A sad but also happy story.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Lil Buff, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Lil Buff

    Lil Buff Hatching

    Dec 22, 2013
    Haven't been on in a while. I'm still new! But I thought I'd share this story with you all tonight.

    We, like many other chicken owners, have dealt with the off-and-on predation of our (admittedly beloved) chickens. Our coop is well fortified, and after the first few attacks/killings we've become methodical about getting the chickens put up before dusk. Earlier in the summer we had three chickens (two of which were my favorites) attacked and killed by what we believe was a either a fox or raccoon. We became even more careful after that. "The chickens going to bed" has become a priority.

    Unfortunately, I think whatever it is that is preying on our chicks has gotten wise to our strategy. Tonight, some friends came over. My friend, M, and his mother, L. I went down to the barn with M earlier than usual today, and noticed the dreaded circular bed of feathers we usually find when one has been taken. The feathers were from one of our Barred Rock hens. I immediately got freaked out and headed for the coop. No chickens (they're usually crowded around the coop at that time). They were hiding, and thankfully within a few minutes we were able to find them. My fears where confirmed when I found that we were missing a BR. My mom and M's mom, L came down from the house. We were pretty saddened by the prospect of a lost, hurt, or dead chicken. We were able to figure out that the killing had taken place very recently, and our moms decided to employ our dog, Taya, to find the chicken.

    I don't know about you all, but I like to be able to know where my chickens are, dead or alive. I don't know why, but I like to give my chickens a proper burial. The ones we never found are in the back of my mind when I go to put the living ones up, always.

    I was pretty skeptical about the dog finding the chicken. Mom brought Taya down, and right away she was sniffing the feathers. Her hackles raised immediately, and she began frothing at the mouth. She sniffed and zigzagged everywhere until she made a beeline for the woods behind the barn. We waited for about 15 mins, and sure enough, Taya emerged from the woods carefully holding a (dead) chicken in her mouth. She then took the chicken over to the spot where the attack had taken place and gently put it down in the center of the feathers. I think we were all pretty stunned. M and I buried the chicken.

    I don't know if she would have tried to eat it had we not buried it, but the way she acted after she found it has me believing she wouldn't have. She didn't become protective of it when we approached her and she usually is when she catches a rabbit. She also does not hurt or attack the chickens, but she will chase them when they are annoying (LOL). She is some kind of shepherd mix and has a herding instinct. She isn't a retriever (fetch is lost on her). I have no idea, though.

    Anyway, that's my story. Of course, I could have just told you that our dog brought home a chicken that was a victim of predation so that it could be buried. I guess this wordy post is my way of venting/grieving. Thanks for reading, and rest in piece, Mabel. [​IMG][​IMG]
  2. Sorry about Mabel. Good girl, Taya. Protecting her flock. I have 1 dog and at least one cat who will fight for our chickens lives. They are all family. Thanks for sharing your story.
  3. silly4buttons

    silly4buttons Songster

    Jul 5, 2013
    Billerica Ma
    I so sorry for your loss :hugs
  4. Lil Buff

    Lil Buff Hatching

    Dec 22, 2013
    Thanks to you both. I never could have imagined how attached to the chickens I'd be when we first got them.

    It was a good day today. The other chickens are doing fine. :)

    Thanks again.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: