Hens grieving

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mountain Rick, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Mountain Rick

    Mountain Rick Hatching

    Oct 6, 2012
    We had 5 RIR hens and they were in there outdoor fenced in playpen ( the dog pen ). We were inside and heard squawking. We went out and a weasel had killed one of them and was gone - in seconds. The other hens have been off their feed and really quiet for nearly a week so far. They were all raised together since they were one day old and they really seem to miss their sister. The laying is way off and they are very subdued. I am amazed how good their memory must be.

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    The weasel may still be around, and they may be aware of it's presence. Take care and good luck.
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Things like predator attacks are very traumatic for chickens. One of mine was so freaked out when a hawk killed her sister in front of her, we thought she'd never get over it. Chickens are way more sensitive and emotional than we think.

    And x2 what Souland said: that weasel may still be around. Predators tend to come back. Take care!
  4. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Songster

    Aug 10, 2011
    Indiana, PA
    Agreed! Chickens are more sensitive than most think! I had a weasel attack and lost 2 out of 6 last spring and the 4 left took a long time to get over it. Between the stress and the loss...

    Sorry for your loss [​IMG]

  5. My hens stopped laying for almost two weeks after their rooster was killed by a marten. It happened at night, and I found one of the hens completely freaked out in the run, sitting in some mud, screaming every 10 seconds. It was bad. The other hens were sitting on top of each other in the corner of their coop. None of them was interested in food for 2 days. Then I placed a new rooster in their coop. They didn't like him at first, but he won them over pretty quickly by taking really good care of the girls.
    I'm not sure if they really miss a hen when she's gone, but I really think they know something isn't right.
  6. missnu01

    missnu01 Songster

    Nov 16, 2012
    That is sad, but I am sure they will recover.
  7. Mountain Rick

    Mountain Rick Hatching

    Oct 6, 2012
    Their coop is electrified so they are safe when they are in there. I live right next to Rocky Mtn Natl Park so we have Bobcats, bears, weasels, coyotes etc around here daily. The electric fence works great. we had just put the hens in the fenced dog pen for a "playground" and it is just chain link and didn't stop the weasel. From now on, whenever they are out, we will have to be with them.
    Thanks for your comments

  8. WimberleyChx

    WimberleyChx Hatching

    Mar 2, 2013
    One of our six hens, Duchess - the leader of the pack, disappeared yesterday, leaving a long trail of feathers but no other sign of what ultimately happened to her or by what type of predator. The other girls clearly are affected, not even coming out of the coop into the run. We have decided they no longer will be free ranging on the property and also have decided to expand their run for their comfort and safety. Would this be a good time (or not) to introduce another fully-grown laying hen, or would it be best to wait until they settle in to the new routine? It's so sad to lose one of our girls, especially in this manner. Thanks for your help.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by