Lost two chicks today....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by reallynewatthis, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. reallynewatthis

    reallynewatthis Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Kenmore
    We had a total of 8 chicks, of varying breeds and ages. The younger three were about 2 months old, and we had recently started letting them out into the yard some during the day with the bigger chicks. Well, we didn't keep a close enough eye on them all today, and found one dead chick and one mess of feathers was all that was remaining of another chick. The dead chick was laying out in the yard, bloody head, but not eaten. I'm not sure if it was a cat or what. Our dogs were not in the yard, and our yard is surrounded by six-foot fencing all around, so something had to get over to get to the chicks. Whatever it was, it was quiet, because we had all the windows open and were in and out of the house while the chicks were out in the yard, and we didn't hear a thing.
    Fortunately, our five older chicks made it back into the run, and the last little one managed to escape somehow and was wandering outside our fence (there are a couple of gaps she could have sneaked through.) She has now been named "Lucky" since she is the last survivor of that group of chicks.
    Any ideas about what attacked our chickens? Thanks!
     
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    It could have been a hawk, they don't always carry away their kill but often take just a few bites. Perhaps it got spooked when it saw/heard you coming out the house. You may want to make a portable bottomless cage for them (a tractor) to keep them safe from daytime predators, or provide lots of places for them to hide under. I'm sorry for your loss, in keeping chickens we live & learn, and often learn the hard way.
     
  3. reallynewatthis

    reallynewatthis Out Of The Brooder

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    32
    Apr 30, 2010
    Kenmore
    I was thinking about a tractor, since the chickens seem to love being out in the yard and having more space. We're going to leave them in the coop and run for now, and wait awhile before letting them out again. One of my dogs is an australian shepherd...might have to work on training him to guard the chicks!!
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    153
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    A tractor is fairly easy to build, especially if you're just going to use it so your birds can get out in the grass during the daytime. Right now, with your chicks being so young, you can even use the wire top of a rabbit cage, or simply make a circle of fence wire and fasten another piece over the top. It gives your chickens the best of both worlds, access to fresh greenery while keeping them safe from predators.
     

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