nothing but feathers and one lone survivor

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by whogroomer, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. whogroomer

    whogroomer In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2010
    My wife has been preoccupied recently with a job application, and left the coop door open after dark. Now that the days are shorter, its dark before I get home. When I got home I noticed the run door was open, so I closed it up, as well as the door to the coop. The next morning I went to open the coop door, and only one chicken came out. Then I noticed the feathers in the run.. and a few outside the run. Just a handful. No signs of any blood, or footprints, or anything other than the lost feathers. I live near a lake so the Racoons are everywhere, but I didn't think they were such stealth killers. I lost 4 of them, I would of thought I would of found a body or two.

    Wha'ts odd is that the hen that was picked on the most is the one that survived, maybe because she is always cautious and hightailed it out of there. I can't tell if she now likes her freedom from oppression, or is lonely. She used to never approach me unless I was feeding everyone. Now she follows me around the yard. I think I need to find her a companion for the winter. Is that a good idea?
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  2. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Songster

    Nov 12, 2009
    Central Ohio
    So sorry for your losses--what an awful way to start the day, I know, I've been there. Lost four in September, and they were in a dog kennel in their closed coop. The culprits were raccoons, they killed our silkie and sultan, left the bodies in the coop for my dd to find the next morning before school. Then it/they took two bantam cochins, I never found them. Returned the next two nights, looking for more meals--instead ended up in "Hotel California," where they tried to check out, but they could never leave (OK--we trapped them and sentenced them to death). They had pushed open the door to the kennel (which was totally enclosed) and then lifted the guilltine door to get them.
    I still felt bad about killing them (having them killed), but they intruded where they weren't welcome. Could be any type of predator (not sure where you live) but raccoons are pretty smart, determined, and opportunistic--and they don't only kill to eat.
    As far as the shy, bottom of the ladder hen now being friendly, makes sense. She was probably in hiding when the attack took place, and being creatures that need a flock, even if they aren't very nice to her, they were still her flock. Now her flock-family-protection is gone. In my opinion, yes, she definitely needs some company. Funny thing is, I don't imagine getting her a couple of new friends will make them come running to each other, wings widespread--they'll probably fuss and pick oneach other until their position in the pecking order is established....but that's their nature. Good luck, and again, sorry for the loss.
  3. Johnn

    Johnn Crowing

    Sep 5, 2011
    I think you should just get one so she will for once have a propper friend and then get more in spring so them two can both be bosses
  4. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    Sorry for your loss. Another chicken is a good idea. If I had a lone one I might even keep it in the house in a dog crate.I had hens in the house before while recouping from injuries.I cleaned often and they would even start laying eggs!

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