Owl (maybe a hawk) got my chick

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dfriloux, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. dfriloux

    dfriloux Out Of The Brooder

    34
    0
    22
    Apr 8, 2010
    On Sunday evening, a bird of prey got my poor Gertrude! Only feathers marked the scene. I could not believe there was no blood or bones or anything left anywhere! After a little research, I learned that "Raptor birds often defecate when they make a kill. Most hawks will leave a sweep of whitewash that you will see making its way away from the feather pile of the kill. An Owls defecation will also be a whitewash, but it will be in small heaps and clumpier." from http://www.raising-chickens.org/chicken-predators.html. There was a pile of feathers near the outer fence and another smaller pile near the fence around the pond area. Outside of that fence are some sago palms and, sure enough, a "whitewash" of poo was on one of the sagos. I couldn't really tell whether it was in "small heaps and clumpier", so I'm not positive whether it was a hawk or an owl. I'm betting an owl, though, because I've seen an owl swooping around in the evening lately.

    Now I'm not sure what to do! I let my girls out every day to roam the yard while I'm at work. They normally take themselves to their roost and someone locks the door to their coop before dark. (That didn't happen when poor Gertrude was taken--DH fell asleep and I didn't get home until way after dark. I'm not sure what time the killing took place, but I'm betting right around dusk.) So, I'm thinking we should put them up long before dusk now which will cut down on the ranging time, but, hopefully, will keep them alive! It's just heartbreaking! Gertrude was such a sweetie and I'm going to miss her so much!!
     
  2. Fowel Frenzy

    Fowel Frenzy Out Of The Brooder

    44
    1
    22
    May 24, 2011
    LARAMIE, WYOMING
    [​IMG] [​IMG] I'm so sorry for you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  3. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

    909
    11
    133
    Sep 20, 2011
    Fairmont
    Aww so sorry about your Gertrude. I lost my roo and two of my hens this week too. Ms. Blue and Madeline. I pretty much do what you do and let mine free range while I am at work they put themselves to roost and I shut the door.
    My own lap dog got my chickens and i am kicking myself. My chickens seem to be wandering further from the house this week so I have to come up with another plan soon.

    [​IMG]. [​IMG]. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by