Dont ignore strage behavior


11 Years
Jun 26, 2012
Buckley, Wa
Hi all,
So yesterday evening the family was having dinner. I noticed 5 of my 11 hens on the back porch. Well I shooed them away telling them "We have 5 acers why not explore" Well they kept coming back. Shooed them away again. After about 3 min or so of chasing them off they started acting strange. Pecking on the slider door and climbing over each other desperately trying to get in. Which is strange because they never want to come in the house (except for Phoebe) I stated picking them up and putting them out the front door. By night fall they all where gone and I went to close the pen. I decided to do a beak count and noticed more than half the flock was missing. I found 3 of them hiding in the shed.

Well this morning I went searching. I am still missing 3 and only evidence I found where some clumps of feathers in the pen. Later today I am going to do a grid search and see what I can find. Was thinking hawk but thought they only took one at a time.
Lesson learned. When your chickens are acting strange don't ignore them, something might be wrong.
Hawks don't "follow directions" (do what you'd expect sometimes) I had one get two young pullets, eat the head off one(Dominique) and start to get to the insides, the EE pullet the hawk just killed dropped it in order to escape "my wrath" . "Usually " owls eat the heads but this was early AM and I witnessed this so "usually" depends from what I just witnessed myself FWIW
Update: Went searching the property. Found two feather piles from one hen. Still thinking hawk because there is not feather trail. Not a trace of the other 2. The rest where acting stressed all morning. Either hiding in the coop or under it. They seem to calm down after I spent some time outside.
Another Update! Thank you all for your kind words. You are right hawk is counted out. Looking around today I found what was left of Lucky, one of the missing 3. This time there was a feather trail. Following it I found a gut pile. The critter ate all but the intrails, gizzard, and crop but it was empty. Right next to that I found a leg and a foot. Re investigated the first feather pile from yesterday, found more feathers. Along with both feet, poor Rooster. (that was her name) Also found a large raccoon print in the dirt. Pretty sure that is what Im dealing with. I did have a bobcat a month ago killing ducks but took it out. Also the cat didn't eat the ducks close to the house. This predator is only taking them about 50 ft away, I have read that is a coon thing. Still do sign of Flower :(

I did have a hot wire that was given to me but it stopped working a few months ago. Looks like I need to replace it ASAP.
Coons are nasty things.
Indiscriminate mass killers.
I'm so sorry :hugs
Be prepared, they will be back with buddies.

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