Owl attack

cdbfrombzt

In the Brooder
Jul 22, 2021
6
17
16
My flock of 5 (4 hens, 1 rooster) was attacked by an owl tonight in the middle of the night. My alpha hen is dead. I can only assume she was trying to protect the others. My rooster (large RIR that takes his job very seriously) and another hen are missing. Can't find them anywhere. The two hens I have left are obviously in shock. Is there any chance that my rooster (Grady) and hen (Estelle) that are missing are hiding in the woods somewhere? If that is a possibility, any idea how long it will take them to come back? I saw the owl fly out of the coop when I was approaching. He had obviously been feasting on my alpha hen Edith. Shirley and Elizabeth were still sitting up on their perch. I thought it was a hawk because it looked light in color, but apparently hawks don't hunt in the middle of the night. I still have so much to learn. Would the owl have taken a rooster and hen away from the coop, then come back to feast on a third inside the coop?
 

Matejka

Free Ranging
Rough night!
Owls do most hunting at night.
Your missing birds are most likely hiding. See if you can find them.
I would say, they will show up in the morning-however, it IS Night. They are endanger from coons and other predators. I would try looking for them now. Watch for snakes.
How did owl get IN coop?
How did birds get OUT of coop?
Good luck.
I'm sorry your having to deal with this
 

Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Sep 18, 2018
4,654
27,631
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North Central Iowa
How horrible! I would think it's unlikely the owl took two birds and came back.

Thank goodness Shirley and Elizabeth are okay, although traumatized, I'm sure. It will likely take them some time to feel secure again.

Without evidence that they didn't, I would hope that Grady and Estelle made it out alive. I would search for them and hope the sound of my voice and the promise of treats would bring them out from hiding if they are out there.

I don't know how your coop was entered, but it sounds like some serious predator-proofing is in order as soon as possible.

I hope this works out in the best way possible, and I am sorry for the loss of Edith.
 

cdbfrombzt

In the Brooder
Jul 22, 2021
6
17
16
After hours of searching, I found Grady & Estelle hiding on the front porch of all places. The owl got into the coop the first time because unfortunately the gate door was left open. That won’t happen again. I do believe the coop is probably pretty predator proof otherwise. It’s a regular 10x10x10 chain link dog kennel reinforced with chicken wire with a chain link fence panel over the top as well with trampoline mesh on top of that.
 

Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Sep 18, 2018
4,654
27,631
896
North Central Iowa
Hurray for Grady and Estelle! And for you!

Coop sounds like it will protect from most predators. Mink, I learned from the ONE time I forgot to close the coop, can get through 1-inch spaces. It was a tough lesson to learn and cost me three hens, but I am now meticulous about making sure everyone is securely locked in at night.

Hope you and your chickens are able to relax and recover soon.
 

Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Sep 18, 2018
4,654
27,631
896
North Central Iowa
When I had a juvenile Great Horned Owl stalking my ducks, I called the county conservation office, which put me in contact with the closest Department of Natural Resources officer. He came out and removed the owl while I kept watch on its every move. Even a juvey Great Horned can be dangerous. Once it was captured, it just laid on its back in his truck, glaring and with its talons ready to rip us apart.

Keep us posted and keep those chickens SAFE!
 

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