My first loss

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by McGoo, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    I know that you all will appreciate and understand this better than anyone else.

    I thought after 6 mos that I had a chicken setup that was somehow impervious to predators... but not the case. While I was away caring for my Grandchildren, and my DH was watching over my flock, 3 hawks attacked and killed my most beloved gal, Gladys. She was the alpha hen and my friendliest. She only lived for 8 mos, but they were free-ranging fun times. I sure missed her this morning when I had no company as I cleaned out the coop. [​IMG]

    As for the hawks - well it's wintertime and although there are fewer, the ones that stay up north are big and on the prawl for any meal they can squander.

    And trying to look at the bright side, it all happened at lunchtime so my DH was just arriving home. So, although he didn't see the initial attack, he was able to scare the hawks away. Don't want to think about what might have happened if he didn't come home. After the initial scare, all of my remaining chickens, unharmed as far as I can tell, are huddling closer and Mr. Ed is keeping a closer eye to the sky.
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Seems odd to see three hawks together eating a meal. Are you sure they weren't vultures eating what something else killed? Guess it doesn't matter, your poor girl is gone and I'm so sorry. I know my time will come. The odds are for it with all the predators in my area.
  3. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    I'm sorry about Gladys.
  4. HenHaven

    HenHaven Songster

    Mar 3, 2007
    Coarsegold, CA
    I am sorry you lost Gladys. Eight months of free-ranging good times means a lot, I think. My setup allows for semi-free-ranging for most of the day, and a couple of hours before dusk of total free-ranging.

    I have lost a few along the way, but I console myself that they had a very happy, albeit short, life. Unfortunately, most of the predator losses I have incurred have been my fault for leaving a gate or door open...
  5. LynnGrigg

    LynnGrigg Songster

    Jun 6, 2007
    Winston Salem, NC
    I'm so sorry! It happened to me too! I lost four chickens a couple of weeks ago to something. It/they left my favorite hen dead in the lot with very few wounds. Whatever it was carried off my largest Wyandotte and left only a couple of piles of feathers from her. It ate my two young OEG hens leaving only the wing tips of one in the lot. Our fence is heavy duty and high. This is my second time around keeping chickens. Seems like it's always something. If not a predator, then it is illness. If you keep them, you'll have some of both. We just try to do the best we can. Lynn
  6. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    Thanks so much for your condolences. Seems that as secure as we think we are there is always a chance that someone will get sick and/or be killed. It's life.

    And Cynthia, yes, I asked my DH that exact question .... He did say that the one who had killed her was smaller than the ones in the trees. I asked if he was sure that they weren't turkey vultures in the tree. He insisted no, but honestly they probably were. Love him dearly, but he's not an animal person. I suspect that it was a coopers hawk that did the nasty deed - there' s one nearby; Dark on top was the description that I got. Maybe the birds in the tree were Red tails rather than vultures, but it is unusual to see so many hawks together.
  7. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    I'm so sorry. I had a Gladys once myself, and she was also a sweetie.
  8. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I'm so sorry you lost Gladys.

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