How long does it take for Hens to get over loss of flockmate?

Chicka888

Hatching
Dec 1, 2018
3
3
9
We lost our first hen 2 days ago. We don’t know what killed her, but it happened between 3:30 and 5:15pm. The first morning after the girls would not exit the coop until about 10am (normally out by 7 am) They have about 1/3 of an acre fence area, but stayed by their coop and cage. When I came out they followed me everywhere. Same thing yesterday..... they saw things, bad things.
We have been bringing them in to a smaller caged area at about 2 pm so that the unknown predator does not keep coming back for a buffet.
We did not see any footprints, skat, or even signs of a struggle.
Our girl that was attacked was on her back, split from chest to head.
 

Birdsong 82

Crowing
Aug 17, 2017
3,587
6,234
432
Virginia
What kind of predators frequent your area? That’s a way to narrow it down. Was she killed while free ranging or in a run? I’m so sorry for your loss:hugs so sad When I lost my BJG her flockmates seemed freaked by the attack but seemed ok after a day except for our BR who was her buddy. She was a little off for a week or so. My rooster seems to take a loss kinda hard for a few days. My husband says I’m crazy that they don’t notice but I think he’s the crazy one
And also welcome to BYC
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
Jul 23, 2018
4,154
20,248
962
Edgewood, KY
4F27CD46-A8BB-47B2-8F21-23E91971BDF3.gif

You might want to search the Learning Center Articles for Predator Protection to improve this feature for yourselves to prevent future losses. In general a roofed coop/run, all open areas covered with 19g 1/2 inch hardware cloth, and a 2 ft apron of same hardware cloth around base of coop/run is recommended. Some patio in stone around base as well over apron to prevent digging predators. I also do not let mine out if not able to be with and watch to free range.​
 

Chicka888

Hatching
Dec 1, 2018
3
3
9
What kind of predators frequent your area? That’s a way to narrow it down. Was she killed while free ranging or in a run? I’m so sorry for your loss:hugs so sad When I lost my BJG her flockmates seemed freaked by the attack but seemed ok after a day except for our BR who was her buddy. She was a little off for a week or so. My rooster seems to take a loss kinda hard for a few days. My husband says I’m crazy that they don’t notice but I think he’s the crazy one
And also welcome to BYC
She was free ranging. We have not had any predators bother them , they have free ranged since July. There were crows chasing a hawk the morning that we found her. I left the other girls locked in the run while I waited for the commotion to end. When I walked about 15ft from the back of the coop I found her. She was always one of the first in the coop at night, so I’m certain that she wasn’t out all night. (normally we do a head count) We do not have a rooster, but may need to rethink that decision. We are going to extend the run and free range shorter hours until spring. We now have 13 hens, 5 Leghorns, 3 RIR,1 Australorp, 3 Wyandotte’s, and now 1 Welsummer. I’m sure that we have raccoons, opossum, fox, owls, hawks, etc. , but I haven’t seen any of the ground critters.


What kind of predators frequent your area? That’s a way to narrow it down. Was she killed while free ranging or in a run? I’m so sorry for your loss:hugs so sad When I lost my BJG her flockmates seemed freaked by the attack but seemed ok after a day except for our BR who was her buddy. She was a little off for a week or so. My rooster seems to take a loss kinda hard for a few days. My husband says I’m crazy that they don’t notice but I think he’s the crazy one
And also welcome to BYC
 

Birdsong 82

Crowing
Aug 17, 2017
3,587
6,234
432
Virginia
Very possibly a hawk A game camera is a good way to find what’s lurking. It’s tough when free ranging because of the risk. I’ve lost one while free ranging to and it seems the others are skiddish from it for a short time. If you have cover on your run the could stay there till you find the culprit maybe
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
26,792
19,503
781
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
:welcome :frow I agree with a game camera. Once a bird is killed the predator will usually return. I have several on my property. We live on a dead end road and the predators use it like a highway. Since your girl was taken during the day I suspect a hawk. Most of our predators like to hunt at night but I have seen them during the day. Most nights I get at least one predator on a camera. A couple of Great Pyrenees dogs have been roaming on our property at night. I don't know who owns them but haven't been seeing as many predators lately.
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cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
26,792
19,503
781
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I have a cross beak that has had coop mates now and then. Her latest was a young Rhode Island White male that was being beat up by the other young males in a bachelor coop and pen. Buster couldn't walk when I took him out and put him in with Gladys. At first she didn't want anything to do with him but after awhile she warmed up to him. He hadn't started to crow yet. Gladys stuck by him and eventually encouraged him and he would try to follow her. He did regain use of his legs and would follow Gladys everywhere. Then one day he tried to jump me. I let it go but then he tried again and again then he tried to jump my hubby. There was a fellow who wanted a Rhode Island White male for breeding. I told him about Buster and he decided he wanted him. I hoped maybe in a new environment he would change. For several days after Buster left, Gladys wasn't herself. She didn't want to come out of her coop. I would let them out every day and they could roam around. She finally started coming out and back to her normal self.
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Chicka888

Hatching
Dec 1, 2018
3
3
9
She was free ranging. We have not had any predators bother them , they have free ranged since July. There were crows chasing a hawk the morning that we found her. I left the other girls locked in the run while I waited for the commotion to end. When I walked about 15ft from the back of the coop I found her. She was always one of the first in the coop at night, so I’m certain that she wasn’t out all night. (normally we do a head count) We do not have a rooster, but may need to rethink that decision. We are going to extend the run and free range shorter hours until spring. We now have 13 hens, 5 Leghorns, 3 RIR,1 Australorp, 3 Wyandotte’s, and now 1 Welsummer. I’m sure that we have raccoons, opossum, fox, owls, hawks, etc. , but I haven’t seen any of the ground critters.
Thanks!!!
Very possibly a hawk A game camera is a good way to find what’s lurking. It’s tough when free ranging because of the risk. I’ve lost one while free ranging to and it seems the others are skiddish from it for a short time. If you have cover on your run the could stay there till you find the culprit maybe
We just put out a game camera....haven’t seen anything yet. Their run is covered, but they love free ranging so much, I hate for them not to be able to enjoy the great outdoors!! I will also pull some old tree branches and an old coop to give them some cover. I really appreciate your comments!!
 

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