ANIMALS

SKY Predators – Chihuahuas and Chickens

SKY Predators – Chihuahuas and Chickens – Are Chihuahuas and Chickens Safe around the owls, hawks and peregrine falcons, condors or any large feathered sky predator?

Video of 2 hawks circling overhead as we worked outside. The hawks were circling to see if our chihuahua, Sonny was going to be their next meal. They were only about 25′ above us! I told them, Not Today… NOPE… Not On My Watch!

There’s no lack of finding something to write about when living in the country and there’s always some outdoor feathered kiddo or ground critter making an entrance into our 1 acre property.

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We have a family of 3 roadrunners visiting us all the time. As our little chihuahua, Sonny, dozes in the warm afternoon sun, the larger of the roadrunners will walk right up to our glass back patio door and look in. At that moment when I see the tall long legged runner, my heart leaps to fear and anxiety!

Is Sonny safe around roadrunners? Typically a roadrunner will grab, hold on tight to it’s freshly caught prey and will flop it back and forth fiercely banging it on the ground. As the smaller prey being a small gopher or bird struggles and has been caught, it slowly stops struggling, the roadrunner then proceeds to eat it whole.

Yes, I just said, they eat it whole. That is another video I’ll have to show and write about.

But today, I’m focused on the hawks, peregrine falcons and owls swooping down to pay our little Sonny a visit. This type of visit isn’t one I even want to call a visit.

California Condors Used to Circle Overhead above our Chihuahua, Sonny and would always be looking for ways to get our chickens, Jewels and Charlotte who were safe and secured inside an outdoor Chicken Coop and Enclosed Run covered with 1/2 hardware cloth.

It’s an outright attack if the large feathered sky predator lands it’s talons anywhere on our chihuahua’s body. Along with the deafening high pitched screaming cry that our chihuahua would screech out and me being close by, just 20′ away inside the back glass door where I can see Sonny, I believe I’m no match for the speed at which the big bird would work to lift our Sonny into flight.

When we lived in CA on an acre, the huge black condors circled so close overhead one day when we were laying out on our lawn lounge chairs that I was afraid to fall asleep. The 2 birds were showing no fear, circling very close over head and Sonny was asleep on my chest.

Finally, I took Sonny into the house so I could come back outside and enjoy the nice weather and sunshine because it was a cool day outdoors.

But, what about these larger feathered creatures that are predators? Will the hawks and falcons along with the owls swoop down and either kill a chihuahua on the ground and proceed to eat it or will it hook their deadly talons into the tiny soft body and carry a little dog away?

Personally, I don’t need to do research to know without a doubt, if left unattended and in the open, whether our small chihuahua is on or off a leash, these large feathered predators will attack if they are hungry enough and they see an opening to do so.

I once had a poodle, doggy, attacked while walking her on her leash in the Cave Creek, AZ area. We’ve heard the stories of coyotes here in Arizona being aggressive. The story becomes Reality when it’s happening to your pet. The coyote came right up and grabbed our little dog and tore her body right open. Luckily, she didn’t slip off her collar and we were able to get away from the coyote. Of course, we had to take her in and have the vet put ‘down’ right away.

But if a predator is hungry enough, precautions need to be taken.

Our Chicken Coop and Run Area in California was covered with 1/2″ hardware cloth. Designed by Duchess Boyles and Built by the Boyles Family.

Our chickens had their coop and run area enclosed with 1/2″ hardware cloth. And, YES, the condors and hawks in California continued to circle overhead, always keeping an eye on the chickens. Any time we were outdoors with Sonny, we kept him on a leash and close by us at all times.

Now that we’re back here in Arizona, and the hawks, peregrine falcons and owls make appearances and in no way are intimidated by much of anything, we are building a new Outdoor Garden Coop which I’ve now dubbed to also be divided up so we can make 1/2 or more of it into a new Chicken Coop as well.

10′ wide x 19′ long x 10.5′ tall side Door Opening to be at this front end. Was going to be just my outdoor garden coop but we’re now going to make a portion of it into a new Chicken Coop. Fully enclosed with 1/2″ hardware cloth.

So, where does this blog leave all of us? Probably right where we each were when you started reading this. Me in my place and you in your place.

But, if there is evidence of large overhead feathered predators or potential ground predators that can harm or kill a small dog or chickens, ducks or other land pets, it may be worth sitting down with a pen and paper and taking time to design and lay out a safe area for your beloved pets.

Ask yourself, What can you do for minimal cost to maybe even enclose an area, so when you’re not around, you can rest peacefully knowing your little ones are safe and protected at all times. 1/2″ hardware cloth works much more effectively than chicken wire. Small finches and other birds can get through the openings in chicken wire and then you have to work to get them out of the coop area.

4′ x 50′ Chicken Wire

1/2″ x 4′ x 50′ hardware cloth

1/2″ x 4′ x 100′ hardware cloth

Here’s to wishing you all the best, always and in all ways.

Duchess Boyles in Buckeye, Arizona, USA.