Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Protecting chickens from predators

Calico cochin

From the number of comments I get on my "What killed my chicken?" post, I suspect many of you are in Carolyn's boat.  She wrote:

"I wish I knew how desirable they were to predators! I lost my whole flock (about 12) of broiler chickens (who were just about ready to be butchered) years ago to a raccoon. I found him in the granary (where I kept my chickens), with all of their heads ripped off. It was the only time I have ever hollered 'Honey, get your gun!'

"This year I lost a couple precious calico cochins to the neighbors' dogs.  They were just playing, but dog play isn't good for the chickens."

Have you got the predator problem licked?  I'm sure Carolyn would love to hear your solutions!

Our chicken waterer keeps your flock hydrated with clean water even if they're cooped up to be safe from predators.

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Hi, we lost our broilers to a dog one year, so we created a chicken alarm that senses when a string around the cage gets pulled (a magnet is pulled off the box), and then the box on the cage transmits an alarm signal to a system in our house, which then sends text messages to our phones. We have not had any serious attempts since (so I'm not sure if it would work), but a few false alarms (the string seems to shrink when it gets wet and then drys out). Pictures of the alarm, and source code are located below:




Comment by Cliff at lunch time on Friday, August 30th, 2013
Sorry Anna. I am so lucky to have two wonderful dogs. They love and put up with my hens. I live in the country so I have many preditors. When the dogs know they are in the area they will sleep outside of my preditor proof chicken house. Doesn't hurt to have extra protection. I'm just lucky enough to have two great dogs that treat the hens as their babies.
Comment by marilyn Saturday afternoon, August 31st, 2013
I've got to vote for this one! I lost over 20 chickens and ducks in one night, when a fox chewed through the chicken wire around my pen. You have my full sympathy and understanding!
Comment by Darren (Green Change) Monday night, September 2nd, 2013

I, too had a sad sad dog incident. I spent MONTHS training my dog, Bella, to be gentle with her new feathered friends. And it worked! So much so that they would free range all together on our ten acres. Some days, when I took Bella to the pasture for a walk, all the chickens and the little herd of guinea hens would follow me. I felt like I was the Pied Piper!

But one day a new dog showed up in the neighborhood. A neighbor adopted him but let him run wild. When he got together with MY dog, my Bella would revert to wild dog behavior. I swear, even though there were just two of them, they quickly developed a "pack" mentality. Thus said, I came home one day to find my chickens missing, and later found some of them not eaten, but mortally injured.

I had such guilt over this, berating myself for not seeing what was developing until it was too late. But we can't know what we don't know until we know it, can we?

Someday I hope to have a real herding dog, a donkey, or a lama who will be protective of my clucking friends. Until then, they only truly free range when supervised, and otherwise rotate through electric fenced pastures. Not a too terrible alternative!

Comment by Terry at teatime on Thursday, September 5th, 2013

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