I made a stupid mistake and I lost my whole flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by write2caroline, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been locking my chickens in the coop because we have a lot of predators and I have lost chickens to foxes, opossums, hawks, and raccoons.

    It has been my habit to get up and feed and water the chickens and un lock the coops. Yesterday. I made a stupid mistake. We were late getting to church. The kids thought I let the chickens down and I thought they had. It was really hot yesterday and I came home to a coop of dead birds. I am so angry with myself and I feel horrible. I just want the lesson learned to be to always have a back up source of water for your birds if you lock them in a coop. I have multiple coops but the larger of the two were inhabited by two bantam roos and the next smaller was preferred roosting for all my layers and my two larger roos.

    Over the years, I have forgotten to let them down and once when I had family staying and they said they would let them down on a day I had to leave for work before the sun was up only to discover that they were locked up until I came home. And I went on a huge rant about animals needing water and how irresponsible it is to have them with out a source of water. I just got served some crow and I have not been making sure the waterer I keep in the coop has been full.

    Anyway.....If you lock up your chickens at night please double check they have full water so that you do not have to open a coop and learn this very hard lesson. The heat definitely contributed to so remember to have some kind of air flow on those hot days too.

    Caroline
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Sorry to hear about your flock, Caroline. Is there is a way you can increase the ventilation in your coop? That might prevent it from happening again. Hope you give chicken keeping another go.
     
  3. iheartnh

    iheartnh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is so sad! I am sorry for your loss.
     
  4. Margiechickmom

    Margiechickmom Out Of The Brooder

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    If you start over, I would suggest the Ador automatic chicken door. Then you don't have the problem of having to let them out when you're running late. I hated going out in the rain to let mine out and trying to fight with a covered run and umbrella and such. This door is so worth it!

    I'm so sorry for your loss! It must be horrible but don't beat yourself up about it. We all make mistakes.
     
  5. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not letting this horrible mistake stop me from raising chickens. My husband was so sweet he is traveling and wanted to bring me back new chicks but I told him I would like to wait until next spring.

    I think that I need to rethink a way to let the chickens down in the am. Where we live - I have to protect them at night. And that means locking them up. It has been the most successful way so far. My neighbors all around me keep chickens and keeping a step ahead of the predators has been a challenge for all of us. I have my coops raised up 4 feet on posts. I used two different types of coops. I am going to look into timer doors. I need to be sure they are secure at night. I have two surviving bantam easter egger roos. They are in a coop with doors rigged with pulleys and wires to raise and lower the doors. The other coops I thought were secure but the raccoons could reach inside and kill my chickens and they were adept at getting through the wire too.

    I am not a quitter. I am going to fall back regroup and make sure I don't repeat this mistake twice.

    Thanks too!

    Caroline
     
  6. Brians Biddys

    Brians Biddys New Egg

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    Several years ago I left the door to the run into the coop open I had done it before, so it was Thanksgiving at the in laws, got home went to bed in the morning all 8 chickens killed by an animal almost cried had raised them from day old chicks. Im not shure what got them it just did it for sport not food so im trying again.
     
  7. AllysonChaynes

    AllysonChaynes New Egg

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    Aug 12, 2013
    I'm so sorry about your birds. You sound like me (and all "chicken people") we love our birds like family and I can only imagine your sadness. It was an unfortunate mistake and one we can all learn from. I, too, have to lock my flock in at night because of predators and I don't usually put water down for them overnight. I do have two open windows for a cross breeze and a fan overhead for circulation. I haven't forgotten to let them out...but a couple of times, I did forget to close the little door overnight!!! I shudder to think what could have gotten in! Best wishes on your new flock. I'm glad you're not willing to let this one bad unintentional misfortune keep you from getting more chickens.
     
  8. AllysonChaynes

    AllysonChaynes New Egg

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    Just be careful of those timer doors...make sure the "closing" time is set well after your birds go into roost. You don't want some late bird, who missed curfew, to be stuck on the wrong side of the door all night!
     
  9. iheartnh

    iheartnh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have to lock up/let out our flock every AM & PM, too. I can't imagine forgetting, but I'm sure it can happen - but my guess would be you will NEVER forget again. I'm glad you'll get more birds - good luck with your surviving birds, and future chicks!
     
  10. happyhens1972

    happyhens1972 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use the automatic popholes on both my coops and they are fab, they save me worrying about locking the chooks away BUT I live in the UK. Our only predator threat is the fox and because I have two goats in the pen as well as a six to seven foot fence, I think the fox stays well away. If I had raccoons and possums to worry about, I would not trust the door to keep them out. I don't know how the ones in the States work but mine is light-sensitive and when it gets to just past dusk, a motor lowers the door on a string. Nothing secures it except gravity so a raccoon or possum could just lift the door up with their 'hands' I imagine.
     

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