Predator or accident - what killed my hen?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by krepanie, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. krepanie

    krepanie Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2015
    We lost a hen last night. I went to lock the girls in their coop and realized I was short one when I counted them. I looked around our chicken yard and found Buffy, one of our Buff Orpingtons, dead below the nesting boxes in our coop. She was stiff, except for a floppy neck. I could not find any bites, scratches, blood, etc. on her. Can anyone help?

    We lost another hen similarly about 3 months ago and had assumed it was a rat snack that had strangled her. Now I am unsure...
     
  2. smudge

    smudge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2013
    Long Island, NY
    I'm so sorry for your loss. [​IMG]

    I doubt it was a predator. It sounds like she just... died. My neighbor lost one of her (3 year old) GLWs - just dropped dead by the pop door in May. She initially thought, like you, that it was perhaps a predator, but was told at the feed store that sometimes these things just happen.

    I recently lost 3 BOs, 2 of whom appeared healthy the day before [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] - heat was a factor. I especially miss the big fluffy one. But 3 other BOs, same age, same living conditions were fine.
     
  3. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]

    I live in town. This is what I use to catch any culprits that might want to make a meal out of my chickens. The trap opening is 13 inches X 13 inches, and 36 inches in length. Once the predator steps on the treadle, the door closes and your predator problems are solved. Any one that keeps chickens should have at least a pair of these for quick use when predators stalk our birds.

    Bait it with a tin of cat food food and set it each night. Don't leave it set during the day, all you'll catch is a bunch of chickens. You'll need to stake it so it cannot be turned over, if the trap rolls over the washers will slide and the trap door will open. If the predator escapes, they just got a free education as to what to avoid in the future.

    It works great for squirrels, weasels, mink, feral cats, small dogs, dumb foxes with a lower I.Q., and raccoons; basically most of the animals that want to make a meal out of our birds.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I am sorry for your loss. I also have an Orp named Buffy. [​IMG]

    That doesn't sound like a predator especially if no one else was acting strange. If the "kill" happened in your coop, none of them would probably go inside willingly for a little while.

    @Rock Home Isle I haven't yet dealt with predators, but will invest in 1 of these and appreciate the info on staking it. There are some thing you just cant know without experience. So thanks for sharing!

    Best wishes!
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
  5. Darryl Sparlin

    Darryl Sparlin New Egg

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    Jun 19, 2016
     
  6. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Stay away from the Havahart brand traps, unless you're after squirrels, Havaharts are cheaply made and use sheet metal, the springs that lock the trap are weak. I've had animals push out of a Havahart Trap. If a predator forces out of a Havahart trap once, the trap is ruined.
     
  7. krepanie

    krepanie Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2015
    Sorry to not get back to this thread. Thanks everyone for the comments/suggestions. We lost a second girl two weeks after this. It was our blue cochin that was solid black. After talking to some others, we think it is the Texas heat that likely killed them both. We have added electrolytes to their water, they already have plenty of dirt for bathing themselves, and I am including some frozen treats for them. Hopefully we don't lose anymore. My 8 year old son was devastated.
     
  8. smudge

    smudge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2013
    Long Island, NY
    Hugs, I am so sorry to hear this.

    There are a variety of ways to help the girls keep cool. I've mastered none of them, so it's good I don't live where you do!

    I'm not sure how well the electrolytes work, but at least they won't hurt. The frozen treats might help (mine would ignore them).

    Are you in the hot and dry part or swampy part of TX?

    It's a whole lot cooler up here on Long Island, but by our standards this is a hot dry week. I hosed down the outside of the coop last evening in an attempt to get it somewhat bearable inside. Today the girls were panting today, even using blocks of ice in the run. So I flung a soaker hose over the top and made it rain. They sought shelter, but they also stopped panting.
     
  9. Kmac1

    Kmac1 ChickenAddict

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    May 22, 2016
    Kingfisher, Oklahoma
    I know when my girls, guys and guieneas start panting I turn on the sprinkler, turn on the fan next to their coop and feed them cold and or frozen treats. I'm in central Oklahoma and the temperature is 98-100 with a heat index of 108+\- and so far they are doing ok. Willie
     
  10. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps


    I turn on my sprinkler as well. I also have large trees in the backyard...
     

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