last night an owl got my flock

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by witchwriter, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. witchwriter

    witchwriter Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2014
    bushnell, fl
    yesterday i had 6 chickens and i just spent the last 2 hours with the 2 i'm certain are left. it's just getting daylight and hubby thinks there is at least 1 more hiding. i stayed up the past 2 hours holding the 2 that were left on the porch to make sure they were safe. wishing we had a gun so he could have killed the owl. my eyes are dry and burning, i haven't cried yet but i know it's coming, right now i'm just tired and kinda numb feeling :(
     
  2. witchwriter

    witchwriter Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2014
    bushnell, fl
    it only got 1 red sex link - i have 3 reds and 2 black australorps left - so thankful it wasn't worse.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Owl likely only likely took only one. During process other birds hid wherever they could on the ground. Mine either go into heavy bushes or go to light like moths. They should be coming out about now. Getting them into a more protected location tonight as owl will be back at about same time,

    I all likelihood they will roost in a different location tonight. Make certain it is in a place you can protect. If need be, then move them.
     
  4. witchwriter

    witchwriter Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2014
    bushnell, fl
    the owl took one - my husband actually saw it because it did come back a 2nd time it just didn't take another. part of their cover had fallen which will be replaced today but will definitely find a safer place for them to roost and/or provide more lighting. i have made myself sick over the past 2 hours waiting to see how many were hiding.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    The lighting will not help as owl will come into light without hesitation. Break line of sight. I can stop owls by simply erecting a cheap plastic tarp between chickens and owl. Owl may try to compensate by walking in on ground. Owl(s) will come back at same time tonight.

    Do you have a dog? Dog is my most effective owl deterrent. If owl fails more than a couple nights in a row then it will go somewhere else before coming back sometime later (six months for my owls). You could have more than one since young still with parents.
     
  6. witchwriter

    witchwriter Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2014
    bushnell, fl
    you can see in my picture where the ladies been roosting on the parrot cages - one of those curtains fell or came down somehow. the owl flew in so my parrot didn't raise hell - if an owl walked in the parrot would be LOUDLY creating a racket. we'll get the curtain fixed today and add another to the side that didn't have one. the girls prolly will not roost there again tho. they are real good about being there about 7:30 each night so i will know while there is still plenty of daylight left to protect them. problem is hubby works nights so it will be just me here to owl proof a new location if they move.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Collect them off the new chosen roost for night and bring them inside. May have to be repeated two or three nights to get them to adopt new location or to keep desired old location.

    Also watch for fox. More than once after an owl visit a red fox would come through to catch birds on the ground. Fox likely responds to commotion rather than following owl.
     
  8. witchwriter

    witchwriter Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2014
    bushnell, fl
    i know why the owl came back - my hen just showed up. she is missing a buttload of feathers and is walking slow but there is no blood on her. i am so relieved! don't know where she was but i'll give her a bit with teh rest of teh girls and then see if i can catch her and give her a once over.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Best time of year to suffer such feather loss as they will come back quickly in molt.
     
  10. witchwriter

    witchwriter Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2014
    bushnell, fl
    thanks for the advice about the fox and the tips for keeping roosting location. they all have pin feathers so yes, they will replace quickly. i spent my 2 hours cracking pin feathers on butterfly's head this morning ;) she enjoyed it.

    they're all really skittish this morning. a cardinal just flew by and scared the hell outta them. they're foraging like normal but only under cover.
     

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