Yes, predation will be a factor in raising free range chickens.
However, all is not hopeless. Big chickens w/broods and dutiful
roosters can be pretty fiesty when it comes to the cat. If not, then
try the .22 solution. A good dog (or 2) will help against ground
varmits such as 'coons and 'possums. Plenty of cover in the form of
evergreens, holly type bushes, etc. will help the chickens hide from
owls and hawks (not to mention hiding from you). The 12 ga. solution,
or a good dog (or 3) is often used to control the problems with coyotes
and dump dogs. And yes, I speak from experience.
Son of Richard
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