Lost my first girl.

thethreems

In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 17, 2012
15
0
22
This is my first post here after reading many pages of great information from all the members, for that I thank everyone, but I'm looking for advice going forward with my girls as I'm a new to keeping hens.

I do apologise if this has been covered before but I could not find the information I was looking for.

We have only 3 very loved and spoilt Black Copper Marans about year and half old, who free range and have access to quite a large area. We are aware of foxes at all times as we live next to a farm and they have lost many a hen and some turkeys. But the pest control guy does come out to keep the fox numbers down. And think the hens deserve to be able to free range but understand the dangers of this.

The girls are housed in a large heavy duty plastic hen house with an automatic pop hole then a large run with a metal door to the end which I open on a morning then close again on an evening.

But cunning fox managed to open the door, assume with its teeth and place the door to the side get one of the girls (who had a foot injury but was the sweetest, gentlest bird) took her about 20 feet away then just bit the head off and left the body. At this time the other girls were making such a noise my other half went out and we think disturbed the fox (although it was not seen) and found her.

The other girls came out of the run but since then they have really, for want of a better word been screeching and pacing up and down very quickly as if they are calling for their lost sister and the most vocal being the 2nd most dominant hen. This really is so upsetting and I cannot do anything to pacify them.

We did (and with hindsight, perhaps should not of) go to the hen breeders and got two other point of lay hens thinking this may help. But the noise continued on and on with all birds getting distressed as we have had to put them all in together. The reason being when we looked out of the window around 6.30pm (In the UK its very light) the fox was standing outside the run looking at the door which we had secured well down.

I ran outside and he ran off, but hes big the size of a large dog and could not believe how it would come back in the open. I think it must of been watching us as we had been sitting out with the girls for some time and only went back into the house not long before he appeared.

The girls this morning started the screeching but I have left them in the run as I really did not want to let them out whilst I was at work today. I'm dreading going home tonight.

Can anybody give me any advice of how I can calm the girls and indeed is the noise a call to another hen. I really was so distressed myself yesterday and feel useless as to how I can help my girls who I think the world of.
 

HeatherEmme

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 4, 2013
148
11
83
Sorry for your loss
hugs.gif


Sounds like your girls are just terrified. If the fox is coming around perhaps trapping and disposing of it would help them calm down. After an attack like that I can only imagine that catching sight of a predator again would really frighten them.

Good luck
 

thethreems

In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 17, 2012
15
0
22
Think you HeatherEmme, the girls have settled down somewhat but still skittish and not being very good with the new girls. And of course not laying which is to be expected.

But the exterminator was here last night, not just for our girls but others and there are a lot of new lambs around as well which the fox will quite happily attack. Hope he caught the fox, will find out later and he will be back tonight if not.
 

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