What animals protect chickens?

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
16,254
Reaction score
38,150
Points
793
Location
Northeast Texas
I had a mule, raised her from birth. I finally sold her because I was tired of her wanting to stomp everything that was not a horse. One time she killed a coral snake. At least that was good, but I sure had to watch and keep everything away from her.
 

AmberLops

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 10, 2019
Messages
2,222
Reaction score
5,022
Points
343
Location
Middle Tennessee
I had a mule, raised her from birth. I finally sold her because I was tired of her wanting to stomp everything that was not a horse. One time she killed a coral snake. At least that was good, but I sure had to watch and keep everything away from her.
I've honestly never met a nice mule...they scare me to death! I worked at a Warmblood (Holsteiner) breeding farm for a couple years and those horses were 19hh of insanity...and I would take them on any day....but never a mule!!
So, are donkeys temperamental too then?
 

greybeard

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
5,940
Reaction score
10,669
Points
553
Location
East Texas

Sheepshape

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
1,504
Reaction score
2,421
Points
333
I'm not a gun person....though we do have a dysfunctional BB gun (even the tin cans laugh at me!) and an antique flintlock which doesn't work.

We don't have any of those 'serious' predators over here (Wales) as they can't stand the damp. On a serious note (if we must), though, foxes will wipe out the lot, and buzzards, hawks and eagles will pick off the best. Starts seem to want to kill them for sport.

Some little things to consider....firstly big breeds of chickens and adult birds are less likely to be attacked from the air by buzzards and small flying raptors.

I'm assuming that they all go into the barn at night? The fox is largely a night predator, having them locked up at night will stop this pest

A big and grumpy rooster will do his best to protect 'his ladies' and will certainly see off some small predators. However, he may see you as a predator and be aggressive with you, too. In this case he will make a very nice soup (so I'm told, 35 years a vegetarian).

At times having them confined seems to be the best solution and, even then, there are predators who dig in if the ground is suitable.

I hope you find a viable solution.
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
16,254
Reaction score
38,150
Points
793
Location
Northeast Texas
I've honestly never met a nice mule...they scare me to death! I worked at a Warmblood (Holsteiner) breeding farm for a couple years and those horses were 19hh of insanity...and I would take them on any day....but never a mule!!
So, are donkeys temperamental too then?
Donkeys are brilliant smart, don't be fooled by their cute fuzzy exterior. People think donkeys are stubborn and stupid, but a donkey will refuse to do something that it thinks may put it in danger (as do mules). The stomp everything to death on a mule's part comes from the donkey.
 

Simpleterrier

Loving the herd life
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Messages
244
Reaction score
292
Points
123
Location
North central Ohio
I got a great mule. I'm Sure she is part of the reason I don't have predator problems. But she don't want chickens in her pen. Best animals God created besides airedales. And foxes do come out during the day and hunt I have seen plenty and have removed a few. Had a den about 30yrds behind my barn never lost an animal. Maybe cause I kept their belly's full of ground hogs.
 
Last edited:

Sheepshape

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
1,504
Reaction score
2,421
Points
333
And foxes do come out during the day and hunt I
If the fox is out by day, then it usually has cubs and is particularly likely to kill. It will usually be the dog fox who is bigger and meaner than the vixen. Town foxes tend to be more strictly nocturnal, but they are more likely to want to raid the bins of the local McDonalds as an easy food source.
 

Bruce

Herd Master
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
12,010
Reaction score
28,343
Points
713
Location
NW Vermont
I believe that is the case Sheepshape. Every time I've lost a hen to a fox in daylight hours it was the end of April or early May. I don't think the "usual" food sources have ramped up production by then.
 

Sheepshape

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
1,504
Reaction score
2,421
Points
333
Every time I've lost a hen to a fox in daylight hours it was the end of April or early May
Half a world apart, but the same pattern exactly. We're very rural. Last week a huge dog fox strolled across the lawn in front of my face at about 7:00a.m. First time this has happened out here, so I knew he meant trouble. My old Border Collie was lying beside me, so I shouted 'Crows!' (his cue word to go chase whatever member of the animal kingdom is in his vicinity) and opened the French windows. He and I both shot out snarling and barking. I'm now extremely-vigilant to ensure the chickens are locked up at night (apart from a mean rooster called AJ....A*"hole Junior...who can take his chances).
 
Top