For some reason, the wildlife has been very active in our yard lately, and we’ve been enjoying watching the wild turkeys and deer wandering through, even in the middle of the day.
There have been at least three turkeys, and three deer that we’ve seen. One pair of deer is a mother and a young one who still has it’s spots! I didn’t get any photos of them yet, but I was able to get some of this good size doe. I was using my telephoto lens, but I still got quite close to her to get these shots. You can see she is keeping an eye on me, but I never spooked her away.
The turkeys seem to act like they own the place, and two different times my hubby has seen one strutting right by the dining room window early in the morning.
We’re not sure exactly why they’ve been around so much, other than maybe the fact that we had many trees cut and that’s led to new vegetation being available. They seem to move around the edges of the yard, right along the woods.
However, this increased wildlife activity has not been all good. Last Thursday evening around 5:00 I heard the chickens making some funny noises outside. I went to the window to look and to my horror saw what looked like a fox over near the chicken coop, but hiding partially behind the stone wall. I exclaimed (probably something not family friendly) and started running toward the door. My exclamation caused the dogs to bark, thank goodness, because that seemed to be what scared it and it ran away. No chickens were harmed!! Luke and Cricket did their job perfectly, as they were seen doing in our post last week.
Hubby was at work and I called him in a panic. He told me to get the chickens in the coop which I was able to. However, since that evening, they have not cooperated with being put in the coop early! In addition, over the weekend, we also had a hawk nearby. I don’t think that he was watching the chickens (we’ve seen one or two around in the past, before we got the chickens), and luckily he called out a lot from high up in a tree at the edge of the yard, so we knew when he was there, and were able to scare him off.
So we’ve been keeping a close eye on things and are coming up with other plans to try to keep the girls safe. I’ll share some of the things we’re doing in another post, once we see if they all work. Hawks and other birds of prey are protected in our state, so scaring or keeping them away is the best we can do. We don’t want to take drastic measures if we don’t have to anyway. At night and when we’re not home they are safe inside their coop. I just don’t like the fact that predators are showing up in the daylight, that is worrisome.
Luckily the chickens spend much of their time in the barn or on and under our front porch. I like that location for them since they’re right next to the house and wildlife would have to run (or fly) pretty far out in the open to get to them. We are going to have to be diligent, however, especially when they’re wandering in other areas.
I’d still be happier if we could get the chickens in their coop a little earlier. I know many of our readers have or had chickens, so if you have any tips on that or deterring predators, please share!
So Luke and Cricket have been busy keeping an eye on things and it’s helping them with their activity challenge too. Have you voted yet on which dog is the most active? If you haven’t, visit our post from last Friday “Jelly Bean VS Nosy Bean – Who’s the Most Active Dog?“. We’re giving away a prize package to one of our readers who picks the right dog to win, with the Poof Pet Activity Monitor as the final judge. Go on over and join the fun!
GROOVY GOLDENDOODLES says
I would be an easy houseguest for you. A cup of coffee during the day, a glass of wine in the evenings and a chair near the window. That’s about all I’d need. Can I come?
Absolutely! You’d fit right in here. 🙂
Aunti Sheryl says
Ok now I’m worried about weasels!!!!
I know, right???!!!
Melissa Clinton says
The deer are gorgeous! My brother has wild turkeys come into his yard and when we visited them, Bentley found it great to roll in the turkey poop! LOL!
Oh geez….turkey poop…that’s all we need. LOL
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
very cool seeing the wildlife. I love wild turkeys, they are so pretty.
Edie Chase says
Mary has the best idea for an enclosure, at least when you’re not home. They can free range when someone’s there to let the dogs out. To get the chickens back in, use mealworms. Shake the bag, give them a small handful once a day and they’ll learn pretty quickly what that sound means. That’s how I got mine in the coop if I had to leave. You can put them right on the floor, there’s never any leftovers. Be careful with the turkeys, they are like feathered street gangs. ????
Thank you for the tips, Edie! We had bought some mealworms, but we didn’t go through the training process (I started today).
I have told my hubby we probably need to built that enclosure too.
We’ll keep an eye on those turkeys, though so far we mostly only see the one, who seems harmless up to this point anyway. 🙂
Brian Frum says
Well that sure is better that regular old Bird-TV! Oh, not the fox though, they are sneaky boogers. Stay alert Luke and Cricket!
The Island Cats says
Oh no! Not a fox in the chicken coop! 😉
We get a lot of deer around us. We love seeing them…but they do eat some of the mom’s plants which frustrates her.
