Hen survived hawk attack now being shunned

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chickens run, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. Chickens run

    Chickens run Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 11, 2013
    I lost my first hen yesterday to a hawk. [​IMG] I had 8 hens and 1 rooster, all bought together. They are 9 months old. The hawk killed my RIR, and today I noticed the neck feathers on my Cuckoo Marans are all shredded. No injuries to the skin that I can see. I assume that she escaped the hawk, who then caught my RIR and beheaded her instead. The Cuckoo was found cowering in a corner of the coop and is still skittish. All chickens have remained in the coop since the attack, only coming out for a minute today while I stood by. They did not want to stay out at all. I just went to get something I had left in the barn and noticed that the wounded bird is alone at one end of the perch while the rest of the flock is huddled together at the other end, with the roo in between. I am worried about her being isolated in the freezing temps. I am assuming that her broken and missing neck feathers are from the hawk as I have not seen any of the other birds hen pecking her. Should I just leave them alone to sort it out? I am not sure where she falls in the pecking order, but I do know that the RIR was the roo's favorite, always together on the roost.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    A chicken's powers of recognition is limited. The rest of the flock likely doesn't recognize your injured hen now and they are treating her like an interloper or new comer.
     
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    X2 its likely she lost her place in the pecking order. It will be like she is a new hen. She may or may not work her way back up the order. It depends on her. Give it some time. She will again find a place in the order.it might not be the same as before but she will fit in some where. Watch for signs of aggressions towards her. Its like she is new to the flock again. Hope this helps and wish you the best.
     
  4. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    I agree with everyone else on her looking like a new hen. I think she will be fine in freezing temps as long as the coop is draft free.
     
  5. Chickens run

    Chickens run Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 11, 2013
    Thanks for the input. Penelope is still alive and looking no worse for the wear, so hopefully she is finding her place again.

    On another note, DH just shot a 'possum in the barn. It was in the coop but ran to the next stall. Once we got it out in the open he was able to get it. Now I understand why they were going through so much food, why I found a broken egg shell the other day, and why I only got 2 eggs out of 7 hens today, when 4-5 a day is typical. I wonder, do 'possums live in groups? I am also wondering who killed my RIR the other day? I saw a bird fly away from her dead body, so assumed he had killed her, and he may have. It was around noon when we got home and saw the carnage. She was killed in the run a few feet from the coop door. Her head was off but not eaten, feathers every where, and she was gutted. Her entrails were strewn all over the place, but there was very little blood. This being our first loss, I did not know to look for broken bones vs. flesh stripped, teeth or claw marks, etc. I just cleaned up the mess. We will be fortifying the coop and run tomorrow. I have a tool belt and I'm not afraid to use it...
     

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