Lost one, but to what?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by foxinachickenhouse, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. foxinachickenhouse

    foxinachickenhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2010
    This happened in July but I have not been able to post about it until now. We had 2 pet silkies. One partridge, one buff. The buff, "Little Bit" was killed in the daytime. We had gone on errands longer than planned and left the girls to roam inside the electric poultry fence. The silkies had been raising 2 chicks together and the chicks, both fully feathered, were penned separately since they were still small enough to get through the electric fence.

    When we returned we found that our Buff silkie was killed. The partridge silkie was somehow outside the fence (still a mystery) and came running to me distraught from the area of the carcass. She had been by the carcass I guess. The chickens were best friends.

    It was obvious that she had been attacked about 20 feet away right next to and inside the fence. That is where there was a pile of feathers. The predator took her to the other side of the fenced area to eat her (right in front of the chicks). She was eaten from the rear, vent first, breast side. Her legs, wings, head and back were intact.

    This was our fault. I later realized that bindweed had touched the fence on one side and was grounding it out. So the electric fence was not working properly when this happened.

    We have coons, possums and cooper's hawks. Nothing has happened since and we have added to and reinforced the run and changed our practices.

    As an aside, the partridge silkie has never been the same. Immediately after, she started acting broody and stayed in the nest boxes for weeks. Even after she started going out with the others she never resumed laying. She has finally just laid an egg this week. The chicks sat with her in the nest box all day for weeks as well. It was enormously sad and challenging to get the young girls out and acting normally even though their remaining mother was so depressed. I really didn't think chickens could get depressed but I can't explain it any other way.

    I first though it was a coon, then a possum, now I'm wondering if it was a hawk. If it had been a hawk wouldn't it come back for more? We didn't change things around for awhile. Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks.

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