Feeling incredibly guilty and upset at the loss of my flock.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mwiles513, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. mwiles513

    mwiles513 New Egg

    1
    0
    7
    Mar 30, 2014
    Pennsylvania
    So, about 3 years ago I raised six chicks in a cage in my bedroom until they were ready to be moved into my huge shed-turned-coop that is pretty much 100% predator proof. Once they were fully grown it wasn't long before I allowed them to free range, as my yard is set up well for a flock. Well, after about a year and a half, one morning I opened up the door before work (it was 6am and the sun was just rising). When I came home there was only two very scared hens left, and feathers all over the yard. I felt absolutely horrible. I know that losses happen with free range, but I just felt that they would have a better life being able to scratch about the yard and take dirt baths. That was last fall, and this spring I got three hens and a bantam rooster from my friend's flock and integrated them. I quickly got attached to the new group and they all got along well. My chickens are very much pets - they would climb into my lap to eat treats and they all had names. Just last night the heavy wind blew the coop door open and when I came home from my boyfriends house this afternoon there was again only two chickens left and feathers all over. First, I feel like a horrible person for taking the chickens from their old home and moving them here just to be eaten by a predator. How do you get over the loss of your flock members? Second, I am wondering if anyone could help ID the predator. Regarding the predator, there is no blood or trail of feathers, just groups of feathers across the yard. My neighbor has seen a small group of coyotes in the area, but I would have thought they'd have left a trail or at least a little blood. Third, should I get more chickens and subject them to being eaten, or just leave my two lonely? Should I still let them free range or keep them in the coop all the time?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    67,423
    20,483
    886
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] Sorry for your loss. When you free range there will be losses eventually. Coyotes are feeding pups now and fox are feeding kits. They snatch your birds and run back to the den. Whether or not you add to your flock must be your choice, but I would only allow supervised free ranging from now on.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by