Winter has come to Winterberry Farm. It may make travel difficult sometimes but it is certainly a stunning sight. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Finally! Set up instructions for our wildly popular HawkStopper visual deflection netting.
Setting up Your HawkStopper Visual Deflection Net – Stops Hawks & Other Predatory Birds by taking advangtage of their super-sharp eyesight.
What looks almost invisible to us, looks like impenetrable iron bars to them!
Mini-HawkStopper – Size when Stretched: Approximately 20′ x 35′ – Mesh 5″x 7′
HawkStopper – Size when Stretched: Approximately 20′ x 75′ – Mesh 5″x 7′
1. 2. 3. 4.
1. Pull from bag holding the flourescent tape and unfurl to full length
2. Starting at one end, remove flourescent tape
3. Spread HawkStopper apart and locate each corner
4. Gradually spread work your way down the full length of HawkStopper spreading it out to its full width on each side
5. Starting with one corner, hang and tie off HawkStopper to trees or poles at height desired using the rope provided. Trim with scissors if necessary
6. Finish tying off as needed. Trim with scissors if necessary
7. Hawk’s eye-view from above
PredatorPee made the comics!
Thousands of coyotes now roam suburban and urban yards and neighborhoods across America. News reports about coyote attacks on pets and other small animals are becoming more common. People are struggling to find ways of keeping them away. One completely natural, yet innovative solution is the use of wolf urine to repel coyotes. According to the Wikipedia article Coyote: Interspecific predatory relationships, wolves are one of the few natural predators of coyotes and can compete for hunting habitat.
“The gray wolf is a significant predator of coyotes wherever their ranges overlap. Since the Yellowstone Gray Wolf Reintroduction in 1995 and 1996, the local coyote population went through a dramatic restructuring. Until the wolves returned, Yellowstone National Park had one of the densest and most stable coyote populations in America due to a lack of human impacts. Two years after the wolf reintroductions, the pre-wolf population of coyotes had been reduced 50% through both competitive exclusion and predation. In Grand Teton, coyote densities were 33% lower than normal in the areas where they coexisted with wolves, and 39% lower in the areas of Yellowstone where wolves were reintroduced.”
When coyotes believe wolves are in an area, they will move to a less hazardous habitat. By applying wolf urine around the perimeter of a yard, the homeowner can create the impression that wolves are nearby. The scent of urine is one of the primary ways an animal is warned of the presence of a predator and the smell of the wolf urine tells coyotes that this area could be a dangerous place. The coyote’s instincts kick in and they move to a new territory. In addition an added advantage to using wolf urine is that it is completely natural and safe to use around pets.
Until I find more words. . .The PeeMan
Fox in the hen house? Whenever you think about predators of chickens, foxes have to be at the top of the list. As long as people have kept hens in enclosures, crafty Mr. Fox has been trying to get them. How do you know if you have a fox problem? Well, unlike other chicken predators, the fox tends to only leave behind feathers. The fox hunts 2 hours after sunset and 2 hours before sunrise. They are usually more active in the Spring when they are trying to get food for their litters. But, they will attack throughout the year. They tend to kill more than they can eat but unlike the weasel, they don’t waste the food. They store it away in caches for a later meal. They are able to dig below and climb above which make them an even more formidable foe. Usually, a fox will take as many hens as it can carry off.
So, what is to be done? Well, as with so many other predatory threats, it is crucial to make sure that your coop is secured. No holes, no possible access points from above or below. Once the coop is secure, the final measure of protection is a natural deterrent such as wolf urine. Wolf urine? Really? Yes, the fox is genetically programmed to fear the wolf. There do not have to be wolves in the area and the fox never has to have been exposed to a wolf to exhibit the fear response.
So, confirm fox threat, secure the coop, create a perimeter with wolf urine and rest easy.
Until I find more words. . .The PeeMan
In the literary world, the weasel family often gets a bad rap. Consider that in children’s books such as the Wind in the Willows and the Redwall series the members of the family Mustelidae are always the bloodthirsty villains. Why do these animals with debatably cute faces get cast as the vermin warlords and thieving good for nothings? Well, it is clearly drawn from the fact that in the natural world, there are few predators of a similar size that can wreak such havoc so quickly and create a scene among its hapless victims that would make even a horror fan cringe. It is not just that the weasel tends to viciously attack the head, neck or jugular of its prey but that it seems to at times be overcome with bloodlust and will often massacre anything within its immediate radius. The weasel often kills more than it can eat and leaves behind bloody, mutilated carcasses in its wake. Here are some other weasel facts:
“Members of this family(Mustelidae) are generally characterized by long bodies and necks, short legs, small rounded ears, and medium to long tails. All have scent glands, generally used for territorial markings but in some animals for defense.”
There are two types of weasels commonly found in North America. The short-tailed weasel and the tiny least weasel.
As you can clearly guess if you haven’t experienced it first hand, weasels can be a very destructive chicken predator. How can you determine if you have a weasel around? The best way, unfortunately, to confirm this is after an attack has happened. If birds are dead and not eaten, if multiple birds have been attacked at the jugular, head, and neck, internal organs have been eaten and/or eggs have been broken in at the ends, a member of the weasel family is probably to blame.
Once you have identified the predator, then you must make sure your coop is secure(no holes in the wire, gaps or other potential means of access). Then it is time to use the natural predator-prey instinct to keep the weasels away for good. How? Wolf urine! The wolf is a natural predator of the weasel and fear of this predator is programmed into every weasel even if they have never been within miles of a wolf.
So, identify the predator. Secure the coop. Create a pee-rimeter around the area you want to protect and rest easy.
Until I find more words . . .The PeeMan
Next up in our series on backyard chicken predators is the noxious skunk. While they might not be the first predatory threat to your flock that comes to mind, nevertheless, if given the chance, a skunk will eat eggs, kill chicks and even occasionally attack full grown poultry.
Obviously, the easiest way to tell if a skunk is around your coop is to follow your nose. If you notice persistent skunk essence over an extended period of time, chances are you have a skunk in residence. But, if you are still not sure, you can also look for tracks. The tracks can be difficult to distinguish from those of a raccoon but if you are a gifted tracker, you can easily spot the difference. If you really want to be thorough, an examination of skunk scat will usually reveal lots of insect parts. If your coop has been subject to attack by a skunk, you would expect to find eggs opened up on one end and the contents consumed or if an actual bird were attacked the neck would be opened up and perhaps the head eaten.
Once you have definitely identified the threat, it is time to take action. Skunks will not usually break through coop confines like some other aggressive predators, but if given an opening, they will take it. So, it is essential to make sure fencing and coop confines are intact and also that any areas where skunks could dig underneath are properly sealed. Once the coop is secure, then it is time to employ a deterrent. Enter fox urine. What? Fox Urine? How? It might not be the first thing you think of but, a fox is one of the most common skunk predators. Skunks fear foxes, they sense a fox is present because of the urine, and they leave your chickens, chicks and eggs alone – it is as simple as that.
Until I find more words. . .The PeeMan
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