Devastated

Sricher91

Chirping
Mar 22, 2018
111
88
91
let me start out by saying that our chickens are 100% pets. Especially to my children. The eggs are a bonus.

We are pretty new to chicken owning. We got our first flock on April 1st, 8 Dominique hens. In July a local chicken mama gave me 2 bantam hens that had been raised together and they never left each other’s sides. They never really got along with our current flock but they had each other. My big girls picked on them.

Well all my girls free range. They don’t even go in the coop at night (they fly into the trees where we can’t reach them). We live close to a main road/town so I just figured not a lot of animals to worry about.

So I was sitting on the couch and I heard a weird screeching noise I didn’t think anything of it and I hear it again. So I got up and yell out the window “what’s going on” and I see a bird fly out of the edge of the woods on our yard. I put on my coat and go where the bird was and I see big pile of feathers and the body of one of my bantams :(

My daughter is devastated. But I’m more worried about my other bantam because she lost her one friend and my flock of Dominique’s doesn’t accept her. She’s super tiny, all white, and a silky frizzle so she sticks out like a sore thumb. I’m also terrified now to let my girls free range. It took 8 months for us to lose one of our girls to a predator. What can I do to make them safe? I don’t want them locked in the coop/run 24/7. I’m so upset this makes me want to get rid of all my chickens so I don’t have to deal with this with my kids again :’(
 

Sricher91

Chirping
Mar 22, 2018
111
88
91
Well you could build them a large run and get another Silkie/frizzle. They could go in a separate coop to the others, we had the same isssue with flocks that you have currently and we now have two flocks
The silkies and the other breeds :)
Hope I could be of some help

Is it normal for the other breeds to not like silkies? I’d be scared of getting more and having the same problem and then having three separate flocks.
 

Sricher91

Chirping
Mar 22, 2018
111
88
91
I feel your pain. I have experienced devastation many times. If you keep chickens long enough, it will happen.
Whenever I have birds that choose to sleep in trees rather than the coop, they've always eventually been prey animals.

It’s really awful. I’ve always avoided having pets because I can’t take the heartbreak when they pass away. I feel like it’s my fault. Maybe if I got up at the first screeching noise I could have saved our bantam. Instead I waited and it was too late :(
 
Nov 2, 2018
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NSW Australia
Is it normal for the other breeds to not like silkies? I’d be scared of getting more and having the same problem and then having three separate flocks.
Well I have found that my flocks can go two ways depending on what breeds you have, all you really need to do is build a small coop and run for your bantams and keep your others in the other coop and run. That’s what we do, don’t worry it could just be pecking order for you, fingers crossed
 

50-45-1

Free Ranging
13 Years
Feb 25, 2008
2,656
8,451
626
Northern Michigan (tip of the little finger area)
My Coop
My Coop
Sorry for the loss of your hen.
Id say the time of freeranging and roosing in trees has come to is inevitable end.
The preditor bird, what ever it is will come back now that it knows of a place to get an easy meal.
If i were you i decide to try to keep my chickens, i would entice them in the coop. Close them in and tonight clip one wing so they no longer can get up in the trees. Make an outdoor run that will keep them confined. Many people still free range for a couple hours before dark while they are home and able to keep watch.
In the future years years you and your chickens will likely encounter many different preditors and pests. If you decide to keep them this is only the beginning.many lessons have yet to be learned.
Good luck!
 

JanetMarie

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 23, 2014
1,988
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SW Michigan
Since a predator found your birds sleeping in the trees it will be back for the others. Get them trained to go into their chicken house ASAP. Hopefully their house is secure. You'll have to figure out how to keep them from flying into the trees.

It was probably an owl, so you can still let them free range during the day.
 
Nov 2, 2018
3,784
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NSW Australia
It’s really awful. I’ve always avoided having pets because I can’t take the heartbreak when they pass away. I feel like it’s my fault. Maybe if I got up at the first screeching noise I could have saved our bantam. Instead I waited and it was too late :(
Don’t worry
That has happened to me too. I have herd the dogs start barking and thought nothing of it but then later on that night my chickens screeching because a fox got 3 of them.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
32,969
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St. Louis, MO
It’s really awful. I’ve always avoided having pets because I can’t take the heartbreak when they pass away. I feel like it’s my fault. Maybe if I got up at the first screeching noise I could have saved our bantam. Instead I waited and it was too late :(
Don't beat yourself up.
I do believe that about half of my losses were my fault.
 

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