Just when things were going so well....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Wisher1000, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I just came in from a tragedy.

    Let me start from the beginning. I have a broody hen that sat on a wooden egg and two golf balls for three months. She resisted all of my half hearted efforts to discourage her. I felt bad for her. Partly because she started setting just after her best buddy hen had disappeared, probably taken by a preditor. I finally gave in and bought ten pullet chicks at the local feed store. I attempted to put them under her just after dark and she would have nothing to do with them. As soon as the sun came up she left the chicks and moved to another nest with golf balls in it. It was cool so I fired up the brooder and put the chicks in there. The nest boxes are inside the feed room and open to the run. The top of them (inside the feed room) is like a shelf and that is where the brooder sits. The hen moved back to her favorite nest, right below them. A week and a half went by. I looked in on the hen one morning and she casually walked out of the nest, through the run, and into the feed room. She jumped up to the edge of the brooder and looked in. I opened the top to see what she would do and she jumped in and scared the chicks silly. I watched as she settled down on the floor of the brooder and started clucking. She had decided she was their mom even if they didn't feel the same.

    Meanwhile, I found her buddy. She was sitting on twenty three eggs in an old coop behind our shop. The buddy, a BO named Shoe Inspector, sat faithfully, and last weekend, hatched twenty one of the twenty three eggs (two where not fertile.) I was so happy with the girls, both were being good mom's. My flock had more than doubled!

    The chicks finished hatching on Sunday night. I took off work today (had work obligations the first of the week) to reconfigure things and move them to the larger, more secure coop where they would be safer and have more room to grow. When DH went out to check on them at dawn, it was bad. Something, probably a coon or opposum, had gotten in and killed Shoe Inspector and all but five of the chicks. I brought them in the house to evaluate. One chick appears to have a broken hip and may have to be culled.

    Just one more day and it wouldn't have happened. I am so sad now. [​IMG]
  2. wvfoxhunter

    wvfoxhunter Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 21, 2011
    Lewisburg, WV
    Sorry for your loss. Hope you can get the animal that did it and not have anymore problems.
  3. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    That's some of the worst timing I've read about. Maybe one of the new chicks can be the new "shoe inspector"?
  4. terrilhb

    terrilhb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
    [​IMG] Oh I am so sorry for your loss. That is devastating. I hope the remaining chicks will be ok. [​IMG]
  5. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I went back out to clean up and bury my hen, and I found a chick! It was peeping its head off in the woods and is wet and cold, but looks okay. I'm a little stoked, maybe there will be another one. I' headed back out there now...

    BTW, I have FULL intentions of trapping whatever it was that killed them.
  6. rednana9

    rednana9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2011
    South Carolina
    I know how u feel. We just lost a silkie roo and hen and a cochin banty roo. Set a steel trap and we found HUGE male coon in it this morning. Needless to say he has been disposed of!
  7. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Quote:Good riddance, I'm glad you got your's. I have set the trap up in the old coop where the attack occured. I left the dead hen and chicks in there as bait. Maybe I'll get whatever it was tonight.
  8. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    Such a sweet story. I was so sad to read the end.I am glad you have a few survivors.Hope you set traps 24/7.I have not caught anything in a week or 2,but will always keep the traps set.
  9. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Success! I went out this morning at daylight to check the trap and I caught it! I feel certain that this is the one that killed my hen and chicks because I set the trap in the place where they were killed.


    I took him out onto an uninhabited dirt road, about seven miles from my house and about five miles onto a hunting club/gas well field. There is a river and a huge swamp between there and the way back to this area. I don't think I will see that one again, but I plan to reset the trap, in case he had some buddies.

    I know some will say I should have shot it, but I am not the type. I feel that to cause another creature's death, there must be no other choice. I am a cop and could shoot a person if there was no other choice. I could shoot a dog, yote, fox, coon, etc., if it was attacking my animals or family. I can and have killed a chick or adult chicken if it is suffering. I would hate, hate, hate, to do any of that and it would cause me pain, but I could. I didn't have to kill the coon because I had another choice. I don't hunt (DH does) but I will eat venison. I eat hamburgers, too, but I don't want to kill the cows.
  10. rednana9

    rednana9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2011
    South Carolina
    We had 2 more coons this morning! never knew that many were around us. [​IMG]

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