Pingback:Caught in the Act! — The Big Garden Blog

  2. We’ve just introduced a dozen 6w old birds into the croft flock: we do this several times a year. They have to learn very very quickly where home is, what seaweed is all about, what dangers to look out for … This is best learned if they feel they belong to the flock, and we have found by hard experience that the way to do this is to shut them all up together in the big hen house (it’s actually an old byre) for up to a week. This time we’ll make it a fortnight because of the eagles. I’ve been looking at suggestions folks have made here and on facebook, and looked at what materials we’ve got available, and have decided to make a number of shelters scattered about the area the hens roam, so they have somewhere nearby to run for cover. Each shelter will be made of two pallets leaning together in a tent shape, tied together at the top and held down to the ground. Virtually no cost, just another job to do! We have a couple of additional ideas that seem to be practicable, if needed: more on which if necessary.

  3. Read that having anything shiny deters these birds like if you tied old CDs or DVDs to fences or small posts the Suns reflection puts them off also having a scarecrow

    • Scarecrows are to be seen in Uist. They need to be incredibly weather-resistent, which is difficult to achieve – and maintain. Main problem is that in the general area of the hen house there’s only a few inches of turf and peaty soil then very very hard rock, so nowhere to put in a post. Nonetheless, if I can manage the technical details I think this could work: I’ll be on the lookout for old clothing and other materials required. Thank you Chrisann!

  4. Interesting post. I’ve kept chickens before but have been lucky enough to have never been troubled by fox visits. Friends of mine were, and I remember well the distress and upset – and then the simple reaction that you did anything you could to catch that damn animal or prevent it getting to your chickens again. however, it’s not so simple with Golden Eagles or other birds of prey, is it – they are such magnificent and rare creatures. All sorts of other “feelings” come into the equation. I did wonder if you could do something to put the predator off ? for example, if a chicken starts eating eggs, you give them a mustard egg, and they pretty soon stop. There must be a way to present the eagle with something disgustingly distasteful to put it off your chickens for good?!

    • Thanks for your comment! It is of course illegal to do anything harmful to an eagle, or indeed to other predators including ravens (of which there are many) and even crows. Besides, I have no desire at all to hurt them – they have a right to life just as much as we do. ‘Distasteful’ could mean curry powder or something like that, but what the effects on the bird might be … ? Perhaps I should seek advice from the government agency about this. A practical difficulty is that the distasteful ingredient – whatever it might be – needs to be added to something an eagle would find of interest, but as I understand it eagles seek live prey, not dead (which would work for ravens and crows), but maybe if they are really hungry? Funnily enough, corpses and carcasses are difficult to find when you want them!

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