Lost a Hen Tonight....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by manderzzzz, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. manderzzzz

    manderzzzz New Egg

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    I used to LOVE wildlife, but since we've started raising hens, I HATE all animals that are predators for my hens. We used to have 3 silkie hens. We lost our first hen in April of last year to an oppossum attack. It bit her head off and just left her body. The good thing, our other two hens got on well, because our two remaining girls (a white and black one) were close friends to begin with.

    Well, tonight, we lost our white one to I'm assuming a hawk or eagle. :( When my dad went to the backyard tonight, there were feathers all over the backyard, but no sign of her. For the past few months, she's been attacked (actually both have been), but our white one has has quite a few encounters with hawks and eagles. I live in So. Cal, and it didn't even cross my mind how much wildlife we have here in the city.

    Now, there's another problem. Since we got the silkies from a family friend that lives far away, and our black one is the only one remaining, we really don't know what to do with her. I'm considering re-homing her, and giving her to one of my friends who also raises hens. But she has different breeds than I do, and she only has 2 hens left herself. I'm so angry with that f*ing hawk/eagle!!!

    How do silkies get along alone? I know that most people don't suggest it, but she's also the most stupid of the 3 hens that we had, so I'm just afraid that re-homing her isn't realistic. I just want to do the best to keep her happy and healthy for as long as possible.
     
  2. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

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    Do she have a really secure coop to stay in at night? Can you secure your run, hardware cloth fencing and wire mesh over the top? If you can do that, get some silkie chicks this spring and raise them, if you integrate them carefully with your hen they should get along fine.
     
  3. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have a secure coop and run, you could keep her locked up for a few weeks or until there is no signs that the predator is still hanging around.
    I just had my 2nd run in with a persistent hawk, fortunately it didn't kill my hen, but I think she has internal bleeding from the attack because blood was coming out her mouth. Predatory wildlife is not fun when you have chickens:(
     
  4. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No chicken is going to be happy alone. You could try keeping her inside the house until you are able to get her a friend. Silkies are not the most observant of birds, partially due to their appearance especially if they have really fluffy heads. You can look for a friend for her. Try the BYC sale section and check the "in need of free rehoming" section too. Craigslist also.

    If you keep her, make sure that your coop is secure to prevent nighttime predators. As for hawks, keep them contained in a secure covered run unless you are out with them. Provide them with cover, bushes or man made structures. Consider getting a breed other than a silkie that may be a little more observant. I've had losses to hawks and coyotes. But only 1 since I stopped letting the birds range in the pasture. The 1 I lost was the day after I moved their fencing to allow them to access a different area.
     
  5. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry you lost hens

    Sadly there are lots of preditors out there. Hating them because they are trying to survive, feed their own young etc isn't helpful.
    You can have a healthy respect for nature and in so doing you can in time come to terms with the loss of your girls. You have to be mindful of the wildlife in your area and biuld a strong secure coop and run to house them. If there are lots of preditors around in your area like Hawks free ranging your hens might not be an option for you. You may have to construct a sturdy run instead. There is lots of advice here on BYC how to do that. Double lining the outer fence helps prevent preditors pulling your girls through the wire, and a good firm mesh on the roof protects from hawks. Concrete or bricks around the perimitor into the ground helps prevent preditors digging under your fence and getting inside. Preditors are very good at what they do - YOU have to be creative and better than them! But don't hate them they are just trying to survive. There is so much beauty in nature to grow to hate it would mean you missing out on a lifetime of wonderful things.

    Oes
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013

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