Any advice?? Chickens attacked

Chick named Lola

Songster
9 Years
Aug 15, 2010
463
0
111
Maryland
Hi! I'm new and I'm also new to the wonderful world of chickens. I have 5-14 week old chickens. A golden wyandotte, silver wyandotte, easter egger, speckled sussex and a dominique. I've been letting them out a couple hours a day supervised for quite a while. Recently, and stupidly, I've been going in the house for short periods leaving them alone...and they have been doing fine. Well, I guess the inevitable happened. I was gone for about 15 min. and when I came back out I saw feathers...my heart sank. Everyone was fine but too frightened to even go back to the coop. So I scooped each one up and took them back which is where they have been since. This was just two days ago.
The feathers I found were yellow so I knew it was Lilly my easter egger and checked her out head to toe. I found where the feather were pulled from and put some neosporine on her. No blood or anything. The queen been of my flock, the silver wyandotte, Thelma had a little blood on her nose and she is also fine. Everyone else was just scared to death. I've had them in the coop since but they refuse to come down into their run except for a short time to eat some ground up scratch for a treat once. But any noise and they run back up and won't come down. Will they settle down and get back to normal? I know should not have let them alone, when can they be alone outside if ever? I think it was a cat that got them. It was a few little clumps of feathers, no blood. We do have hawks too. I live in a suburban area. I just don't know what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
 

chicky_mommy

Chirping
9 Years
Sep 10, 2010
130
1
99
Northeast Corner of CT
If you plan on letting them have the freedom to go between coop and chicken-yard/run without supervision, you should put some kind of roof on your run/chicken-yard. most people on here will tell you tarp or ply wood provide both shade/rain protection as well as a roof, you can also wire the top of your run.

I recommend plywood or wire or a combination of the two. Just be careful what gage of wire you use because smaller gage=less ability for predators, pests, and wild birds but is heavier. I say this because tarp provides little to no real predator protection (i had a cat go right through one once and into my coop fortunately it was a small cat and i had enough adult standard birds that the cat got the short end of the stick on that move.

Once your birds are fully grown you should be ok to let them have the freedom to go between run and coop, I would say that you probably shouldn't let them have absolute free range without supervision at all if you have high numbers of cats or dogs that roam freely in your area or live too close to the road as chickens have little to no ability to protect themselves from dangerous situations presented to them by predators and cars.

As for the issue of they wont go outside, continue to bribe them out for a while and eventually they will get over this fear. When my RI was attacked (by my own dog) it took me almost 4months to get her to go out on her own and the way i finally did it was to only feed her outside in her yard. As a direct result of her fear and my only feeding her outside she refused to eat for 4days but finally hunger won and she discovered that outside wasn't so bad.

Good luck. Any other questions post, the people on here are GREAT.
 

Chick named Lola

Songster
9 Years
Aug 15, 2010
463
0
111
Maryland
Thanks for the advice. The attached run is covered with a run and has mesh. I will try to post a pic. Two of the birds will come down but only for a few minutes then they run back up into the coop.
 

Chick named Lola

Songster
9 Years
Aug 15, 2010
463
0
111
Maryland
Here is a pic of my coop:

65545_coop_windows_007.jpg
 

Chick named Lola

Songster
9 Years
Aug 15, 2010
463
0
111
Maryland
Wow, 4 months...I know they are traumatized but wowza! I hope it doesn't take them that long, I feel just horrible for them and I can't believe they don't even feel safe in their run. Poor babies.
 

TK421

Songster
10 Years
May 24, 2010
293
161
191
Central TX
You have a nice safe coop, and I'm sure your chickens will start spending more time outside. Keep feeding them in the enclosed run and they'll be fine. (Don't feed them inside the coop.
 

Chick named Lola

Songster
9 Years
Aug 15, 2010
463
0
111
Maryland
You mean take their feeder out of the coop or don't feed them treats inside the coop? They did come down today for some corn on the cob but as soon as I walked away they ran back up...all but one she stayed down and ate. That's progress I guess.
 

MANNA-PRO

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