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HELP! They are just missing, what do I do now?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Dani004, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. Dani004

    Dani004 In the Brooder

    Dec 22, 2013
    Eastern Long Island
    Hi everyone, I am not a chicken expert and really have no clue what I am doing when it comes to taking care of them. But I really like them and they have become awesome pets. Last summer my husband and I were adopted by a stray Rhode Island Red. Yes, you read that right, she was a stray. After she showed up and decided to make her home with us we went out and bought two friends for her. Things in the summer were great, and with the exception of some aggressive behavior a few months ago, things were going very well.

    Unfortunately, over the frigid cold winter the lock on our coop broke. On Tuesday one of them escaped and all we found were feathers. I bawled my eyes out, had my husband fix the lock and we vowed to make the coop more secure once all the snow melted. I checked on the chickens last night around 8:00 all was ok. My husband checked on them when he got home (11:00) all was ok. This morning we found the lock BROKEN, door pried open and Kentucky, the chicken that started all of this, was gone. Again, just feathers. Crimson was still in the Coop. What the hell is going on? My husband thinks it is raccoons, but there is no blood. Nothing ever attacked them before. I am so upset by this! I feel like we didn’t protect them well enough. I am sorry for venting so much, I am just in shock.

    Now my concern is for the sole remaining chicken. We moved her into our garage to make sure she is safe, and will reinforce her coop. But now she is a sole chicken and I’ve read that is not the best thing. My husband asked me if I wanted to get chicks. I am worried because we have 5 indoor cats, and I don’t want the poor chicks out there with whatever is killing the full grown chickens. He wants us to keep the chicks in the garage. Any thoughts as to what to do? Should I not get chicks because Crimson is full grown? Will she hurt them? Should we get another full grown chicken? Can I even get one in March? I am just so confused, and sad [​IMG]

  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Songster

    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    It is an unfortunate and frustrating situation, especially that you don't know what is getting them. It could be anything if you don't find remains or tracks. Even something other than your average predator, like a human. Sounds a little suspicious if the lock was broken. The only thing I can think of that may be that clever would be a raccoon or another person. But, like I said, it could be anything. Anyway, if you decide to get chicks, they will need to be somewhere safe from the cats, like the garage. You don't want to put them with your older hen. It's completely up to you whether or not you want chicks however, if you've got only one hen left, I would try for older birds as chickens are very social. Check craigslist or with your local feed store to see if there are any swaps in your area. Also, maybe try a strong padlock if possible on your coop door to be safe. Good luck to you.[​IMG]
  3. Dani004

    Dani004 In the Brooder

    Dec 22, 2013
    Eastern Long Island
    Thank you for yur advice. I am glad we moved our survivor into the garage. Whatever it was came back last night looking for her. We have an old shed in our back yard, my husband has been insistant on converting it into a coop. After this disaster, I think I may give in!
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Might I recommend getting some POL pullets? You can get them in the spring from your local feed stores. They are more expensive than getting chicks, but they would probably fare better with an adult hen and be more entertaining, much quicker to her. They are also right at the age where they are going to start to lay, so your wait time for eggs is significantly reduced. You can go to swaps, but I have never been a fan of them because of the number of infected birds that come out of these. I feel more confident about getting pullets from a hatchery than trusting the birds you get from swaps. The last thing you need is to get some birds from a swap, fall in love with them and then find out they are sick with some untreatable disease that will significantly shorten the lifespan of your flock and cost you a boatload of money, time and frustration...on top of having lost 2/3 of your flock this winter. These are the things that put a damper on the joys of having birds. Something to think about.

    I am sorry for your losses. I am glad to were able to save your last bird. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  5. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Songster

    Dec 16, 2011
    How far from the ground is the door lock?
  6. Dani004

    Dani004 In the Brooder

    Dec 22, 2013
    Eastern Long Island
    Far off the ground! It is prob 3 feet or so. But, the top of our coop is flat, and it may be only 6-12 inches from the top.
  7. I suspect a coyote or other wild dog. K9s are adept at pulling doors open to snag a warm chicken dinner, leaving nothing behind but feathers at the sight of the kill.

  8. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Songster

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    Sorry for your losses. Consider getting a trail camera to monitor the shed. You can get good ones for under $100, and you'll know what you are up against. I have 2 that I use, and I am amazed at the wildlife that comes around that I never see in person. Deer, moose, coyote, bobcat, bear, dogs, cats, turkeys, geese, ducks etc.I have a Browning model that you can get for $85 or so that takes nice pictures and video. If you think you are dealing with a person, get a blackout camera, one that emits no light when it takes pictures.
  9. New Hampshire

    New Hampshire In the Brooder

    Feb 1, 2014
    New Hampshire
    What kind of lock were you using? If it was a padlock, the only thing that I could see getting through was a person with a pair of bolt cutters. Just my opinion.

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