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Neighbour killed half my flock how to introduce new babies.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kirrty, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. kirrty

    kirrty Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm devastated to say the least. My flock of ducks and chickens have just turned 3 months and I was slowly letting them out every few days. They would happily come back midday to be put away. They were nearly ready to lay.
    When I returned home yesterday my two biggest chickens and my biggest duck have gone missing. I'm on acerage so it's not a close nit community but my neighbour has a back access road and affirmed to me he had been up there and not seen anyone else.... My flock ever split up and to say the least he's a very shady character. There were no feathers so no struggle and I'm hoping that they have found a new home (but really I know what's happened)

    I'm now left with a small 3 month chicken, rooster, drake and duck. I was planning to breed them but I have fears of inbreeding too many times will cause issues.
    I do plan on getting more babies as I found it easier for them to trust me but I'm not sure how to introduce them to the rest of the flock. I have read that the bigger birds will pick on the babies so I'm at a loss as to what to do.
    Please if anyone has some information would be great.
     
  2. btruegs

    btruegs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First if at all possible, set up a game camera or something to see if and what happens to the others. That's awful. When the chicks hatch, i would bring them into the house in a brooder and raise them yourself until they are grown. Then slowly introduce them to the flock, they will be slightly picked on (pecking order) but won't be near as bad.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    We are always quick to place the blame on what we think is the obvious culprit, only later to discover it was something else. In all likelyhood, you may discover it was a predator that took your flock. It's a mistake to assume it was the neighbor while a cunning fox is the one making off with them.

    With many predators, feathers are not always left behind. If you are wise, you will take measures to protect your remaining flock from owls, hawks, bobcats, foxes, raccoons, and skunks, as well as a human nutcase.

    Setting up a game camera is smart and not expensive. Then you will know for sure. Because the predator WILL return. Meanwhile, I would keep the flock in a run until you discover what dangers lurk.
     
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    ^ This. I've had chickens just up and disappear. A few years back it happened, I lost 4 or 5 chickens in one day. No trace of them. A couple of days after that my Lab started going crazy in the house. When I let him out, he immediately bolted for my chicken run. There was a pair off foxes in the run chasing after the birds. He sent them on their way, I closed the door and locked the chickens up for a couple of weeks. No more losses.

    When you free range, you always take a chance. With small, young birds, they could have easily been carried off by a hawk as well. I'm not saying your neighbor didn't do it, but I'm not saying he did either. Secure your birds for a while, and when you do start letting them out, don't leave them unsupervised for long periods of time.
    Sorry you lost your birds :hugs
    Good luck.
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    I would much more likely blame the loss on a predator than the neighbor.
     

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