Chickens "unsettled" after preadator attack

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by JoyceD, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. JoyceD

    JoyceD New Egg

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    Sep 14, 2009
    Hello – I need help. I have Isa-Brown’s (started with 6, down to 4). They free range during the day and are cooped at night. After our herding dog “accidently” killed an adolescent, everything thing had been going well. Each night, the remaining five would go right back into their coop by themselves each evening where they would receive their evening meal. All was great until…. I relied on my 9 year old to shut the coop one night. He didn’t do it, or didn’t do it correctly, and now we have one less chicken. This was over a week ago. Something (my guess is a raccoon) went right in and had themselves a tasty dinner. It was so sad. Now the remaining four have laid only two eggs since (both with thin shells) and they will not go into their coop at night. In fact two of them are trying to roost in weird places like window ledges and such. From what I’ve read, and asked local farmers, they are definitely stressed due to the incident. Will they get over it? How long will it take? Anything I can do to help them? I would appreciate any advice. Than you
     
  2. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Treats Treats Treats. Mine Looooove sweet corn, and it's not very expensive right now.

    Yes they'll get over it, feed them treats near the door in the evening so they're close and happily eating, then the most convenient place for them to go is the coop. If they go to roost outside anyway, after full dark you can go pick them up when they're in their nighttime stupor and carry them in, making sure they're safely locked up of course. The 9 year old can help by holding the flashlight for you! After a few nights of safe coopage, (new word) they should keep using the coop.
     
  3. zowieyellowflame

    zowieyellowflame Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your 9 year old could remember this forever. Please make sure he/she does not feel any blame.
    I can't trust anyone to close up my chickens because door a, door b & door c needs to be locked, the clips need to be attached and the boards need to be up and the sand bag needs to be placed and so on......
    Today though, a hawk just came down and started eating a young chicken out in the enclosed pen in a part that did not have a cover. The chickens are so upset that they wont come back outside. (i dont blame them)
    Anyways, they will stay in until i get more reinforcement.
     
  4. Amethyste

    Amethyste For Love of Boo...

    When we lost our first bird to a coon [​IMG] it was heartbreaking. It threw the entire coop into dissaray. If i recall it was almost a month till they got it back together...Boo was the head hen. She died protecting her sisters. We never thought about reinforcing the run cos in our experience the coons only came out at night, and the girls were well asleep and locked up then. This one tho came out on a Thursday morning at 8:30 when the sun was in the sky. We learned our lesson sadly [​IMG]

    Egg laying was thrown off, and outside everyone was very very cautious. They hardly would step foot outside into the run for almost 2 weeks even with the treats. It didnt help either that they dont like change much... my husband redid the entire run fencing with hardware cloth and redid everyhting he could think of to prevent it form ever happening again. That just freaked them out more with him messing with the run. Finally when the new order was established things settled down but it took a good while for things to get back to normal.
     
  5. JoyceD

    JoyceD New Egg

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    Sep 14, 2009
    Thank you everyone for your comments. My son has been quite upset about it so we are really trying to not make a huge deal out of it, but it is one mistake he'll never make again. We've been doing treats and have got two of the four to come home by themselves... and I've even got one egg! So thanks again!
     
  6. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    I see by the posts that some people might have thought I meant my comment about your son handling the flashlight as some kind of punishment. I didn't at all. It was meant as a way for him to help, which would give him a boost, and for you to do it together which is usually a good thing... and you'd certainly need a flashlight to do this so you don't trip, fall or hurt yourself!
     
  7. JoyceD

    JoyceD New Egg

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    Sep 14, 2009
    I must tell you, I took it exactly how you intended. No worries. [​IMG]
     

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