How to cope with loss of top egg layer

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Sengge, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Sengge

    Sengge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My top egg layer was eaten by hawks. I don't know how to cope with that. Any suggestions
     
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It most certainly is hard. Last year, I went out to the coop and what did I find?...a fox carrying away my favorite Blue Ameraucana girl right before my eyes. I was upset for about a week, but I kept telling myself that with the loss of one bird, I can try a new breed in its place. I also kind of tell myself that chickens are prey animals and losing some to predators is just part of the business.
     
  3. Sengge

    Sengge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 7, 2013
    Silver Spring, MD
    Yes LRH97, the circle of life must continue. I feel bad for her friend Brahma though who seems lost and waiting for her to come back.
     
  4. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sadly, there in not much you can do in terms of actually coping except for allowing yourself to go through the greif. It might be the perfect time to get new chicks.
     
  5. Spanishchick

    Spanishchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry![​IMG]
    I think getting new chicks will help.
    I know how you feel right now. They do grow on you. I think it has made me really appreciate what I eat now so much more. I thought I was conscious before .......... from growing a garden..........picking that tomatoe and not wanting to waste it.
    Well I think everyone should grow something!
    I also think it makes us appreciate the birth of new life more as well.
    Everyone should grow something!!!

    We do not own anything, not even ourselves.
     
  6. happyfrenchman

    happyfrenchman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tough day for alot of people on this thread.... that is why I am here too... I just found a dead hen when I got home from work. It was missing it's head, and a considerable part of it's guts. I have a rooster and two dogs so I would like to think that my own chickens did most of this damage after whatever it was killed it. I cannot see a rooster. (he seems unscathed) hanging around while a hawk or an owl make a meal of one of his girls. I can see my dog staying inside where it was warm but not the roo.

    So it is my theory that the hen was killed by a predator bird and then once dead, either the rooster or the dogs chased off the killer and the chickens did the majority of the damage to the carcass. I will likely never know. I did find a wound on the back of the bird that makes me think of a hawk or owl. Looks like possibly a talon. And a big one. See photo. Does that look like perhaps a talon wound? My thumb is in upper part of photo for scale.... Sorry if it is a bit graphic. That is the center of the birds back. I am interested in the opinions of my fellow poultry people. (She was a nice Blue Copper Marans).
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Spanishchick

    Spanishchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry about your chicken. I would think a bird would leave more than one claw mark. Are their any noticeable tracks? My friend has a medium sized farm, he shoots a squirrel every day for the hawk in his territory. He wounds it and the hawk takes it and leaves him the birds....he has many. He's giving me a raccoon trap.
    He lost 7 goats a few months ago to coyotes.
    Hope that helps. He's on this forum too.
     
  8. happyfrenchman

    happyfrenchman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well Spanish Chick... I think you are right. I guess I need to examine the carcass further. Fortunately it is like 20 degrees here and the carcass will be frozen by morning and I will give it a look. Take a look to the right and left to see if there are other marks which, I would guess would have to be there. That is interesting about the squirrels.
    I saw a large owl just last night. I have chicks in the coop (one had gone missing last week) and I was worried another of them would be taken but this was a full sized hen. I have adjusted the automatic door to open at 10 am to combat owls. I am going to see what I can do tomorrow to increase the difficulty for aerial attackers. It seems like with the cold weather, the predators are hungry. I guess that makes sense.
     
  9. happyfrenchman

    happyfrenchman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There were no tracks. Some of my chickens were picking at the carcass so it is hard to say who ate what. The talon wound might have been destroyed by my own chickens. But I figure a dog would have killed alot more. And a coyote would have taken it. Same with a fox. A coon is unlikely in broad daylight. I would think any mammal predator would have taken it off and ate it in peace. The carcass was on the floor of the wooded area that is my chicken zone. No other feathers. No tracks I could discern. In 10 months here, I have lost two birds to predation. But both within a week. So I will be out there tomorrow.
     
  10. happyfrenchman

    happyfrenchman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Isn't it always your favorite bird that gets killed? That has always been the way. I am sorry about your bird. I agree with the suggestions to get more.
     

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