I'm feeling a little bummed out, we lost our beautiful white hen Linda to a hawk today. We are 3 years into our backyard chicken experience, and I love my chickens! I don't mind the chores of cleaning their run, refilling food and water, etc. because they are just such fun animals. However, over the years we have lost 2 chicks, 1 hen to illness, 2 hens to raccoons, and 2 hens to hawks. We do have a rooster, and apparently he isn't doing his job to the fullest extent. We are now down to two hens and a rooster and we are debating whether or not we get more or cut ties.
We love letting our chickens run around our fenced in backyard, and they love it too. Do we continue keeping chickens but keep them in their run 24/7? Do we keep chickens and accept the fact that we will lose one every once in a awhile? Are my death rate numbers high? I certainly don't feel like the best chicken owner at the moment. What are your experiences or suggestions?
UPDATE: A couple hours after I found a decent pile of feathers on the ground in my backyard, with a trail of feathers into the neighbors yard (I looked around and couldn't find sign of her) I looked out of my upstairs window and saw my sweet white chicken wandering around my neighbor's yard trying to find a way back in. I can't even believe it! My neighbors two doors down recently got two outdoor cats... Now i'm thinking it was one of the cats... which now introduces a new problem. I think my chickens will be staying in the run unless supervised from now on.
Edited by whitneywpanetta - 2/8/16 at 9:13am