Predators Strike Again

in homesteading •  2 years ago 

Not a post I wanted to write. But I figure it's only fair to share the good and the bad. Last night something got most of my baby bunnies. I never even saw for sure how many there were because I didn't want to disturb mommy and babies too much. But as far as I could tell, there were 3. Two are now gone and the third is missing a leg so is probably not going to make it anyway. But whatever it was pulled the other two right through the holes in the cage wire.

To make matters worse, something also got to some of my chickens in the second tractor. It didn't get inside the tractor. But it was able to reach under it enough to pull my hen's leg through and eat it completely off and injure two others hens. I put the one hen out of her misery and I may have to do another one.

Honestly, right now I just feel like selling all of my animals and just completely giving up on the whole homesteading thing. I am so disgusted at all the losses lately. I just can't justify right now why it would be worth it to even bother anymore.

But I'm also a very stubborn person. I'm also very loyal. These animals don't deserve for me to just give up on them. So to protect them, I need to come up with better systems to keep the predators out.

For the chickens it's obvious. The second tractor needs a skirt too. For the rabbits, I need cages that can't be reached into. This means wood and smaller wire. Specifically, I want to make cages with wood sides and roof and hardware cloth floor and front. I also need to finish closing in the rabbit pen as a whole.

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Pulling through the holes is a typical raccoon behavior. They have those little hands and can do it. Other animals just have paws.

That's why hardware cloth is the best for prey animal containment. Once they've had a nice dinner, they will be back for more...

I do have hardware cloth around the side of the tractor. Whatever it was pulled the chicken's leg underneath the side of the tractor where the bottom of the tractor meets the ground. It now has chicken wire around the ground outside of the tractor like a skirt to keep anything from digging under.

The rabbits on the other hand do have larger holes on their cages. The next cages will definitely have hardware cloth.

I did read you'd made the skirts for the tractors and knew that was a good idea!

Re: rabbits whatever it was, will be back in time for the next dinner...

We learn as we go, sadly, sometimes it's a tough lesson. I'm new to this too. Dont' give up :)

Thank you.