Hawk attack/predator attack

skilove3

In the Brooder
Mar 24, 2017
4
0
20
Massachusetts
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 during 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 found piles of feathers, but the 2 hens just vanished, and we have a 6 foot fence surrounding 3 sides of our property - the 4th side is the neighbor's 4 foot fence with slat openings. Our hens free-range in our yard - we are in the suburbs, and they are secured in their coop at night. The attacks happened in broad daylight. Anyway, 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.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
27,363
20,624
831
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
If you have a game camera put it up, as you now know the predator will be back since it has made kills and then you will know what you're dealing with. It could have been most any predator but my guess would be a fox.
 

Czango

Chirping
5 Years
Nov 30, 2014
16
0
57
Disinfecting wounds early (with alcohol, iodine, hydrogen peroxide; although these can cause some damage to tissue) can help, but it can be hard to get in there fast enough-- you probably couldn't have done much more than you did. I've had birds walk around for a few days after an attack in which they were slightly wounded before dropping dead. Even minor wounds can get infected, and anything wrong can culminate suddenly and be hard to spot from the outside.
The lone bird would probably appreciate company, but sometimes it depends on the individual as to how much that will affect them. Short of predators and disease, chickens are pretty hardy animals. Good luck!
 

roosterhavoc

Enabler
9 Years
Jan 5, 2012
27,468
59,680
1,181
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 during 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 found piles of feathers, but the 2 hens just vanished, and we have a 6 foot fence surrounding 3 sides of our property - the 4th side is the neighbor's 4 foot fence with slat openings. Our hens free-range in our yard - we are in the suburbs, and they are secured in their coop at night. The attacks happened in broad daylight. Anyway, 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.
That doesn’t sound like a hawk at all. Hawks usually eat the bird right on the ground where it’s killed. Most of the time the breast and neck will be pecked down to the bones but the dead bird is left.
 

Shamo Hybrid

Songster
Jun 6, 2018
1,979
2,249
226
Chickens are strange, once in shock they sometimes can't recover from it. I had a healthy hen who I separated from the rooster that she bonded with and she went crazy but I figure she'd cool down after awhile..... well, the next morning I went to check up on her and I found her DEAD for no apparent reason at all other then what I concluded it to be, from a 'broken heart'. :(
 

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