Hawk attack/predator attack


In the Brooder
Mar 24, 2017
A hawk (we think it was a hawk) attacked 3 of our remaining 4 hens (we started with 10 hens four years ago, and lost 6 to hawks the first two years) last week, taking 1 hen on Thursday and it came back on Friday and attacked 2 more hens, badly injuring 1 hen and taking another hen, leaving us with 1 healthy hen and the injured hen. We brought the injured hen inside and bathed her, washed her wounds and treated them - she lost all of her tail feathers and she had wounds under her left wing - claw marks I think, and had all her feathers ripped out under that wing too. She seemed okay at first, just in shock. She was walking around and eating, she liked her baths and let me treat her wounds. She rested in my lap and drank water fortified with electrolytes and duramyacin, ate yogurt in her hospital cage (a big dog crate with all the creature comforts). Yesterday she took a turn for the worse - I checked on her at lunch and she was sleeping, but drank water from a medicine dropper, and when I got home from work I bathed her again - she seemed to love it and rested peacefully in the bath with her wings out and drank cool water from a cup. When I took her out of the bath and treated her wounds again, she slept on a towel on the bathroom floor. I let her sleep for a while, cleaned her cage, put her in her cage and she could barely walk so I gently eased her to a corner so she could rest - she lied down and slept until I went to bed. When I checked on her at 3:00 am this morning she had passed. We are heartbroken and I'm left wondering what else could I have done to save her, her injuries didn't seem life threatening. Now we have one chicken left and I'm also wondering if she will be lonely. Any advice would be welcomed. Thanks in advance.
It's hard to say why she may have died without a necropsy. She may have had wounds that were not obvious, puncture wounds in particular can hide in feathers and are prone to infection since they can close at the surface and trap bacteria inside. Your remaining chicken very likely will be lonely, they are flock animals and are much happier with their own kind. Since you have lost so many to hawks you may need to consider building a covered run area so they are protected for at least some of the time. Losing one occasionally to a hawk is manageable, but not something I'd want to be doing so much of. If it's a daytime run only, for hawk protection, then inexpensive netting will keep them out (it won't keep any other predators out). But, yes, she would be happier with some companions.

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