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My chickens are scared...what do I do?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Carli, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. Carli

    Carli In the Brooder

    May 4, 2010
    Last week, we heard a ruckus in the run. Looked out and found a bobcat circling the area. I went outside and as I rounded the corner to full view, I saw one of my chickens fly up and out of the run, only then to be eaten by a coyote who came bounding out of the woods. It was freaky!!! We walked into the run after that and saw the location from which the hen flew out and there was a pile of her feathers up against the fence, right where the bobcat had been. It was obvious he had gotten hold of her from the outside which was why she flew the coop.

    I haven't seen the coyote again but the bobcat has been back at least twice. Now I'm noticing the hens aren't eating or drinking much. We were late to get them out this morning but before I went near, I didn't hear their usual noise telling me to get them out. When I go to the run, a couple of the chickens run right into the coop. I'm only getting 1-2 eggs a day.

    All that said, here are the rest of the stats, of what I have left. We did have another hen fly out recently and saw the trail of feathers...

    11 hens, no rooster

    7- 1.5 yos in molt, one broody
    4- 1, born in January, the rest in March

    So thinking about the molting hens, I should only be getting about 4 eggs a day, right? That's two more than I'm getting! What about the food and water...is that because of molting too?

    Any thoughts on how to deter predators from circling my run? We're out in the woods and don't plan on building a fence around the property.

  2. Cluckin'Crazy4them

    Cluckin'Crazy4them In the Brooder

    Oct 28, 2011
    NW Oregon
    I'm sorry for your loss [​IMG] I would start by covering your run to prevent any other hens flying up and out. They probably feel cornered and want to escape when in reality the coop/run is the safest place if its sturdy enough.
    I live in an area with wildlife just like you listed. Cayote, raccoon, bobcat, possum, and cougar (although I have never seen one as they are so illusive). We keep our dog outside when we are mucking around in the house and can be close to respond if he starts alarming (he only barks when someone comes down the drive but it is a different bark than when he senses danger). He is a feisty little terrier who pays no mind to the chickens. All our attacks have been when nobody is home and dogs are in. It seems the sound of people or smell of a young, healthy dog deters them. I don't know if you have a dog or just how tough he/she may be, so that may be debatable. Im not saying sacrifice your dog or anything. I'm just saying what works for me [​IMG] You and a friend (for safety) could go tromping through the bordering woods yourselves and leave you scent (*cough cough*). It mot not be such a bad thing if you forget to use the bathroom before you go.... Maybe leave on a radio, a talk-show or something. Perhaps get a gun to fire off some non-lethal rounds in the air to scare them off. I love wildlife and personally hate to chase them out of their home but when it comes to harming my pets I will certainly do my best to chase em off. Good luck!
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011
  3. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Yes cover the run, that was the first problem, the Bobcat and Coyote knew they could get in from the top and when you saw them they were just figuring out how to climb in. If you don't cover the run now and very securely count on another visit very soon and it won't be pretty. As far as keeping your chickens calm, you just have to bide your time and wait they will forget it even happened in 3 day's, they're not that smart and soon forget and will get back to normal and laying again.
  4. gpwelding1

    gpwelding1 Chirping

    Oct 10, 2011
    upstate south carolina
    sorry for your loss [​IMG].IMHO definatly cover the run! where you have a bobcat and coyote stalking prey at the same time, and the same area i would REALY recomend setting some traps! depending on laws in your area,and i would also recomend investing in a .22 rifle!
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Cover the run before you do anything else. We have 2x4" welded wire over ours. It will keep the chickens in and should be strong enough to keep the bigger predators out. Next, find out when and where your nearest firearms safety class is being held (they have them for adults, too), then get yourself a gun to fire some lethal rounds. You can fire scare-shots all you want, but eventually they'll figure out that nothing is going to happen and they'll ignore them.
  6. Nikkiete

    Nikkiete Hatching

    Sep 7, 2016
    New to chickens. But love them. What makes them all of a sudden just freeze in place and not move. All together

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