The deer used to decimate my hosta lilies at the old house, but for some reason here they don’t bother them, and there’s a TON of them. Funny thing is though, now the chickens are eating the hostas! LOL
Dolly the Doxie says
I would think that Luke and Cricket are the best prevention that you have but guess they can’t be out all the time. But the hawk and fox are pretty scary! Love Dolly
Yes, that’s the only issue…the dogs are often inside with me, and Cricket is usually sleeping! She can’t see out the windows anyway, but she will smell something sometimes. So most of the work is left to Luke!
Jodi Stone says
Boy, that would be concerning to me too. I had a co-worker who had her chickens taken by a predator. Scary! I know there are other types of predators besides fox and hawk. I remember Flea saying they had an Opossum that got after her chickens. Up where my sister is (Littleton) they have Coydogs and in my area they have Fishers. I can’t wait to hear what your ideas are for keeping the girls safe.
Ugh….there are WAY too many predators! We have coyotes and fishers around here too, though I’ve never seen them. I saw a bobcat on my way to work once not too far from our house….another one on the list! Not to mention the bears we’ve seen…. 🙁
caren gittleman says
Oh my the Fox WOULD be scary and if the chickens are small the Hawk could DEFINITELY be after them too. I know that hawks have been known to pick up small dogs (no joke), on the bright side, you have Thanksgiving dinner delivered already hehehe (the turkeys)
Heehee….good one about the Thanksgiving dinner!
When we built or coop, it had an outside area attached. It was completely covered so no birds could swoop down. The coop, and the outside area both were built fortified along the ground so nothing could dig and get in. We buried 2 x 6 boards, and ran the wire fence down in the ground the width of the wood. Like you, we were on the edge of nothing so we knew there would be wildlife. Weasels are tricky because they are so damn skinny they can squeeze through tiny holes and get in. I let the chickens into the yard during the day, but then herded them back to the coop if I had to leave or it was evening. We never lost a bird.
I’m so happy to hear you never lost a bird! We may have to reconsider fully free-ranging them, and at least have a run for the times no one can be on guard but we don’t want to put them in the coop. Of course, they’d still always be in the coop when we’re not home, but there’s just times when I’m busy and the dogs are inside so we can’t really keep a close eye on things.
Two French Bulldogs says
Nothing better than seeing wildlife in the yard!
Lily & Edward
Shadow and Ducky's Mom says
Whoa, that’s scary! And worrisome! Glad Cricket and Luke were on the job!! I know you probably would prefer to not put up a fence around the perimeter, but it might become necessary to protect the chickens. Wildlife can become bold and brazen when looking for food – i.e. the fox near the chicken coop – just sayin’.
Yeah, I know what you’re saying, and that is certainly something to consider. Of course, the expense of doing it has to be a consideration too, unfortunately!
Monika & Sam says
Eek. Hopefully you can discourage the ‘locals’ from visiting. When you make things unfriendly, they tend to stay away. Good luck!
Thank you! That’s what we’re working on. Though we hope to discourage the “unwanteds” but still keep the pretty deer!
Oh no, that IS scary! We’ve been seeing more wildlife here too – both deer and wild turkeys during the day. Hawks have always been a problem for us, which is one of the many reasons why we never let Daisy go off-leash; they’ve shown an interest in her *on-leash*! Wild turkeys are very bold – one year we had an actual flock of them, from very young to adults, and it was particularly hot so I put a big pan of water out on the patio for them. They loved it, but that was a mistake – they started coming up to the back sliding glass door and pecking it, trying to get in! And those beaks are STRONG and they peck HARD! That was the end of the Wild Turkey Day Spa.
LOL – I love that story!! Duly noted…don’t give the turkeys a spa. 🙂
It really does surprise me how close this one gets to the chickens too. In fact, the chickens seem to gravitate towards it when they see it, though they always seem to keep a certain distance.
well done Luke&Cricket, you are the pawfext doggy-guards :o)
we lost 2 chickens many years ago to the berds of prey, that was sad but not as horrible as the huga damage done by a weasel once… it killed all and everything… ;o(
Ugh….a lot of people are mentioning weasels. That’s something we’ve never seen so I never even thought of them!
The dogs have a job to do now. It would be great to have so much wildlife, but those chickens will need to be watched closely I bet.
We’ve always liked seeing wildlife of any kind, but now some of them are looking a lot more sinister (like those bears we saw!).