We have seven chickens. When I got home from Vegas three years ago Luci had twenty four chicks. A few were killed by other chickens, some died from unknown causes or wandered off, and a bunch were eaten last when the hurricane busted up the chicken coop. They spent there nights hiding in the bushes until the coyotes found them and quickly began thinning the herd. The coop is made of PVC pipes bent over in a hoop covered with chicken wire and a tarp. When it was intact we could move it around to let them plenty of grass and keep them in the coop all the time. Now that it is busted up it has to be staked to the ground and stays in one place, so in order for them to have grass we let em out every day.
What we did not know in the beginning was that the chickens would simple return to the coop every day when it got dark outside. If one straggler does not return you just don't put any food out the next day. The day after that they will all come running when you put the food out. So tonight as the sun was setting and we started to put the kids to sleep we heard the chickens clucking like crazy. Since they usually only make noise at night Luci figured something was trying to get at em before we closed them inside the coop. I grabbed the shotgun and headed outside. Standing in the middle of the yard,neck stretched as high as it could go one the big brown chickens is clucking like mad. As I stepped off the porch I see a big brown deer staring right at me. For a second I thought about taking a shot, but deer season doesn't start for another month or so. Then he took off running followed, by a second deer that I hadn't seen coming from the direction of our peach tree. They were out there looking for some fruit to eat. The peaches are just about ripe, but I am willing to bet they will be gone one morning when we wake up.
It's not really worth the money to buy fencing material to protect twenty dollars worth of peaches, but I am considering moving the chicken coop right next to the tree to keep a beek on it for me. I guess it's is only fair if they eat the peaches this year since I am hoping to eat one of them this year.