Help me decide what to do...story & questions

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lilbirdee, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. lilbirdee

    lilbirdee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2009
    Ridgefield, WA
    So this morning my DH wakes me up with "a coyote got one of your chickens!"
    He said it was still alive out in the pasture (where chickens rarely get into) and that he had scared the coyote away.
    I went out and found a hen with no feathers on her neck, her tail chewed up a bit, very wet and mangled looking. Appeared to be orange-red color with black feathers in her tail so I'm thinking it's my sweet NH Red. She ran away from me so she's still mobile, but when I grabbed her she squawked something fierce. Definitely in shock and very battered, but no gaping holes or blood so I put her in a cage and am keeping her warm and comfy and quiet. If she has no internal injuries I think she might be okay eventually.
    In the mean time I'm out doing my chores and notice my NH Red wander in. So I'm thinking...Oh no! it was my RI Red. Poor Rose! But then a few minutes later I see Rose in the barn, and my red sex-link is there too. That accounts for all my red/orange chickens.
    So I go about trying to count my 25 various chicken wandering around my yard and barn area. About 2 acres. And still can't get a definite number and can't figure out who the hurt hen is. I'm starting to feel like an awful chicken mom if I can't even recognize my poor injured chicken. So I make a name list and go about checking them off as I see them and when done all the names are checked off!!
    This is not one of my chickens! Must be from a neighbor. Poor thing was brought here from quite a ways. No wonder she's in shock.
    My thoughts now are:
    If she lives, do I take her back to her owners? (they have so many chickens I'm sure they don't know she's gone)
    I think that if I take her back injured they will just put her down. But if I spend the time to nurse her back to health, she should then belong to me?
    If I keep her, will my girls accept her? I would wait until she is healed completely.
    Please help me figure out what to do with this poor traumatized girl. I'm getting attached to her really quickly. And I want to do what's best for HER.
  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Well..i'd try to find her owners, i guess.
    Just in case shes some kids beloved pet chicken.
    Ask them if they will treat her..or if they just want you to treat and keep her...
  3. lilbirdee

    lilbirdee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2009
    Ridgefield, WA
    She had to have come from the property adjacent to ours. No kids. NOT pets. They eat some of their chickens.
    I probably would ask if I can keep her if I take care of her. Plus they should know that their chickens are not protected from the coyotes.

    This still leaves me wondering if she would be accepted by my flock.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  4. mandelyn

    mandelyn Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    I would pretend the coyote finished her off and keep her. Use the healing time as quarantine time. With the number of birds you have, she should be able to find friends.

    It's always a risk to free range... but in this case, you got +1 instead of -1.

    I won't free range my birds if we ever move out of town.. unless I have many birds. But with a small named and personable flock... I would never be able to risk mine! I only have 6, a loss of one would be major.

    My family down in Tennessee try to maintain about 50 free range birds on 15 acres. They add 50 babies every year. The hens can never get many nests to hatching date. Survival is low. Over the last 50 years, predators know exactly where to look, even with active trapping. Only the toughest game birds seem to survive, they roost in the highest rafters of the barn, the tree tops (to be owl bait) and the chicken coop itself is a ghost town since bobcats and whatever else figured out it's workings.

    There's a couple of birds that are quite old, they teach the new ones. Even then, not many last.

    But really... I wouldn't want to go through that. Nor would I want the predators knowing there were free range birds. So I keep mine locked up unless I'm out there. Even then, hawks aren't scared.

    It's so nice to watch them outside and have them come running when I step outside. But if we move out to the country, I wouldn't want to see the number running towards me get smaller and smaller from predation. So for now and likely later on... they can huddle in the corner of the run pacing, trying to get me to walk faster with the treats I'm carrying.
  5. ZombieChickens

    ZombieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would definately tell them. Just make sure they know that you would like to keep her, if they don't have the time to nurse her back to health. Like you said, they should know that their birds are unprotected.
  6. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Quote:Eh.then i wouldnt worry about it too much..just keep her.
  7. kasey08

    kasey08 Aunt Kasey's Farm

    Mar 29, 2010
    Scottsboro, AL
    yeah i agree. tell them about it then ask if you can take care of it if they dont want to.
  8. Yardbirds286

    Yardbirds286 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 7, 2009
    Western Mass
    Nurse her back to health and just keep her.
  9. caspernc

    caspernc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Z town NC
    get her healthy, quarentined, dusted , wormed, ect....... get a temp run beside your brood, then one night while everyone is roosting, grab her up and stick her on a roost with the other birds. The next morning they will think, "Oh there you are, I thought you were outside." Chickens are easy marks. They will make friends with a cat given enough time. You may want to tell the other folks that you found a chicken in the mouth of a coyote the other day and non of your birds are missing. Could it be one of theirs? Omitting a truth that the chicken is still alive and will be so with help. Depends on if you think it will take food from their mouths. Some depend on the flock for food, a lot. ?????Has to be your call. (Go with the chicken)[​IMG].
  10. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I am really surprised at most of these answers, if not all. If it belongs to the neighbor, you need to return it.

    You can ask if you could keep it, offer to try to nurse it back to health, or say whatever you wish to them, but it is not your chicken.

    Is there something wrong with eating some of one's chickens?

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