Chicken genocide, survivors act strange

lil' Okie

Chirping
12 Years
Mar 18, 2008
36
0
75
Northeastern OKlahoma
Well, its been a bad month, the gate latch to the chicken pen malfunctioned somehow (it's now been replaced) after they were free ranging that evening and when I went out the next morning I had 4 hens left alive out of 22. It was horrible, they had all just started laying too. We live out in the country, don't know what it was. Probably a stray. Now I've noticed the remaining four don't act "normal". I let them out before dusk and when I went to lock them up only two were there, so I freak and assume something has killed the other two, the next morning theres three hens in the pen then that night the other shows up in the yard. They've never had trouble with this before, or am I just reading too much into it. Are they acting this way because they're lonely? I can't get chicks till spring. I feel awful, I raised them all from chicks and never lost one then this happens. So do you think they'll get over it or are they scarred for life?

P.S. Sorry for the long post
 

jacyjones

Songster
11 Years
Jun 9, 2008
866
8
139
Aberystwyth, Wales
I think they have had a huge fright and will take time to recover their normal behaviour. They will be wary until they feel comfortable again so all you can do is keep them safe with a regular routine and wait for them to recover. I am sure they feel more vulnerable now the flock size has reduced but they will adjust to the number they are now.
 

grandmachicken

Songster
11 Years
Sep 15, 2008
117
6
144
Williamson, GA
My birds have had several frightening episodes since I have had them, as it has been hard to keep my dogs, who are not well trained around chickens (yet!), from barking and getting out. One of my dogs actually got into the pen on Friday and had two chickens penned in my shed, my rooster and one hen - it was awful, she managed to pull out the rooster's beautiful sickle feathers, but otherwise they were okay. The chickens were all pretty upset and wary of me for about 24 hours, but they have recovered nicely.

Just give them some time. I am really sorry for your loss, I know that had to be a hard day.
 

lil' Okie

Chirping
12 Years
Mar 18, 2008
36
0
75
Northeastern OKlahoma
Thanks for your replies, it eases my mind. I'm glad they didn't kill any of yours grandamchicken. I guess I would be scared out of my wits too if I had survived all of that, poor girls.
 

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