Invisible Predator

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Birdragon, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Birdragon

    Birdragon Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 2, 2012
    A couple of months ago my chickens were consistently making a very loud commotion almost every night. They roost in a pine tree at night and fly down in the morning. So the first few nights they were making all this noise and I ran outside to check if they were all right. I live in a little town in Colorado, so it was snowy and freezing. What I found was a few of the chickens on the ground, running for cover. The rest were up in the tree still, clucking their little heads off. The ground was snowy and there were no prints whatsoever on the ground, so I was baffled. The chickens were terrified, and in the middle of winter in the middle of town I had no idea what was scaring them so badly. This continued for a week or so, and a couple nights/evenings the chickens were so well hidden it took me an hour to find them. One night I was out hanging the laundry near the pine tree and they freaked out like they had been doing. I ran over and just as I reached the tree a bird flew down out of the tree and instead of landing on the ground like a chicken, which I thought it was, it skimmed the ground and swooped up again to land on the roof of the building across the street. It was an owl! A huge grey one. That would explain the no tracks. I chased it off the building, but it then reappeared perched on the telephone wire (it was hilarious just balancing there) and then took another go at the chicken's tree. It landed high up in the tree, near the top. I had to get my chickens out of the tree, which a few of them refused to leave. So I was forced to climb up into the pine tree and take every chicken down one by one. I moved them into the henhouse at night and I haven't seen the owl since. So my question: Did it really want to eat my chickens and simply forgot about them once they were safe and sound in the henhouse, or was it simply territorial? And will I ever be able to let my flock roost in the tree again? Or even in the tree next to it? I feel like they'd be safer from foxes and skunks up there, but what about owls and raccoons? Which is safer? What should I do?
  2. sheds

    sheds Out Of The Brooder

    That owl will know the chickens are there, it ll be back. Id be keeping your birds locked in at nights. Im surprised he has'nt gotten them yet.
  3. Bluebee

    Bluebee Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 30, 2012
  4. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    X3 once the owl flushes them out of the tree it will fly down and take what it can catch.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  5. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2012
    Lock them up at night. Better safe then sorry.
  6. Birdragon

    Birdragon Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 2, 2012
    I was afraid you'd say that. :( My flock just seems so much happier in the tree.
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    X 4 It is probably checking out that tree each night.
  8. Talihofarms

    Talihofarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2010
    x5...... you are luck that the owl has not feasted.
    Your luck has run its course.
    I suspect that if the birds are left out, if you happen to find them.
    in all likeliness they will be headless.
  9. Birdragon

    Birdragon Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 2, 2012
    Well, it was a few months ago and they're fine. I haven't seen the owl since.
  10. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 2, 2012
    I know your chickens like to roost in the tree, but it really isn't safe for them. They will end up getting attacked and killed by the owl. The only reason it hasn't killed them yet is because it couldn't get them out of the tree, and because you were coming outside to see what the commotion was. It's probably best to just lock up the chickens at night, and let them back out during the day. The owl may not be back now, but it will be as soon as your hens start sleeping in the tree again. Your chickens will be much safer in their coop at night than in the tree.

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