My wife and I are looking at getting some backyard chickens.
To protect my chickens from nighttime predators, what would be some good shooting solutions?
I would like something that can take out a raccoon, bobcat, dog,,, stuff like that without scaring my neighbors in the middle of the night. Nobody lives right up next to me. I guess its maybe 100 yards through a tree line to the people behind me. The neighbors do not live directly behind me, more like a 30 degree angle to the backyard.
The AR15 has a light on it, but the AR is so loud it would probably scare the neighbors.
I was thinking of putting a light kit on my ruger 10/22, shotgun or even the AK-47.
A few months ago I ordered a light kit for the mossberg 590, but have not installed it yet. Maybe I should go with a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with BB or soemthing like #4 shot.
The purpose of the firearm would - if I hear the chickens in the middle of the night, I can grab the firearm and light up the backyard with the attached light.
A single-shot rifle in .357 with a light would do.
You're unlikely to have a pack of dogs / raccoons going after the chickens, and a single well-aimed .357 should be sufficient for any typical chicken predator. A fusillade of shots might unnerve the neighbors more than a single relatively loud bang.
Personally, I'd use it as an excuse to get another .357 levergun. You know, just in case of a horde of zombie possums or something.
The thing is unless you are planning on sitting up all night every night you will have no chance of being awake and ready when something comes to chomp on your chickens. I would suggest an electric fence or completely enclose them with a fence including over the top like in an Avery.
For shooting, definitely the 10/22 with a suppressor and subsonics and I use a led lenser P7 tourch mounted on top of my scope. Very good out to 50m.
Oh and not .22 shorts, just ordinary .22lr subsonic rounds are fine
12 ga. pump with #9 low brass field loads, one shot and no one will really notice or be able
to pin-point the location. Also in a populated area you don't have to worry so much about the direction your shooting since shot doesen't travel all that far.
It's what I had to resort to when a couple of skunks decided to dig a new home under my garage.
Not meaning to be a smart ass but electrify the fence. Otherwise, sub sonic .22lr would do the trick as long as your shots are 50yds or less. Quiet.
This is the best and most economical advise given. Even plain old .22LR won't be that loud if your shooting it out of a rifle and it will handle about any predator that will be coming after the chickens. The electric fence idea will work, if it is an open top pen, then one wire around the bottom and one on the top, will take care of any walking or crawling predators. If you have a lot of owls around you will need to put a top on your pen.
I use a 1200 fps .17 caliber air rifle. Even the Pit Bull from across the lake won't even look at my yard,will kill a possum with a head shot,other small varmints just tagem' in the ass and they can't get gone fast enough.
I don't think they make them anymore, but there was a company that made choke tubes that acted as a barrel extention so that all the powder was burned up before the shot and wad left the barrel, effectively quieting your shot. I'll try to find their web site.
I guess they still make them: Metrogun
They seem kind of ridiculous, but from what I have read, they work.
Thinking out of the box here, the safest and least expensive way you can go and be absoluitely quiet is a trap. Now if you are looking for an excuse to buy another firearm forget the trap.. The next safest thing would be the air rifle as stated above, but if you are going to purchase one I would look for a .22 as a minimum and possibly a .25 and stick with head shots. A quality air rifle with an air rifle scope can be pricey.