Only one hen survived predator attack

xochristo

In the Brooder
Sep 19, 2021
6
3
12
Joshua Tree, CA
Sadly, we had an awful coyote attack that took out most of our 16-chicken flock. Only 2 remained, and then one died last night. We're now left with a single 10-week old Rhode Island Red.

We're ordering more chicks, but is there anything I can do in the meantime to keep my surviving bird happy and healthy? After the new chicks arrive, anything I should know about that transition for her? We're also working on predator-proofing the run, so we need to keep her in the coop until it's safe. I'm really worried about her and feel awful.

Any tips are welcome!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,888
35,852
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
She'll be scared and traumatized for a while. In the meantime your presence will have to substitute for the flock's presence, so while you're working on beefing up your run, those would be good times to let her out so she can spend time around you.

Glad you're getting more chicks. Think about how you want to handle brooding and integration, i.e. if your weather forecast is agreeable, maybe consider raising the chicks outside in a safe, sectioned off area so she'll have some companionship sooner rather than later, and will also acclimate to their presence more naturally.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,214
17,296
706
USA
Glad you're getting more chicks. Think about how you want to handle brooding and integration, i.e. if your weather forecast is agreeable, maybe consider raising the chicks outside in a safe, sectioned off area so she'll have some companionship sooner rather than later, and will also acclimate to their presence more naturally.
Or if the chicks get brooded inside, maybe make a large enough brooder that she can have a space at one end (away from the heat). That would give the same benefits of companionship and getting used to each other.

Considering that there's just one older bird, she may be able to integrate with the chicks fairly soon-- watch behavior, test under supervision, and see. You might be able to make a divider with chick-sized holes (2" mesh maybe?) so the chicks can run in and out of her space, but can get away from her if needed. That will let them integrate at their own pace, probably sooner than you would have expected.

I've read a few anecdotes of half-grown chicks that seemed to adopt younger chicks. It seems to be quite rare, but apparently has happened for a few people.
 

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