Barred Owl killed 3 hens last night

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by KrisPrince, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. KrisPrince

    KrisPrince New Egg

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    Aug 22, 2010
    Around 9:30 last night we heard our chickens screeching. We (and our dogs) raced to the coop and found a Barred Owl inside. It had smashed through a small plexiglass window in the door and taken the heads off 2 of our (EA juvenile) chickens and was sitting on top of a third (our beautiful Partridge Silkie) which it must have been feasting on as she had injuries to her neck and body and didn't make it through the night.

    We have 5 roosters (incubated our own eggs which resulted in 1 hen and 4 roosters...uugh) and 18 hens. Can't believe we lost 3 hens!!! The window has been boarded up and the chickens will be in lockdown for a while.

    If it weren't for the circumstances of finding this owl I would say what a beautiful and majestic bird it is. Now I just consider it a very lethal predator.
    We've had problems with hawks taking our pullets and silkies when they are free ranging, but this is our 1st encounter with an owl.
    From the posts I've see on BYC it looks like we're going to have a problem for a while as Owls are persistent and determined. I hope to not encounter another night like last night!!!
     
  2. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 23, 2010
    Mountains of NC
    OMG, so sorry for your loss!! We have owls here but haven't had this issue, yet. Maybe some hardware cloth on the window would help.
     
  3. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    I am sorry for your loss that must be awful.

    I agree, I would back the perspex with something so it can't break through again.
     
  4. libertychicken

    libertychicken Out Of The Brooder

    It BROKE THROUGH the plexi?! Good heavens, I would never have considered that to be possible. I'm with you on raptors having lost ALL aesthetic appeal for me any more - they just look like bloodthirsty lunatics to me after having lost two to a hawk. My logical mind knows they just do what they do because they're wild animals, but it still makes me shiver.

    So sorry for your loss of the hens.
     
  5. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

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    Neenah, WI
    sorry for your loss,

    get some wire on that window, one solid piece, I have a big owl problem, had one pull 'J' clips out and go through hardware cloth, I've found out through trial and error that if the owl can't tell what's on the other side they stay away. I hide the outline of my birds. the chicken tractors I have are target for those owls, so I place lattce in front of the pens on the tree side, owls love pine trees.
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    That's terrible. I'm sorry you and your chickens had to go through that. Owls are formidable predators. Did it crack the pane to get in or did it detach it and go through the hole?
     
  7. KrisPrince

    KrisPrince New Egg

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    Aug 22, 2010
    It was very cold here this week and all I can think of is that contributed to the plexiglass breaking. It broke into 3 pieces, 1 stayed in the frame and the other 2 were clear across the coop. The window is barely 1 ft square. The owl had to have hit it with extreme force. I'm going to add chicken wire to the inside of the doors, so in case something like this happens again, we'll have a double layer of protection.
     
  8. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Add some kind of wire that's stronger than chicken wire. Our dogs can easily get through that.
     
  9. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

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    hardware cloth is your best bet, just make sure you have no seams, or 1x2 welded wire (better air flow)
     
  10. BayouPoules

    BayouPoules Chillin' With My Peeps

    How awful for you!
    So sorry,. glad you got there before it was more of them!
     

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