All of my chickens keep dying. Thanks to Hawks and Raccoons. Here is my story, so you don't have to go though a broken heart like I did.
I was so excited, when I got my first chicks, they were a Dutch and a Old English bantam mix. They looked a bit like chipmunks. One day when they were about 3 weeks, I was playing outside with them since it was a warm day. I had let them play outside all the time, and they never got lost, so I figured I could go inside for a little. They were still alone outside, when it was time to pick up my friend. I couldn't find them, so I just left them there while I got my friend. When I came back, I saw a huge hawk in our yard. I ran like crazy yelling, but when I got there none of my four chicks were to be found anywhere. I was in tears. I begged God to give them back, have them just lost in the woods, not dead. Later my brother said I should probabally put the chicks away. I said okay, but didn't do anything, assuming that he didn't know they were gone, as I didn't tell him. He told me that they were very noisy. Noisy? I ran outside and found two of them chirping away in our yard. I grabbed them, and held them. I gave them kisses, and finally put them back in the coop. As they grew older, I found that I was left with a pullet, and a cock. Just what I wanted! The chicks that got eaten by a hawk, if I could find no home for them, a man from tractor supply said I could drop them off at his farm. I knew they would get eaten by a hawk, but atleast I wouldn't have to kill them. So their fate was no different. One day I was outside reading a book, with my bantams peaking at the grass by my feet. I was going to take no chances. I looked down at them, and saw my hen jerking her head, and opening her beak, but making no sound. I assumed that she was thristy, so I picked her up, placed her in the shade, then ran a quick as I could to get water her water. In no more then 10 seconds I was back. I put it down, and placed her limp neck in the water. It was no use. She was gone. My family and I assume that the hawk grabbed her, but had to drop her, and gave her internal ingeries. I was left with one rooster. He was so beautiful and nice, I would pet him, and he would make cooing sounds. He would fly to my swing set, and perch on the swings. I loved him, but I knew he was lonely. So I looked into nice chicken breeds. I found silkies, and got him a girl friend, only a few months older then himself. One night a friend came over, and we were playing with my two chickens. We put them into the coop, and went to bed. In the morning we went to check on them, they roof the the nesting box, and the lid was on the ground. There were teeth marks. I can only assume that the latch didn't close properly. I had gotten 6 chicks in the mail a week, or so ago, and they were all I had left. I am happy to say, they are all still alive, and I got 3 silkies, but I am not sure of the gender of the silkies, the rest are females. They were all hatched on the 27th of June 2011.
I wrote this on the 6th of July, 2011. I will add a edit date, and edit this story as I loose, or get more chickens, or have more intresting stuff happen.
One of the Red Sex links died around the begining of August and near the end of August I found out that one of the Rhode Island Reds is most likely a rooster.
NOTE: I never thought this would happen. Be safe and get a coop that will protect your chickens. If they are light enough for a hawk to pick up, keep them in a covered run, unless you have no hawks. Always shut them in the coop at night. If there are any holes, your chicken might loose a leg, like my friend's did. DO WHATEVER YOU MUST TO KEEP YOUR CHICKENS SAFE. TAKE NO CHANCES!