I am new to the group. I had 7 chickens and one rooster. Yesterday, something came into my yard and snatched up one of my most social hens. They are about 4 mo old now.
I let them free range during the day and put them to bed in their coop at night because I thought that was when the predators come out. The rooster seems very upset! I kept them in their coop area today for safety reasons! What do I do now? Get another chick?
Welcome to the forum. You should be sure to check out the Washington Page and say Hello!
When I started with chickens last year we had 6 pullets and one cockerel. They were locked up at night and free ranged during the day. One day a neighbor saw a coyote in our yard and we lost our sweet little cockerel. The pullets missed him, but more than that they were afraid to go outside for about a week. I'm sure seeing their buddy carried away in the mouth of a huge coyote freaked them out.
We quickly found out that there are coyotes out all day around here. It wouldn't surprise me if you have the same issue in Lake Stevens. Now our flock (which is much larger than it was a year ago) has to stay in a coop until afternoon. We had hoped to be able to free range them all day, but with 4 acres of pasture, it is impossible to fence it so no threats can get in. Despite the precautions, we lost another rooster last month to a coyote. My neighbors have lost ducks to them as well. You might have to consider leaving your chickens inside until late morning so you don't keep losing them.
There is also another thread about battling predators if you want to check that out too.