Chick died, leaving friend alone

city-chicker

Chirping
Aug 12, 2019
8
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We have 4 grown hens and got 2 babies (Red and Coco) in June. We were in the process of integrating, letting them all free range together during the day and putting them in separate coops at night.

Last night we finally put them all in the same coop. I opened the door bright and early so they’d have an escape if the big chicks attacked (one, Rocky, is especially aggressive with them). An hour or so later I went out and saw a possum slouching away from Red’s carcass. Coco was distressed all day.

I’m not sure what to do now. Keep them all in the same coop and be more attentive in the morning; put Coco in her old cage alone; put Rocky in the chicks’ old cage; somehow find another chick her age? I’d like to hear some advice and ideas. Btw long time lurker, first time poster.
 
Well that is a bad day for everyone. :(

Do you have a secure run?

How old is your remaining chick?

:welcome I am hoping future posts will be happier for you.
No secure run to speak of, just a 2 story coop with 4x6 “run” area below. We let them out during the day. Our yard is fenced in but obviously accessible by possum. We live in the city and the only other predator I’ve seen is a hawk.

Coco’s about 10 weeks.
 
No secure run to speak of, just a 2 story coop with 4x6 “run” area below. We let them out during the day. Our yard is fenced in but obviously accessible by possum. We live in the city and the only other predator I’ve seen is a hawk.

Coco’s about 10 weeks.

Possum will be back. Best to keep them locked up for a bit unless you want to try and trap it. The chick is already at the very bottom of the pecking order, so they should leave her alone aside from the drive-by pecking just re-affirming that they're bigger than her. She did lose her friend in human-terms... but in chicken terms she just wants to be around other birds for safety in numbers. So she will fall in. I know it sounds crass, but she doesn't have feelings like "missing" her friend... you do- not her. She will be fine.
 
Possum will be back. Best to keep them locked up for a bit unless you want to try and trap it. The chick is already at the very bottom of the pecking order, so they should leave her alone aside from the drive-by pecking just re-affirming that they're bigger than her. She did lose her friend in human-terms... but in chicken terms she just wants to be around other birds for safety in numbers. So she will fall in. I know it sounds crass, but she doesn't have feelings like "missing" her friend... you do- not her. She will be fine.
I’ve read warnings about only integrating 2 or more, never a single, so I was nervous. Good news, we put her in the big girl coop and she’s perched next to our current brooder. And Rocky is content on her roost, no pecking. Fingers crossed. I do have a trap, will set that up tomorrow.
 
I’ve read warnings about only integrating 2 or more, never a single, so I was nervous. Good news, we put her in the big girl coop and she’s perched next to our current brooder. And Rocky is content on her roost, no pecking. Fingers crossed. I do have a trap, will set that up tomorrow.

Don't kill the possum unless you have to- aside from their ugly looks they are actually really beneficial creatures. It's not his fault chickens taste like... chicken. :)

https://citywildlife.org/the-truth-about-opossums/

It's funny @Mrs. K and I talked about this on another post- but the space you have for the chickens can really make a difference in their aggressiveness towards one another. So if you have to lock them up and they are used to free ranging, just check in to make sure they haven't decided to beat on the little one for fun. You'll know if she is squished in the very back corner under a board...
 
I will say I have no experience with possums, but I have a lot of experience with the other predators, and they will come back. Once I had a coon leave me a note: "Please bring BBQ sauce, tired of them plain!" When I finally got him trapped, the trapper said it was the biggest coon he had ever caught. Well he would be eating chicken every night.

Do as you need, but I think the possum will be back, and not to eat ticks.

Mrs K
 

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