HELP! Attacked and killed...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Aisle12Farms, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. Aisle12Farms

    Aisle12Farms Out Of The Brooder

    May 27, 2008
    [​IMG] Well, I have been dreading this day. A predator has located, and killed one of my girls. We believe the attack occured during the day while we were all at work. One of my beautiful new pullets was brutally killed in my fenced pasture. My DH and Daughter went out to collect eggs this evening, and made the horrible discovery. The pullets neck was severly wounded, her breast meat was gone, and her entrails were clearly visible. Based on the feather blast, she was attacked near the barn, and finished off my the fence line. My daughter was so upset, she cried. This years "new additions" have been the friendliest birds we have ever known. Does anyone have any idea what might have done this, and what I should do to protect the rest of the girls? We keep the girls (31 left) in two large horse stalls in the barn, and have always left their hatch doors open. My DH doesn't want to lock them in, so I'm trying to find a happy medium (if there is one)!???!!!. [​IMG]
  2. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    Based on the fact that it was in a fenced pasture and the wound details, I would guess a hawk but my experience is limited.

    Do you have cover for them and a rooster? These can go a long way towards protecting them from predators like hawks.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  3. dixiechick

    dixiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Because she was dropped at the fence line...makes me think of something bigger---cat, dog, coyote....something that had to negotiate the fence....a hawk doesn't drop his prey off like that....

    ...more than that....I am terribly sorry for your loss and for your daughter! Will say a prayer for your family during this time....
  4. Kuki

    Kuki Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 29, 2008
    I am so sorry.[​IMG]
  5. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Odds are that whatever got her will be back, soon, maybe even tomorrow. I think you have to keep the rest of the birds in lockdown for a little while at least since the situation is not predator proof.

    So sorry this happened.
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I am so sorry about your loss. That would have been awful for your girls to find.

    Whatever got to your chicken now knows where to get a free meal and will almost certainly be back. So, none of your other chickens are safe with the set up you have now.

    Whenever we free range our chickens there is always the possibility (some will say probability) that a predator will take some. It's a risk that we each, individually, have to decide if we are willing to take. If not, then don't free range your chickens or only free range when you are there watching them.

    It sounds like you do not lock your chickens up at night either. I'm amazed you haven't already lost some to nighttime predators. If you want to keep them safe they have to be securely locked inside at night.
  7. Aisle12Farms

    Aisle12Farms Out Of The Brooder

    May 27, 2008
    Thanks so much for the speedy replies! The support, information, and TLC is priceless.

    We do have a rooster Elvis (who is M-E-A-N even to us).
    I will add some additional shelters in the morning.

    Chirpy, I will give great thought to the comments you have added as well.

    What techniques do folks use to get large numbers of chickens that are out in a pasture to return to the coop? I am still fairly new to all of this, and value your input.
  8. dixiechick

    dixiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    My dad has LOTS of birds and makes his roosts attractive by multi-level roosting, nesting buckets, and treating/feeding them near that area at roosting they flock there and "call" for him in the evenings...
  9. JestersEye

    JestersEye Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 12, 2008
    Mullica Twp., NJ
    My family had chickens when I was growing up, and we always had casualties from predators. My dad even went so far as to make a hunting blind and held "stake-outs" at night to catch the varmints in the act. (Not a recommendation, just an absurd anecdote!)

    Unfortunately, we had a lot of problems with opposums and owls. The owls were the worst because we had been given chickens from different flocks, and only about half of them used the coop. The rest roosted in the trees all night... "easy pickings" for the owls. [​IMG]

    I hope you can find some way to help keep your girls safe without sacrificing too much of the freedom that they (and you) have become accustomed to.
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I am sorry you lost one of your chickens. If you are doing unsupervised free ranging this is the risk you take.

    Now that a predator knows where to get a free chicken dinner it will continue to come back until there is nothing to come back for.

    I would lock them up in a completely covered run with a hen house and set out some traps, put out ome flour around the barn and their run to watch for tracks if an animal is coming back periodically checking for a free dinner.

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