One of my chicks just got eaten

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by NHchicks, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. NHchicks

    NHchicks Songster

    May 13, 2010
    My 9 yr. old and I have watched our hens lay eggs, get broody, and hatch 8 adorable chicks. The chicks are now 5 weeks old and everything was peachy until tonight. I have them living in a dog crate efficiency apartment next to the real coop with their hatch-mom, wrapped in a tarp, double and triple locked to keep raccoons from opening the latch. But it's hot and I left the front unwrapped for them. Tonight my dog was whining to get out, but I didn't want the barking to disturb the neighbors so I didn't let her out. At 12:30 a.m. I woke up to the sound of chickens screaming. So I grabbed a flashlight and ran down to the coop, and, well, it must've been a raccoon that reached in and was able to grab a chick and behead it. My dog is now outside for the night, which never happens, but she lives for this kind of thing and isn't even asking to come back in. My neighbors will have to bear with us for the night.

    It is so disturbing - I got this feeling of evil seeing my poor chick like that. Raccoons have to live too, but the whole predator thing is really bothering me right now.

    Tomorrow night I think I will just put them in the big coop with the other hens & the rooster. They have been co-existing pretty well, but the chicks might get a couple pecks from the hens in the morning. Hmm. The other option is to line the dog crate with the chicken wire that has the tiny holes, not the big holes.

    My 9 yr. old is going to be very upset in the morning. Ugh.
  2. I know exactly what you're going through, and it really isn't a pleasant feeling. I know raccoons have to live but right now my neighborhood has an overpopulation problem and something needs to be done. (Actually NOW we have a cougar to worry about...I think that's worse than coons...)

    I woke up to feed my birds one morning to find my pekin pulled through the fence and a mangle mess. It was horrible!!

    Sorry for your loss, and I hope your 9yr old will be ok. [​IMG]
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I'm so sorry that happened to you! [​IMG]
    We've had a mother swallow raise two clutches in her little nest under our carport. We've enjoyed watching the parents tend their little brood. We've taken care not to disturb her any more than necessary by keeping the dogs away from the carport and parking our cars in the yard instead of under cover.
    Last night my DH found a black snake under the carport, so being the pacifist I am I had him carry the snake off instead of killing it. An hour later I went out to check on the nest and the snake was back. He ate all the baby birds. We think he may have got the mother bird too since she was roosting with her chicks.
    He's a dead snake now. Our carport is way too close to where my baby chicks are in their brooder and I'm not taking any chances. I just wish I had let my DH kill him before he could take those helpless baby birds.
    It sucks, but I guess that's the way nature is sometimes.
  4. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I'm so sorry! You're living my worst nightmare.

    So many people don't realize that wire openings larger than 1/2" by 1/2" leave open the danger of reach through predation. You can try to reduce this danger by reinforcing your wire with hardware cloth with these smaller openings. On the dove forum I belong to, some folks have even had reach through predation with wire that has 1" by 1/2" openings!

    I'm so sorry for your loss.
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    It just terrible how those coons can just reach in and do that to a poor chick or hen. So sorry this happened to you.....
  6. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    Coons are the worst. One grabbed my pekin hen through chainlink fencing under the electric wire, pulled her up to the fence and chewed her up. I still cant beleive it happened because I have a hot wire running along the bottom of the fence about 6 inches up and it still managed to get her.
  7. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    So sorry, NHchicks. [​IMG] If it makes you feel better, I have 2 eight week old and 3 seven week old chicks living with my adult chickens. They have been in there for a couple of weeks with no problems, even with my rooster. Best wishes!
  8. SallyF

    SallyF Songster 9 Years

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    Unfortunately, chicks seem to have an insatiable curiosity. I had some week old chicks in a chicken wire pen on the ground in SC (yeah, I know: invitation to disaster!) and even with Mama hen in there, the raccoon just sat down by the wire and picked off 4 chicks. They just kept coming up to the wire. Raccoon finally decided that the business end of my broom was not worth hanging around any more, and he'd finished lunch anyway.
  9. chickenlover51

    chickenlover51 In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2010
    Sorry for your loss....[​IMG]
  10. lisebarb

    lisebarb Songster

    Oh my! I am so very sorry to hear about this. Poor little thing.[​IMG]

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