I never knew it would hurt so bad.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Head Roo, May 28, 2010.

  1. Head Roo

    Head Roo In the Brooder

    May 28, 2010
    I would like to start by prefacing this is my first foray into the world of chickens. After 15 years in the world of computer programming and IT work, I never knew the pleasure in such activities as raising and caring for chickens. My blood pressure has lowered and I am significantly happier than I have been in years. Who knew such small birds had such huge personalities!

    I started out with co-caring for 4 OEG bantams with my parents, who actually own the property I am living on. It's one of the few areas in rural Bradenton that allow such activities (no HOA and the like). Three hens and one roo. They were a little over a week old when we adopted them. The roo suffered from a virus early on that left his legs and feet deformed and eventually he passed away. That was difficult.

    Shortly before that sad day, I adopted 10 baby chicks. 2 Buff Orpies, 3 Americaunas, and 5 NH Reds. All a week old. I raised them for two months, bonding with each bird.

    The first coop built is a sturdy tractor, surrounded by solid chicken wire and covered underneath with old chain link fence. The tractor resides in a pen approx 20' x 15'. The 3 surviving OEG banties live in the tractor, happy and secure.

    When it was time to move my ten girls out to the pen, I built them a coop with standard chicken wire, a wood top (leftover water treated hardwood) and the chain link bottom. They spent their first warm Florida night with the glow of a mercury vapour light next to the garage. They whined some, but after a half hour they all huddled together and made the best of it. I wa so paranoid, I didn't get to sleep until 3:30 AM (doing my normal daily computer work which I had been slacking on recently). I checked on them and they were fine. I woke up at 6:30 AM to attend yet another court battle with my evil ex-wife over child custody only to discover my newly built coop had been broken into. There was not a chick left. Not a trace of them. No blood, no feathers, nothing but a huge hole dug underneath the pen and into the coop. I searched the rather sizable property (ultimately missing the court date...boy am I gonna pay for that) only finding one small tuft of feathers about 20 feet away before the start of the border to the woods where there is a creek and other woodsy areas.

    Never in my life did I feel so violated. The pain drove me to the ground where I could not stop crying for my lost baby chicks.

    After pulling myself together, and with my step dad assisting in the crime scene investigation, it appeared a group of those stank, evil, vile raccoons found a weak spot in my work. A small area where the chicken wire and the chain link fence were bound together with very think and flimsy wire, not strong enough to withstand the attack of a determined coon. How could I have known? This was *my*fault! Now the guilt was more than I could take.

    I never knew I had such dark thoughts in me, the revenge I seek. I want those coons. The things I will do to them I dare not share knowing the laws it must violate. That night armed with a machete and LED flashlight I stalked the creek, eventually finding the lot of those filthy animals. I was not able to exact revenge then, but now I know where they are. My pop brought over one of those hav-a-hart contraptions, which is more than those creatures deserve. They have been clever in avoiding capture...but with advice found in this forum, I may have a fighting chance tonight. My pop seems to think hanging the tail of a dead coon near the pen will ward off other coons. I hope to find out if this is accurate.

    I read the post about whether or not I have to ability and will to kill to protect my chicks. The answer is yes, with no hesitation. The same will I would use to protect my child, no matter what means is necessary. I want justice for my ten babies...and no animal right-to-lifer is going to tell me otherwise. Yes, I am aware that life is not fair. It's up to us that fairness does not favour to make our own luck. Maybe it will sooth the pain, maybe it won't. Now I know better what to do to prevent this from happening again.

    Those of you who have lost birds, is it normal to feel this way? Have I become obsessed?

    Any thoughts, please!
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  2. ryanhodapp

    ryanhodapp Songster

    May 5, 2010
    St. Louis
    sorry for your loss. I think it is normal reaction especially with other things going on in your life.
  3. illegal avian

    illegal avian Cooped up

    Apr 21, 2010
    Third World, Texas
    Quote:Don't give up your day job!

    oh yeah, and of course this... [​IMG]
  4. petesgirl

    petesgirl In the Brooder

    May 28, 2010
    So sorry for your loss. I didn't want chickens for a long time because I knew it would be a battle. My neighbors tried to keep chickens, but they were always attacked by something. We finally decided to give it a try. This is the second night my babies are in their new coop, and I am hoping they will be safe.
    I know if something gets my babies I will be very upset, I think your reaction is normal. Don't beat yourself up, as you read other post that many people have lost their precious babies. All we can do is do our best to make sure they are secure, but there are some crafty critters out there:(
  5. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Be very careful. A raccoon under attack can be very dangerous.
  6. I just came in from checking coon traps with a .22 braced up on my hip. I've used it before and I'll use it again. Coons killed two of my Silkie hens this week. In a "secured" area. Coons are smart and very determined - by the end of this weekend I hope at least a couple more coons will be dead. Your reaction is NORMAL.

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Don't give up. Fix your pen and get more chickens. You've already discovered the joy of keeping them. Unfortunately, you've also discovered the pain that sometimes makes an appearance...the visits are usually short. Here's hoping your blood pressure issue gets better again soon. Good luck with the court thing...Keep us posted. We care.

    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  7. Head Roo

    Head Roo In the Brooder

    May 28, 2010
    Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. It's nice to have found this forum to share stories, good and bad, with out chicken raisers. I'm glad I accidentally stumbled onto this place while Googling for "how to poison a raccoon". Perhaps it was fate (as an atheist, it's all I can come up with, my apologies to the rest. You see now why I am divorced and not remarried after seven years) <eg>

    I hope to become knowledgeable enough - reading others' posts - to start answering others'. Until then, please forgive my influx of questions without immediately giving back. I plan to if/when I can.

    I still welcome comments from others.

  8. sorry for your loss. it's hard. but there are so many good moments that the next batch of chickies will bring you that your heart will heal.

    as for predator proofing your run, my fail proof (so far) method has been to build what i'm going to build and then put one of the cats INSIDE. my cats HATE to be penned up, so they will make short work of finding the weak spots. my little man Tommy is pretty slender so i figure he's the best tester i could find. if he can't get out, there's no way a coon is getting in.

    good luck and never hesitate to ask those questions.
  9. rap7176

    rap7176 Hatching

    May 8, 2010
    I want to say I'm really sorry for your loss and everything else going on rotten right now, but please do think carefully before putting poison down. Just like many of us eat meat and feed our children meat. . . so do raccoons and other animals. Poison can kill a lot more than critters than you intend it to.
    I hope things turn around for you.
  10. KKatknap

    KKatknap Songster

    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    [​IMG] My heart is breaking for you right now. I'm so sorry. So not right. [​IMG] [​IMG]

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