Our first chicken death

Pickled Plaid

Songster
Sep 3, 2019
100
262
111
Central Oklahoma
We went out this morning to find our sweet little rescue hen dead in the back yard. I'm still in shock. She has been such a good girl. She laid the very first egg we collected! Her feathers were finally growing back in (she arrived really roughed up by an overeager roo three times her size).

The most frustrating part about losing her, is knowing it was a two legged predator. She was shot with a pellet gun.

We do live in town, but in an area of older houses on 1/2 acre to over acre lots. Our yard is just under 3/4 of an acre. We've had the birds here since May, and not one neighbor has complained. Our fence is not perfect, but quite secure, and aside from one isolated and witnessed freak out, our girls have stayed in the yard, and haven't bothered anyone that we've witnessed or anticipated. The girls free range all day, and go to their coop at dusk.

This particular girl couldn't be cooped with the others (we tried many times). She was just too passive and got picked on, pecked, and plucked. So she had her own safe place. She'd always been a free ranger in her prior life, and had always been extremely savvy about aerial and four legged predators.

We found her on the ground, about ten feet from her hut. It looks like she'd just been minding her own business, doing chicken things. One small entry wound, no exit wound. She was shot in the thigh, so she suffered, and I feel absolutely sick about it.

I know this is the dark side of raising and loving chickens, but I wasn't ready to say goodbye.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
602
Idaho
I would report it to the police, and would recommend a motion detected night vision camera so if someone does it again you have proof to give to the police, That is cruel and unusually as they suffer a lot, took a cat in once and some kids had shot it with a bb gun thinking it wouldn't hurt anything, it had ricocheted around in there and done massive damage vet finally found it after xrays and nothing they could really do, she passed 2 days later
 

Pickled Plaid

Songster
Sep 3, 2019
100
262
111
Central Oklahoma
Thank you all for your condolences, they are very appreciated. We're still so hurt and angry that someone could and did do this to such a sweet little chicken.

We carefully looked over both coops, and couldn't find any other pellet holes. We did find a possible pellet hole in the side of her hut, though, that did not penetrate. The other chickens and the ducks are all okay.

Unfortunately, when we called the police out, they weren't really interested in making a report, since we didn't hear or witness the shot. They said if it happened again to call them, since it would demonstrate a pattern, and would be cruelty to an animal. I felt like our sweet girl's suffering just didn't matter to them. They weren't unkind, but didn't think too much about the incident.

I'll mention the trail cam idea to my husband. He's been standoffish with the birds, but he is furious someone shot our girl, and is on the war path. We've talked about installing surveillance cameras, but we're disabled vets on a fixed income, and the cameras we've looked at that seem like they'll hold up cost a pretty penny.

I've volunteered in rescue groups for years, and deliberate cruelty to an animal is just so utterly deplorable. We don't deserve the beautiful and forgiving souls of animals. Human beings are capable of so much good - but also so much evil.
 

Rammy

Crowing
12 Years
Oct 20, 2008
1,786
2,427
437
Tennessee
Wyze cams are cheap and altho they are not designated for outdoor use, many people on here, including @Nifty-Chicken has them installed under the eaves for security. They do require a wifi signal and need to be plugged in an outlet but the picture is very good. Another plus is they have free 7 day Cloud storage and two-way talk. You could start out with one or two and add as needed.
 

Pickled Plaid

Songster
Sep 3, 2019
100
262
111
Central Oklahoma
Wyze cams are cheap and altho they are not designated for outdoor use, many people on here, including @Nifty-Chicken has them installed under the eaves for security. They do require a wifi signal and need to be plugged in an outlet but the picture is very good. Another plus is they have free 7 day Cloud storage and two-way talk. You could start out with one or two and add as needed.

Thank you, I'll have my husband look those up. We have strong wifi, the plug might be an issue (we're renovating a house built in 1955, that doesn't even have power in the detached garage) He's the techie. I'm hopeless with almost everything technological.
 

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