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Our first predator: an owl killed four

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Pequena Bandada, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. Pequena Bandada

    Pequena Bandada Small Flock

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    This morning I went out to give our chickens treats and found an owl in our chicken run, with chicken feathers all over the place, and three dead chickens lying in the run corners. The rest of our chickens were inside the coop. Apparently the owl crashed through the netting we had over the run (it was loose in one spot where we had just put new siding on the coop and hadn't nailed the netting to the siding). The owl got stuck inside the run because the rest of the netting held. When the coop door automatically opened this morning my chickens must have run out and encountered the owl. 8 made it back in, but four weren't so lucky.

    I'm pretty devastated. It took almost 10 minutes to convince the owl to fly out of the run door and then I had to clean everything up. I found my green egg laying Easter Egger's body, but no head; a 14 week old Barred Rock in two pieces; the skin, feathers and legs of a 14 week old Bearded Belgium D'Anvers, and a bunch of feathers from a 14 week old Partridge Silkie... but no body, head, feet or anything. I guess the owl ate her whole.

    Anyway, these are our first losses and I'm really sad. I feel like I failed my chickens. I guess we'll buy some more chicks in the spring, but it won't be easy to replace the adorable and friendly birds we lost today (especially since none of the feed stores nearby carry bantams).
     
  2. isabrownmom

    isabrownmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Sorry about y our losses! It's amazing how attached we get to our critters!
     
  3. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm so, so sorry... I know exactly how you are feeling. [​IMG]
     
  4. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    Lititz
    I highly doubt that the owl killed all those chickens. [​IMG] I think something else did some of the killing. Maybe the owl killed ONE, but they usually fly off with their prey. JMHO

    Jen
     
  5. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    That's awful. I've been there too. So sorry for your losses.
     
  6. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    I'm sorry for your losses. That's a lot to lose at one time. I know my first loss was very hard so I know how you feel. [​IMG]
     
  7. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:He couldn't fly off with the first one... he was closed in a pen and instinct kicked in.
     
  8. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

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    Neenah, WI
    owls can bust through netting, even hardware cloth, and glass. if they are hungry. only daylight keeps them away, yes he killed all those birds, I had the same thing happen.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm so sorry for your losses. [​IMG]
     
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Understand that he will be back. I'd turn off the automatic door and manually closeup and release the survivors daily. One once entered one of my pigeon lofts (I carelessly left the bobs open.) He killed several birds. Ate one completely and ate the heads off the others. I released him and for the remainder of that winter he kept returning trying to get back into my loft. They are single minded like feathered weasels or mink. Although primarily night feeders, they will feed at daybreak, dusk, or on overcast days if hungry.
     

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