Exciting couple of days ... coyotes and rooster and raccoon, oh my..

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by marli365, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. marli365

    marli365 New Egg

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    I've had chickens for about a year now. Dec 2015 I heard of two hens that needed rescuing from their mean coop-mates, so we got birds in the winter. Since then, we've had a fluctuating headcount. Got 2 Buff Os in February, got 2 Icelandics in March, and got 3 Marans in June. Lost one Buff O to a hawk in March and a second Buff O to a smart raccoon with opposable thumbs in early June.
    Since then, my little broody (one of the two original hens) went broody for the third time so I stuck some fertile eggs under her (from friends.) Told them both to give me 2 eggs and both gave me 5! Then she laid one and was a little hen spread out over 11 eggs!
    Naturally, only one hatched, and again, naturally, it was a rooster.
    He worked out OK but was kind of dumb (probably because he is young.) He would call them over for tidbits and then peck them since the tidbits were obviously only for him.
    In the past two weeks, two of our Marans died suddenly and I blame the rooster.
    So yesterday, a friend came over and taught us how to get him ready for eating. ( I tried for months to rehome him and had NO LUCK.)
    Then today, in the morning, the 5 ladies went out playing in the thin wooded area in our yard. This is normal, but I guess they had been relying on the rooster to watch for predators and had gotten out of the habit of doing it for themselves. When my dogs started going crazy, I looked out - saw a coyote - ran out and yelled and he ran away. After looking for a long time (just piles of feathers), I finally heard a chicken call and it was one of my original 2 birds. (Unfortunately, not my little broody. She was an Excellent Mother.) We looked all day and no one else showed up.

    So please advise me, wise people - how soon can I get more birds? I am in Wisconsin and although it was a balmy 40 today, it often gets below 0. So doing some kind of quarantine thing would be very problematic. I feel so sorry for her and I know she is lonely.

    I'm thinking maybe I should only get 2 or 3 more, so that I can leave them in their 8 X 16 run (with various "play equipment" since the coyotes will surely be back for the rest if I let them out now.

    I guess i should have kept them inside after they "lost" the rooster, until their predator-watching instincts returned?

    Thanks for any thoughts and advice you have for me. Sorry if I was long-winded.
     
  2. Chic Rustler

    Chic Rustler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow! I thought i had rotten luck starting out. Sorry to hear the bad news. Any chance of getting pullets in your area?
     
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey marli365 I am so very sorry to hear of your loss [​IMG]

    You might want to post on the Predators & Pests Forum: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/13/predators-and-pests

    And also pop in and say hello on your local thread where you might be able to find someone who may have a friend for your lonely gal:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you ‘Find your State’s thread.

    I too have been down to one lonely hen and under those circumstances, waived quarantine. While it is not recommended, sometimes we have to take the chance.

    Best wishes!
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    The first thing to do is post on the predator threads and ask for the best ways to secure your coop and run. Obviously your area has too many predators for free ranging, unless you accept the losses.

    In all cases once preds are successful they will keep coming back until they have taken everything. You may want to keep any survivor in a secure garage (if possible ) and not let them out at all for maybe 2-3 weeks. By then the preds may have found another "fast food counter."

    Just noticed you only have one survivor. so sorry. You could make her a house chicken (see "people with house chickens," thread) . House chickens often consider humans as their flock mates. Then you could take your time before adding more.
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    PS most roosters are not effective against predators. If they stand and fight, they will be the first kill. If they sound the alarm, your flock would have to run for hiding places and not all will find some.
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Hi marli365 [​IMG] just wanting to say [​IMG]

    I'm sorry for your loss, it looks like previous posters have pointed you in the right direction for answers to some of your questions.
     
  7. N F C

    N F C eggnog time! Premium Member Project Manager

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    [​IMG]

    You've already been given some very good advice so all I can add is hello & best wishes.
     
  8. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Hello from Kansas, Marli365, and [​IMG]! Great to have you aboard! Really sorry to hear about your predator woes. Hope you are able to get a handle on that. Best wishes and thank you for joining BYC! [​IMG]
     
  9. marli365

    marli365 New Egg

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    Thank you for your feedback. I took in 4 hens from a nearby farmer who were the same age as the one I had left. I don't believe they had been outside for their whole lives! They are locked into their yard full time now, but getting along nicely after the first day. I see the coyotes in broad daylight sniffing around, so it is not time yet to reintroduce the free ranging. I added a dust bath (which they have not used yet) since they won't be out in the yard yet.

    Since it is a weird winter, we are able to (once in a while) let them out to scratch in the grass about 4 pm (we call it Happy Chicken Hour) around us, since they won't go far that close to bedtime. The new gals are still pretty hesitant to wander too far from the coop!
     
  10. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    Welcome to the forum! :frow
     

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