don't forget to lock up the coop for the night!

wildwestcoast

Songster
5 Years
Mar 7, 2015
236
299
191
Vancouver Island, Canada
last night i didn't lock up the chickens on time. My daughter came running downstairs saying the chickens were making alot of noise. i went tearing out the back door and sure enough...they were hollering, flying around in the dark and generally panicked. I called for a flashlight and I heard something going over the back fence when it heard my voice. Initially I only counted 5 (which meant one was missing) I was mentally kicking myself for putting off closing them up while I checked the coop and run to make sure the predator was gone. Thankfully I found #6 hiding in a nesting box. I caught them all and put them in the coop and locked it but they were still pretty freaked out and making alot of noise. So the moral of this story is do not put off securing the chickens at night..we were lucky but you just never know when a predator is going to show up and wreak havoc.
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DownwardDog

Songster
8 Years
Jun 4, 2012
164
3
131
Seacoast New Hampshire
Oh no!

Well for us, tonight we were gone 2 hours (3-5pm) and the kids went out to do their coop chores and close them up for the night. My daughter noticed 4 of our 8-wk-olds missing. We quickly found one with no head/throat in the yard and lots of feathers all around him/her. 3 other chicks are still missing, while the other 4 chicks and mama hen are safe inside the coop.

I'm assuming a hawk took the one in the yard -- could another hawk have picked off the other 3? I'm hoping beyond hope that the other 3 are scared off somewhere, not moving. They'll likely survive the night if a fox doesn't get to them, though they'll be freezing! I'm hoping I see them in the morning, praying, praying, praying I do!

Sometimes, I feel I just don't have the strength for this. My heart breaks not knowing what has happened to the other 3 young ones. :-(
 

Toddrick

Songster
5 Years
Sep 28, 2014
1,251
114
156
Indiana
It is very easy to install an auto door if you buy a complete door, and not just a controller. The complete units run about $200, which is a lot, but buy once cry once (and know your birds are safe).

My Ador1 is failing right now (coulda been three bad batteries in a row???), so I'd recommend the PulletShut door. An unreliable door defeats the purpose.
 

DownwardDog

Songster
8 Years
Jun 4, 2012
164
3
131
Seacoast New Hampshire
It was still daylight when this happened, and the flock would have been free-ranging outside. We've seen hawks, and have lost 2 chix in 2 years due to them (saw it happen). It looks just like previous hawk attacks but there were never any extras missing. I know we have coons around, I just didn't think they'd be able to catch a free-ranging chicken. Whatever it is, I'm still hoping beyond hope the 3 missing show up in the morning!
 

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