Lost two of our Silkies today (out of four) - we're so sad :(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LilacLes, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. LilacLes

    LilacLes Out Of The Brooder

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    Went out with the kids this afternoon for our daily cuddle with the chickens, and lo and behold, one of our buff Silkies was missing and another had been eviscerated and dumped right by the fence. I can only assume a hawk given the large bird poop on the outside of the fence by Chucky's body. I got the silkies specifically for the kids because they're so docile and cuddly - they were devastated. We're first time chicken owners (just got our little flock of (now) 13 in July) - who knew that having chickens would come with so much heartbreak. I can't help thinking about how terrified our girls must have been... it's so awful.

    Anyway, just sharing and reaching out. You guys are probably the only ones who would understand rather than mock or give me the "it's just a chicken" line.

    Thanks for listening.
     
  2. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm really sorry. Unfortunately chickens have a lot of predators :( Becareful of the hawk returning. Maybe a screen roof on the run?

    Were they free ranging? If so,i f one is missing completely there is a small chance she is just hiding. I had a neighbor dog incident once and one of my hens was missing. I assumed she was killed but 3 nights later she was on the roost. Sometimes they hide until they feel safe.

    Good luck.
     
  3. chickenlover286

    chickenlover286 Out Of The Brooder

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    i would assume he is gonna come back for more so watch out. im sorry for your loss[​IMG]
     
  4. TAMMACLEAN

    TAMMACLEAN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry to hear about your silkies. Maybe the other one is hiding?? Have you found it or any evidence of it??
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. DianaMallory

    DianaMallory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sorry for you loss but it makes me angry when I come here and hear someone lost their flock because they free range their birds! My girls are completely enclosed, with hardware cloth! Even on the roof of the run. If it bothers you to pen them up then only let them out about an hour before bed time and stay out there with them! I have had a hawk in my yard 2 times this week. And both times he went away empty handed! Now tonight I took my dogs out and on our way back in I heard coyotes pretty close to the house. I am sitting here with a loaded gun waiting for the motion light to go off! My girls are locked up tight but you never know! Sorry to sound so crass but I lost 2 flocks already don't want to lose another!
     
  6. Sixtexaskings

    Sixtexaskings Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2012
    Something about silkies they are not just chickens. Most people don't know what they are talking about.
    I am sorry for your girls and your children. Its must have been terrible for them all.
     
  7. LilacLes

    LilacLes Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the sympathies, all. It really helps with the loss. Amazingly, I'd just taken some pictures of her yesterday morning before she died. It's a stark reminder about how quickly life can suddenly be snuffed out.

    Good news and bad news - you guys were right about our girl who was hiding! Little Kiev was under the ramp apparently, which is the one place I didn't look for her. I was so glad when I heard her little cheeps!! She's traumatized, but alive.

    Bad news - the hawk did come back again. When I got up this morning, I looked out the back and saw him in the exact spot where he'd feasted on our girl yesterday, looking for scraps. I grabbed our shepherd and ran out, hoping Maya would catch the jerkface. He casually glanced our way and lazily flapped into a tree not 20' away. There he sat, staring at us, not caring that Maya was going crazy around the base of the tree or that I was throwing rocks and sticks at him and MISSING. I came within a few inches of him and all he did was stare at me!! The nerve!! I even ran back in and got a slingshot and still missed!! I had no idea that my accuracy was zero with that thing. I think he finally got bored and flapped a little further into the forest, but he didn't leave-leave. I have no doubts that he's still nearby.

    Our setup is actually pretty decent - it's a solid pine coop with a fully enclosed area that opens up to a 200' circumference roaming area surrounded by an electric fence. They can take shelter under the ramp, under the shed itself, in the coop, or in the run. Ironically, we think Chucky got nailed inside the run... from the puff of little black-and-tan feathers and down, it looks like the hawk swooped right in and grabbed her in there and tried to fly away with her, or Chucky ran out in a panic, and somehow got tangled in the bottom of the fence where there's almost no electric current, and that was that.

    Now I have to figure out how to get rid of this insolent jerk before he gets another one of my girls, who will be remaining inside the enclosed run until further notice. Obviously the slingshot won't do it... I guess I have to get a little rifle? :(
     
  8. TAMMACLEAN

    TAMMACLEAN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to hear about the one you found. I'm not sure you are allowed to kill them. Check local and federal laws first. Is there a way you can cover to top of the run? That way nothing can come down a swoop in.

    I have to say that that is my biggest fear, something getting our chickens and my kids finding them. It would be bad enough for me to find them and tell the kids but if the kids find them.....
     
  9. polskituft

    polskituft Out Of The Brooder

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    You are not allowed to kill hawks but, you should hang strands of old DVDs or sheets above your chickens run. It will scare the hawk away without killing it if he comes back. So sorry about your silkie they are very vulnerable chickens. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  10. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sorry for your loss. A pair of red tail hawks that nest close by and a pair of raccoons have dashed my dreams of having happy little chickens roaming freely about my property. We compromised and built a large enclosed area where they can forage when we are with them and when we can't be they must stay in their completely hardware cloth encosed run.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012

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