Hello! I'm from Louisville, Ky. and have (HAD) 4 backyard laying hens.


In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 11, 2010
louisville, ky.
Hello! As you might have guessed from my introduction, I lost a fully grown Aracauna hen yesterday evening to an unknown predator. There were no clues at all no sings of struggle, no feathers, nothing. I have noticed several holes in the ground in the chicken pen, like maybe a snake or something not very big. Surely nothing took a full grown hen down a hole that size. The dogs (Border Collies) barked yesterday at something in the willow tree, but I didn't see anything and they lost interest. There was a flap in the coop yesterday afternoon too; one barred rock hen who is usually the most noisy was on the roost all by herself and very upset. The act may have already occurred, as I didn't check the others. I am so upset and very nervous now, since I have no idea what has taken place. I have stationed one border collie near the lot in an attempt to deter any other attack, but don't know where to begin to look. I have never seen or heard an owl, but we do have hawks, although I wouldn't think large enough to carry away a full grown hen. I picked her up every day, as she was always the last to leave the henhouse, and she was very heavy. The lot is too large to cover and we have plenty of hiding places for cover. I am soooo sad. Any suggestions?
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So sorry to hear about your loss. There are so many things that can get into an uncovered run - I'm not sure how much help posting a dog nearby will be. The visitor in your willow tree could have been a hawk, owl, raccoon, opossum . . . The tunneling could be from moles or from mice coming after fallen food.

How large is your chicken pen? I've found deer netting to be a good deterrent to avian attackers. It also keeps my flightier hens from exiting the pen. I hope you can figure out what's after your birds!
Thanks for the response. I bought bird netting and covered the entire pen, which was quite an undertaking, and when I finished, the missing hen re-apperaed. I stood looking at her in sheer disbelief! She's back and I purchased 2 new hens and now, nobody's laying! I'm wondering if putting a light on a timer has stopped the laying? I know they like dark place to lay, but thought they needed more light as the days get shorter. How much light is too much for laying?I have a 75 watt florescent light there now.
Hi neighbor!!!

Welcome! I'm in the next county over. Sorry to hear what you're going through. Glad you found your hen though!

I've seen racoons and opossums running around the roads, but luckily they haven't visited me. Maybe it's our dogs keeping them away. I hope they stay away!

Good luck in your chicken keeping!

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