1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

A Heartbroken Thank You.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Brooksy86, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. Brooksy86

    Brooksy86 Just Hatched

    16
    1
    14
    Nov 26, 2016
    I moved into my current shared house about a month and a half ago, when they told me they had three chickens I actually made a joke about leaving a trail of crumbs to a waiting oven (I am a chef after-all) and was pretty nonchalant about their existence. But then I struggled to find work as often as I would like, my days became more and more housebound and slowly but surely these feathery buggers became my constant companions. Whether it was slowly getting them used to me being around them, getting them to eat out of my hand, watching them dust themselves off in the dirt on a warm day or just simply learning what each of their vocalizations meant, I became utterly smitten with them. I was even told that the eldest one had stopped laying eggs, so, using information I got from this site, I gave her some TLC and before I knew it, she was laying down eggs again much to everyone's surprise. And that's what the 'Thank You' means from the title, this forum gave me all the answers I ever needed, I freaked out when I first saw them having a mud-bath and this site put my mind at ease, they free-range quite happily and without this site I never would have located where they were laying their bloody eggs, from feed, to bedding to the correct way of picking them up, this site and all its wonderful contributors have just been excellent. My life right now is very lonely, I am 10,000 miles from home, I am unemployed and these three little ladies have been the most joy a man could ask for during these bleak few weeks.

    Three days ago my friend surprised me with a new chicken, a Silkie, which in all honesty I'm not totally enamored with. Its timid ways go against the very brash and brassy attitudes of my original three, and she seems to have gone into the chicken house I built her (thank you again for those tips) and is seemingly happy to never leave, just squarking at me whenever I put a bowl of food in her domicile. I'm sure she'll grow on me though. Yesterday another friend asked if I wanted to take on her Silkie too as it was lonely after her partner suddenly vanished a few months back and I agreed. I stayed over there last night, collected the bird today and headed home, my housemate having been asked to make sure the birds were fed and let out to free-range before he went to work.

    I was greeted by a garden full of feathers and blood, two missing birds and one deceased one. Back home I lived in the countryside, I know a fox attack when I see one. The silkie was OK, she never left her hutch it seems, but my three little buddies are gone and I'm just heartbroken, I cried my bloody eyes out, I'm not the sort of man who ever really gets emotional but it just hit me like a punch to the gut. I feel so silly being like this about some ****** animals I really couldn't have given much of a hoot about not so long ago. A little part of me hopes that I'll open my backdoor tomorrow and find the other two. in bad shape, prancing around the garden, but I know that's wishful thinking. I just suddenly feel more alone than ever now. I miss my girls.

    But on the plus side, the two silkies are getting along famously, they now BOTH make a racket when I feed them and never leave their ****** coop. A**holes. Haha.
     
  2. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    7,484
    1,516
    401
    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    Oh no.... I am so sorry for your loss. What a horrible thing to happen! Those chickens are endearing aren't they? I am in between flocks right now and miss my birds too ( switching breeds). How about seeing if you can pick up some Euskal Oiloas? The Basque Hen. They are the friendliest chickens in the world. Always wanting to be with people. Where are you at? Oh I am so sorry.. Now is a good time to replace your birds as breeders are downsizing for overwintering. I completely understand having poultry friends. I don't know what your poultry set up is like. But if you went to the local snowmobile dealer and got one of his shipping crates from him, you could cover it with chicken wire and make a secure run for your new birds.
    Best,
    Karen ( so glad you Silkies are ok!)
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
  3. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    7,484
    1,516
    401
    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
  4. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

    3,279
    1,418
    256
    Jul 24, 2016
    Surrounded by the Amish
    That sucks
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,524
    2,457
    411
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I understand well your heartache, having been through predator attacks myself. But have you done a thorough search of the area for the other two hens? Often, when a predator attacks, the predator may get the first victim, but the others will flee to tree-tops, behind furniture on porches, hide between objects that would appear to offer little room, etc.

    One time after a hawk killed one of my hens, I couldn't find the youngest ones of my flock, four six-week old chicks. Hours later I discovered them wedged behind some firewood on my porch.

    Another time, again after a hawk attack, I was sure it had flown off with the smallest chick. Learning from the past, I went hunting for it. I found it wedged tightly between two straw bales, alive and uninjured.

    Survivors can flee considerable distances. They will be traumatized so they won't come home on their own right away. I urge you to go hunting for your two hens. This story may not have such a tragic ending after all. Don't give up.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,200
    7,498
    726
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Sorry for your loss. [​IMG] Real men do cry, and they give hugs too.
     
  7. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,903
    353
    236
    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    So sorry for your loss but do as azygous said, they maybe hiding somewhere too traumatized to return. Leave the door open to their enclosure for at least a week, set out feed & water, they just may show up. Once I had a missing chicken, went crazy looking for it & calling. All of a sudden I heard squawking. Followed the squawks & found her wedge/stuck in some thick brush. I was so happy as she was getting unstuck. Check in the oddest places & tightest places....Again sorry for your loss, they are NOT JUST CHICKENS :(

    PS....I understand about yours Silkies but give them time & they'll come around. Try some freeze dried meal worms to entice them to come out. I think I want to get some but still haven't, stuck on the LF. Know what you mean.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
  8. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

    12,314
    2,554
    421
    Mar 3, 2011
    The Land of Enchantment
    Really sorry about the loss of your hens. It must have been awful for you to find one like that.
     
  9. Brooksy86

    Brooksy86 Just Hatched

    16
    1
    14
    Nov 26, 2016
    Thanks guys for the responses, means a lot to me.

    I looked and I looked for the two others, I had hopes as they were all of different colours and whilst there was feathers of both my white (Lily) and red bird (Gloria) by the bucket-load, the black one (Morgan Free-Range) only had a smattering. The only place I have not checked is under the house, but that's impossible to access and I have tried for a few days now. Left food and water out, but the cats also seem to enjoy eating it so I can't really use that as a judge of anything.

    The two Silkies seem to be in a perpetual state of stupidity too, not eating or drinking much, sleeping outside their hutch, cowering in a corner all day, one of them will literally flee whenever I let her free-range and will scream bloody murder whenever I try and shepherd her back into her coop, she got her top half wedged into a bloody tree earlier today. That was fun trying to ease her out, I should have just left her to get out in her own time but the fox attack has really worried me. Its an unfair way of looking at it, but they lack the character of my three old girls, and it just makes me miss them more.
     
  10. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,903
    353
    236
    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    No chicken will ever replace your original three [​IMG]

    Cherish the memories, someday you may consider getting another set. In the mean time research the different breeds & go visit different breeders/farms to see & learn. Chickens are great pets, I call mine Pets with Benefits. Secure & reinforce the enclosure if you do decide to get anymore.

    As for the Silkies, I find them cute & thought I wanted one but after having raised 2 for a friend, think not. They really are "different" [​IMG] Some of the LF (large fowl) breeds come in bantam sizes too.

    Best wishes
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by