OMG I am so sad & so are mamas!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by crystal2658, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. crystal2658

    crystal2658 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Central, MI
    My two bourbon red hens were co-sitting on a nest of 18 eggs. They both shared the nest box & when one would get up the other would steal her eggs. They were doing such good mama jobs for about 7 days & then a skunk got in. It ate all the eggs. I noticed both hens outside the coop so I went out to check the eggs & count how many there actually were. When I got down on my knees to look in the nest box, I was face to face with the skunk. Lets just say I backed out of there pretty quickly! The skunk did the same thing as soon as I moved. Thankfully it was a young one & didn't spray right away. (It did later that night though) That was last week. We have since put more fencing around the turkey coop (like we originally did with the chicken coop) & I have set up a live trap. So far no skunk. The hens have been very mopey. Especially the original mama that first started sitting. She went in & sat on the empty nest for quite awhile the first day. I finally felt so bad for her that I put 5 chicken eggs under her. She seemed very happy & shoved them the rest of the way under herself. The skunk came back that night & also got those. Now I don't ever see her even go in the coop. I know she has to though cause that is where their water is. At least I hope she is. :( The other hen is starting to get nice and active again. As I'm typing this she is actually getting a dirt bath, which I haven't seen either of them do since this happened. The sad mama is huddled up on the perch. Which is where she pretty much stays now. Sooo sad!

    How long does it take for them to start laying again after something like this? I was also wondering if I should try to put a few chicken eggs in the nest if that would get them jumpstarted on laying more eggs again? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    How is the skunk getting in??? Sounds like you need to secure your coop or this will keep happening, and it might be a coon next time, eating your chicken, rather than a skunk eating their eggs.
    After a scare, it could take a few weeks to start laying again, although I'm betting they'll lay again inside of two weeks.
     
  3. crystal2658

    crystal2658 Out Of The Brooder

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    0
    22
    Nov 19, 2008
    Central, MI
    We have taken care of how the skunk got in. We fenced & rocked around the whole perimeter of the coop & run. We didn't get our turkey coop in till late last fall & didn't get around to putting the extra fence around it because of winter & I had ruptured discs in my neck. I recently had surgery & have been trying to keep a good eye out on them while I've recuperated. I obviously couldn't do that at night though. I just hit my 4 wks recovery last wednesday & was given the okay to do things. We put the extra fence around the coop area on tuesday last week. I am now in the process of putting large rocks on top of the fencing we laid around the perimeter. It goes out 3 feet on the ground around the whole area plus up the sides. We did this years ago for our chicken coop & have never had a predator get in. Although they have attempted. I always put a live trap out when I know one is on the prowl. I feel so bad for the hens cause I know it is our fault (although unavoidable do to my neck). I'm actually quite concerned for mama #1 today because she has not come off the roost in the run all day. She is just sitting there all hunkered over. She has been doing this since everything happened last week. But today has been all day so far. I have not seen her on the ground one time today. I am going to go out there right now & try to talk to her. They are not real friendly, not mean just wary. I didn't get them until they were partially grown so they have never bonded closely with us. Maybe if I go out & get her moving it could help.
     

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