Horrible weekend! UPDATE!! He came back!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by marie_martin, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. marie_martin

    marie_martin Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    We had 3 2 1/2 wk old chicks and decided to put them out on Sat. for some fresh air. It was a bit warm but nice in the shade. I put them in a cage with 1x2 square holes and inverted a table that was larger than the cage and put that on top to shade and to deter any animals. I was out there with them most of the time but had to go in and put my daughter down for a nap. She and my DH laid down in my room and I was in the living room when he came to tell me that the chickens were under my bedroom window squawking and had been for 10 min. He went out to see what was going on and found a hawk on the ground, pulling the last of the three babies head off. The other two were completely gone. If he had only told me when he first heard them. Of course we know now. But I was just sick. I guess I always assumed that a hawk would swoop down and pick up prey and keep flying. It never dawned on me really that they would land and eat. Or that they could pull those babies through such small holes. I cried, I feel so guilty. They were helpless in that cage and it was all my fault. My DH keeps telling me that things are going to happen if we are going to have animals. I just really hate it. Anyway, I have some more eggs coming this week and I have learned a valuable lesson. I plan to do alot more to keep my chickens safe. I am so glad it did not get any of the older ones. Take care.

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007
  2. LynnGrigg

    LynnGrigg Songster

    Jun 6, 2007
    Winston Salem, NC
    Sorry. I feel your pain! That's awful but seems like we're all learning lessons as we go.
  3. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    Oh Marie,
    So so sorry to hear. I almost left my first babies in a cage exactly like that, but I had one daffy chick that went nuts when she thought I was going to leave her, so much so that she looked as if she was gonna hurt herself, so I brought them back in. It could have happened to me so easy, as we have a resident hawk as well.
    Thanks for sharing, I will know not to ever use that cage for them to get air, grass, sun.
    Am so sorry, dont blame yourself, how could you possible ever think something like that would happen so fast and with a table over them as well?
  4. JenniferJoIN

    JenniferJoIN Songster

    Sep 10, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    I'm pretty sure mine got taken by a hawk... but at least I didn't see it! I feel for you! And don't feel guilty, it's something we all have to learn from!
  5. countrygirl4513

    countrygirl4513 Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Portland TN
    [​IMG] So sorry for your loss!
  6. Chellester

    Chellester Songster

    Jun 22, 2007
    Nor Cal

    So sorry for your loss! What a bummer all around.

    Try not to beat yourself up too much... I mean, you had top, bottom and all four sides covered, and that's what everyone hears is supposed to be the right thing to do. I would have never suspected a hawk could pull their heads through that size of wire like that.
  7. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Songster

    Oct 3, 2007
    Oh, how horrifying... I'm so sorry that happened to your little babies.

    Honestly, when mine are young I often take them out in an enclosure for time outside. They love it so much. When something like this happens, though, it just seems like a lose-lose situation: either you keep them inside and never let them see the light of day so they'll always be safe, or you take them out with a some protection and let them have a little freedom and happiness, as well. Figuring out what protection is protection is that hard part, though.

    We all have our own particular challenges with our situations, so even though we can share and learn online, it doesn't mean we can always keep our flocks safe, because every one's situation is different, from the coop to the predators we face to the hot/cold/wet/dry weather conditions.

    Whatever you do, don't dwell on feeling bad.

  8. marie_martin

    marie_martin Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    Thanks so much for the kind words and support. Only other chicken folks understand the pain I am suffering. They were like my babies. I hatched them and then took care of them totally. They were only 2 1/2 weeks and were small but I guess they don't know to get to the middle of the cage and not at the edge. I will never do that again. I am going to build a larger cage/tractor with smaller holes for the future. I do think that I was doing the right thing putting them out for some air. It is so nice here right now, cooling down a bit. And we are in the south so nowhere near winter. We don't get freezing temps until late Jan. usually. Anyway, I have some eggs coming this week so keep your fingers crossed I will get lots of new babies to help heal the hurt. I am so thankful that my older ones were not hurt. They really are like my babies, I have had them since the egg as well. I feel like I birthed them sometimes. Anyway, thanks again. I have learned so much here and you guys are the greatest. Tke care and I pray that everyones babies are safe.

  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I'm so sorry this happened. This type of loss is always so traumatic. I'm glad you are getting more eggs and hope you have a great hatch.

    Hawks do like to carry off their prey, but if the prey is too large to carry, then they will feed on the ground. Raccoons are also known for feeding through wire fencing with holes large enough to reach through with their front legs. When chickens are scared, they may pile up in a corner, which in a cage or run, places them against the wire. Sometimes, a curious chicken will also put their head through the wire! [​IMG]

    When you get ready to build, it's hard to beat 1/2" hardware cloth for preventing all these types of problems. Plus, it's sturdy and won't break apart under predator stress, like lightweight chicken wire can.

  10. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    [​IMG] So sorry to hear it. Please try not to feel to bad about it and focus on your new batch, good luck with them!

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