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Scared Chickens

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Something spooked my chickens yesterday ... I suspect it was a nasty blue jay that I've seen around. My girls are so timid they won't leave their coop (they generally range freely around our property during the day). They will come out if I stay with them near the coop/run but dart back inside if I move too far away or they hear any squawks. I've had a little chat with them (I swear they listen 😂), walked them around to show them they are safe but to no avail. Do they just need time to forget? What else can I do to reassure my girls that I've got their back and that they are safe now?
post #2 of 7

They might have gotten spooked by a predator!!

Are they laying anymore?

They will need time to know that they are safe. Bu it depends on how drastic it was. One day my friend had 5 hens, one night a weasel came and killed one of the 5 chickens!!! It spooked the hens so badly that they didn't lay for months!!!

Do you have any predators around?

 

BCP

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
My girls haven't started laying yet, they're almost 8 weeks old. Definitely wouldn't be anything on the ground as this was during the day and our lab is out (if it were at night then absolutely probably something else). He alerts to everything, especially snakes and other wildlife. He never made a peep but we've got a stealthy blue jay that's been around the past few days so I'm assuming it was him. I've had some bad experiences with them before and know they can get very territorial this time of year. I'll just keep loving on them and reassuring and pray they come around soon, thanks!
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentry0723 View Post

My girls haven't started laying yet, they're almost 8 weeks old. Definitely wouldn't be anything on the ground as this was during the day and our lab is out (if it were at night then absolutely probably something else). He alerts to everything, especially snakes and other wildlife. He never made a peep but we've got a stealthy blue jay that's been around the past few days so I'm assuming it was him. I've had some bad experiences with them before and know they can get very territorial this time of year. I'll just keep loving on them and reassuring and pray they come around soon, thanks!

What does the blue jay do? We don't have Blue jays in our area.

Does the blue jay attack the chickens? Or just annoy them?

That sounds like a GREAT DOG!!! 

Our 2 dogs are in an electric netting from Premier with our chickens. They are called great pyrenees, they are the best guard dogs for livestock and children. Great Pyrenees are much bigger than a lab. The male can weigh up to 130 lbs.

 

BCP

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Blue Jays are the meanest things! They swoop down and will try to grab up small chickens, thankfully mine are bigger girls so I think this one is just annoying them but since they are so young I'm guessing they don't have the confidence to fight back. I once saw a cat being chased by an angry blue jay once! They are very territorial during their mating/baby season and I think there is a nest in the trees near my coop which could be the issue! LOVE the great pyrenees, they are beautiful but yes, our lab is an amazing dog! Sweet and gentle unless you mess with his family and then he will very much tell you how he feels! He adopts whatever other animals we bring home so the chickens get his protection too, almost better than a rooster ;-)
post #6 of 7

The sound that blue jays make is very similar to a hawk scream.  The chicks could be reacting to that.  I have blue jays all over and they are forever trying to get to the chicken food bowl, generally the chickens chase them away.  I haven't ever seen one go for a chick yet.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yellowherbs-swap-page

Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock

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http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yellowherbs-swap-page

Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock

Reply
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I bet your exactly right! He's been up in the trees above the coop squawking a ton, never occurred to me that it sounded like a hawk! Good info to know, thank you!
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