chicken (flock) behavior after an attack by a predator

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cgtara3, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. cgtara3

    cgtara3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Traverse City, MI
    We had one of our beloved little birds killed by a raccoon last night. We thought they were secure in their coop with the pen we had built, but apparently it was not enough. I cleaned out the remains of the bird and the poop left behind from the raccoon that was left on the ground. Today, the birds did not want to go back in their coop in a timely manner. We put a light inside for them to see that it was okay. Normally they would have walked back up to their roost site and it would be no big deal. They just kept squawking tonight. One tried flying off over the fence we have to go away. Those poor babies were traumatized by what happened last night. People would think that birds are stupid--but I believe they are incorrect about that assumption. It's true they are not always too bright--but you or I would not be either if we didn't have a cerebral cortex like the birds don't. Their instincts told them that there was something wrong with the situation and they knew enough that they were uncertain as to wanting to go back again. I give them credit for that much knowledge of danger...more than what some humans have!
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    After a hawk attack last year my hens wouldn't free-range for almost a week. Good thing, too. The hawk camped outside their enclosed run for a couple days, looking for a way to get in.

    Sorry for your loss.
  3. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    Oh, they definitely know and remember. Sorry that happened to your chicken.

    Raccoons are bad news (and they come in family groups). Reinforce coop, set trap, purchase or load firearm. If you have any chicken wire, replace it with welded wire.

    Good luck!
  4. Chris623

    Chris623 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    Central Oklahoma woods
    Quote:I'm sorry for your loss. We sure do become attached to these little birds.

    I "failed" my hens by forgetting to close their coop one night. An opossum spent the night in one of the nests...........but not before it completely removed the tail feathers from one of my hens, bit into the wing of a second and messed up the beak of another. Got rid of the offender and cleaned up the scattered feathers. All of the hens returned to the coop the next evening, except for one who sleeps outside in the enclosed run now...........and when it was too cold a couple of nights she slept on the floor in the corner of the coop. It's been almost 3 months now since the intrusion. Don't know if she is permanently traumatized, but only time will tell. Good luck with your "girls".
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  5. JJS2000

    JJS2000 New Egg

    May 5, 2017
    My buff Orpington chicken got attacked by a dog and ripped a lode of feathers out of her back and she's been in the hen house for a day now what do I do

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