I had no idea that badgers would take and kill poultry, has anyone else had a similar experience. I have lived in the country all of my life and have never herd of badgers taking livestock.
It is a good idea to wear gloves when disposing of anything killed by bedgers, if the badger has T.B there is a risk to human health from contact with their saliva.
Couple of years ago I was woken by an awful noise outside - thought it was a cat fight. Dogs inside barking. Went to investigate and found a badger had got into the hen house by lifting the poop hole door. Without thinking (and without gloves!) I grabbed badger by scruf of neck and chucked it as far as I could. It scuttled off, hotly persued by a Greyhound and Giant Schnauzer. Out of 6 hens only one survived. The others were chewed to bits, but not dead. Awful!!
Poop hole door now has a bolt on it!. Something about after the horse and bolting I think.
We got our first chickens - 4 Black Rock and 4 Calder Rangers - last week. They are housed in a converted garden shed (Freecycle!) and I am currently installing an automatic VSB door opener - but it sounds as though this could be a badger risk.
The pop hole opens into an enclosure which is about 40 x 20 ft. I've fenced it with chicken wire - two layers: 6 ft vertical and an L shaped layer 3 ft up and 3 ft outwards. I'm planning to add additional wire / barbed wire at a angle outwards from the top to make life more difficult for foxes - but I'm wondering how effective all of this will be against badgers. We have several wandering about our garden, knocking over dustbins and strolling across our terrace most nights.
Welded mesh would cost about £600 for a 4 ft vertical barrier in an enclosure this size - which I can't afford, not to mention extending it out...
Does anyone have any advice about what I can do to make it a safer environment for our new arrivals without spending a fortune? I want them to have adequate space to run and fly. so I don't fancy a smaller more solid run.
Our ducks got taken by the fox at 3pm on a sunny afternoon last June but only rats ever tried to get into their house and run at night - although the pop hole was often open. If badgers weren't interested in them are chickens likely to be more tempting?
Any advice would be welcome as I'm new to all this! Thanks!
Personally I would concentrate on the shed, making sure that there are no gaps or loose panels at the bottom that a badger can work on.
And lock all doors or holes at night.
If you want welded mesh, have you tried farm dispersal sales? You can get allsorts of stuff for the right money, but be careful as they can be addictive I have lots of rusty evidence of previous bargains.
My garden is completely fenced with chicken wire as the birds were loose in the garden during the daytime. The badgers lifted the wire at the bottom to get into the garden in the first place.
I intend to run a single strand of barbed wire attached to the chicken wire at ground level as a deterrent.