Hi From Ellijay, GA

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by SquirrellyAcres, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. SquirrellyAcres

    SquirrellyAcres Hatching

    Jan 7, 2017
    Ellijay, GA
    We just started this whole chicken thing in June 2016. We love BYC and appreciate everyone for teaching us all we know!
    We began with 2 Gold Laced Wyandottes (Maddie and Tae) and added a Polish (Pebbles), Easter Egger (Miss Brittany), and Faverolle (Matilda) in August. We have an amazing coop (my husband is a master carpenter, and our friends call it the "Chicken Taj Mahal). We were letting the girls free range on our 2-acre property. One day we came home and Matilda was missing, no feathers anywhere, she just vanished. Our friends, who also raise chickens, said a hawk had probably gotten her. About a month later, we came home, and a fox had gotten Miss Brittany. We were devastated! We decided to only let the girls "range" in the middle of the day, thinking foxes were dawn and dusk predators (our mistake!!!) When we came home a few weeks ago, the fox had gotten Maddie! Again, totally devastated, so we decided to only let girls out when we were home. Two weekends ago, we heard Pebbles squawking and ran out to see a hawk flying off through the trees. There were 2 large piles of her feathers in different places in the yard. Not seeing her in the hawks talons, we searched the woods hoping he had dropped her. We didn't find her anywhere. Extremely upset, because we were failing miserably at raising and protecting our chickens, we put Tae in the coop and began to re-evaluate the whole "free range idea". After a few hours, I went out to the coop to check on Tae, worried, because she was now all alone. As I walked across our back porch, I heard a faint whimpering underneath, when I looked under, there was Pebbles... missing most of her middle and rear feathers, but no blood. My husband coaxed her out from under the porch and we took her to the coop with Tae. For the next few days, both hens seemed fine, and Pebbles even laid a few eggs (Tae lays almost everyday). However, over the past week, Pebbles has been staying in one of the nesting boxes all day. When we go in the coop we take her out and she will eat, and peck at treats, and get water, but then she will go right back to the box. She is losing weight and I am very worried about her. Since the ordeal with the hawk and the fox, we have set out traps for the fox (we will relocate him if we are lucky enough to catch him), and started building an enclosed run off the coop (24x8 foot), and only let the girls out when we are outside working on the run. We also got an 8-month old roo, who Tae has taken a liken to. In addition, we decided to order some new chicks (5 each of Brahms's, Easter Eggers and Blue Splash Marian's), who will be 5-weeks old on Monday.
    I've read a few posts on BYC about chickens getting PTSD, and I can only imagine how terrifying it must have been for Pebbles to escape the hawk, but I want to make sure she is going to be okay. I was thinking about introducing her to the "babies" to see if that might perk her up. She isn't much bigger than they are. We love our chickens and they have become an integral part of our family. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!

  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - thanks for joining us.

    Do you think that Pebbles may be broody? Staying in a nest box and losing weight are a normal part of broodiness. Does she fluff her feathers up and "growl" when you remove her from the nest? If so, then she could well be broody.

    You may wish to wait until your chicks are 8-10 weeks old until you integrate them. At that age, they have a better chance of withstanding a peck. Also, if Pebbles is not broody, then she may be sick, which would be another good reason for holding off on integration.

    Best wishes
  3. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join us here! I'm sorry to hear about the loses you have suffered, it sure is upsetting when they are taken by predators :hugs I too agree with CT that Pebbles could be broody. Even though polish are not a known broody breed they do sometimes give it a go. All you have described would indicate that to me. If you believe she is broody breaking her of this will help her gain more weight. Hope this article helps you ~ https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/encouraging-or-discouraging-broodiness-in-your-hens

    Good luck and enjoy your time here on BYC :frow
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Howdy from Kansas, SquirrellyAcres, and :welcome! Great to have you with us! Sorry to hear about your pesky predators. CTKen and Yorkshire offed you some great advice so I'll just say best wishes and thanks for joining BYC! :)
    1 person likes this.
  5. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under SquirrellyAcres [​IMG] Welcome!

    As you have already received some good advice, I will just add that I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]

  6. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal

    Hello and :welcome! I hope you enjoy BYC just as much as the rest of us do! I'm so sorry you lost some of your birds to those nasty predators. :hugs It really sucks when that happens. :( But it seems that you've been given great advice so far and I wish you luck with the new chicks! :) By the way, were Maddie and Tae named after the country duo Maddie and Tae? :p
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    If she is indeed broody please put feed dish near her so she will be more tempted to eat. Or even try feeding her some favorites to get her appetite up.
  8. mizjones

    mizjones In the Brooder

    Jul 28, 2016
    South Carolina
    Squirrelly I feel so badly for you. It must have been so stressful. Don't lose heart though. Things happen and we all make mistakes. When I lived in Maine we had 22 chickens (2 roosters). They lived in a large enclosed run with a really fabulous coop, were allowed to free range for 2 hours each day. We also had 5 dogs that were kept strictly inside during those 2 hours each day. But one time a dog got out and killed our best rooster. I was so sad and was trying to save him but it was a mortal wound.

    My sister reminded me that they are in fact livestock, not pets, but it's hard when you grow attached--as most of us do.

    I now live in South Carolina with a whole new set up: huge chicken run is almost finished and we will once again be getting chickens. My heart goes out to you. Stay encouraged. We learn from our mistakes and we get better. [​IMG]
  9. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    1 person likes this.

  10. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    Welcome from Middle Georgia , so glad you have joined us.

    So sorry about your losses, but glad Pebbles returned to you.

    I agree this is likely broodiness since she seemed ok for a few days after the order.

    You should try to hand feed her treats and food and give water in a dropper to keep her strength up and try to avoid further weight loss - even normal broodiness can take a toll on them.

    We do learn by our mistakes, and free ranging is a risk.

    Hope you get that fox.
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by