June 23, 2014
Post by the GeekyMommy
I really think this blog needs a “Geeks in the Country” page to hold all the comedy gold that I am sure there will be in this endeavor!
So the military did the thing they often do, they told us to move. We ended up in Georgia and we figured rather than live on a military post again, we might as well live out in the country and work a bit on a dream of ours, to live more sustainable. Of course we are city geeks and know nothing about farm animals and gardening. Course that will not stop us. Being geeks with so many great creative inspirational movies and books behind, we have this idea that we are smart enough to do anything right?
So one of the things we did was get chicks! We purchased a small pre-fab coop that came in two heavy boxes and needed to be put together. That was easier than than purchasing wood and tools we thought. Why make things harder than they need to be. So we managed to raise 6 chicks to eight weeks in our garage brooder pen. Then we moved them out to the coop and we started to free-range them. That is after all the eggs we pay for, organic free-range, why not raise them like that?
Oh the things we learn the hard way!
So around 12 weeks old we accidentally didn’t close the birds up in their coop for the night. By noon the next day, three where gone. The only signs of them where a few small piles of feathers in the yard.
Why we got a security camera for our chicken yard.
With no sure sign of what got to our chickens we of course went right to the backyardchicken forums and found some other geek chicken lovers who said we should set up a webcam. The redneck hunters suggested trail cams. Bother good options but we went with the wireless security camera as it e-mails you when something sets off it’s motion sensor. This way if something is out there by the chickens we will know within minutes and can get out there. We could go running out there with what? We don’t and won’t own guns as long as we have children in the house. So I guess I would run out there with one of my husbands samurai swords? Those are locked up so I am betting it would be me and a broom! Against what though? What took the chickens?
First let me tell you about the set up. I used a cheap wireless security camera that had great reviews from most. The bad reviews where from muggles who couldn’t figure out the networking set up. No big deal I swear it!
It is not rated for the outdoors but that didn’t stop us. We ran and extension cord, wrapped the connection with duct tape, and put the camera on a high pole with a rain umbrella over it. Yes, it looks ridiculous but it serves the purpose! Maybe we are channeling some unknown redneck heritage? As long as we do not put a sofa in the front yard I think we will be ok right?
So did it work?
It did so far!
Capture Predators on Video
Our first predator shot:
Yes, that is a neighbors big black dog around our chicken fence.
The fence was an after effect of our failed free range plan. It is the next step, a cheap, movable fence that we move around the yard with the coop and give the chickens the feel of free ranging with a bit more protection. That dog though could go right through it or over it or under it with little effort. Thankfully he just did a round about and left. No harm done. We don’t know if that dog took our birds, but we at least now have proof to show his owners if he is ever a problem. This matters as many owners who have problem dogs will try to deny it is their dogs killing others chickens.
After a few weeks with the cam we have not seen anything else, yet! I think we need another one or two around the property. We have learned that we have 3 pairs of golden eagles in the neighborhood. Black Bears, and of course the normal fox, coyotes, possums, and raccoon. It could have been anything that got our birds before and we need to keep on the look out. If we can learn what took them, we can better protect our birds in the future. We don’t have any interest in hurting anything to protect our chickens, but knowing is half the battle right?
If you get chickens I highly recommend getting security cameras as well as everything likes to eat them! You need to know what your dealing with in your neighborhood!
Next chicken post will have to be about chicken math! It takes a genius to figure it out!