Predator took all 5 hens last night! I feel horrible!

Drummy Farm

Hatching
Aug 30, 2019
1
0
6
Sorry for your loss. I live in south eastern pa as well. I live in town too and the two main predators I have are stray cats and possums.
 

BigBlueHen53

Fragile, Beautiful, Strong
Premium member
Mar 5, 2019
3,525
11,104
597
SE Missouri, USA
A loss like this is like a punch to the gut. It is so unexpected. And for OP there is not just the pain of the loss itself, which is considerable, but the added pain of self-blame. This makes it doubly hard for her to move on.

I've found, in my own experience, that "no pain" is not an option. In my case, it was a gate I left open, and it was a dog that paid the price for my carelessness. The loss was overwhelming. I didn't think I could ever face that pain again. So I considered my options. I could choose never to have another dog again, ever, and not go through the pain of losing one ever again. I could choose to live without a dog. But the thought of living without a dog was unbearable. Those were my options. No dog, a lifetime of unbearable pain. Get a dog, and face inevitable overwhelming pain someday. But "no pain" was not on the table. It was not an option. I have never been without a dog since then. This is the price I pay for loving dogs. It is a high price. But it is one I am willing to pay. As I write this, remembering that day, that dog, the tears are flowing. And that was decades ago. But I don't regret my decision. My dogs have brought me tears, yes, but also years of joy. For me there is only one cure for the loss of a dog. And that is loving another dog.

I guess it's the same with chickens.
 

LindaApple

Chirping
Feb 1, 2020
17
128
53
I found this helpful when I lost some hens:


Scroll down to the chart that says, What Killed My Chickens

So sorry, hon. I feel sure that most of us have been there, done that, and got the tee shirt.
 

Henanigan

Chirping
Apr 29, 2019
39
60
70
closing their hutch door. I have done this for 5 years. Last night I am assuming I forgot as I noted the main door open this AM.
I'm sorry if this has been answered, I love my girls like they are my children. so please can you shoe a picture of the door pls. I'm so sorry to hear about what happened. Just know they are in good hands with their creator
 

mctom

In the Brooder
Jun 26, 2019
10
17
26
I'm a little late reading your post but I had to reply. I totally get what you are going through and the guilt is awful. But we all make mistakes, its just part of being human. I too have forgotten to close the chickens in one night, unbelievable since it is a daily routine. But these things happen to us all. I have two groups of chickens. For our larger group we now have an automatic door that opens and closes without us -- no mistakes again there. Our second group includes a blind hen who must be put away and carried to her coop every night. For them I now set an alarm every day so that I can't get busy and distracted or so tired that I forget them. Once was enough.
Just know that you are not alone in forgetting to close your chickens in, many of us have made that same mistake. Also, there are ways to protect against it happening again, alarms or automatic doors. If you go the automatic door route, there are many different doors out there and they are not all equally good, so do your research. We went through a few before finding a good one. Let yourself have chickens again, it will ease the pain of your loss and they are such fun characters. I'm sorry for your loss and hope that you are feeling better soon.
 

seraphine

In the Brooder
Oct 16, 2019
11
15
29
I had a similar thing happen to a couple of silkie chicks, however I was out of town and my caretaker ... and I'd watched them peep out of their eggs. I close the doors as soon as the sun shine changes color and the evening temperature changes. I don't depend on a clock, that way if I've got a caretaker again, I can call him/her to remind them.
 

LMN1966

In the Brooder
Jan 19, 2020
28
72
43
Ontario, Canada
Omgosh I'm so sorry! I know how heartbroken you must feel. I lost my hen today. Natural causes. Hope you are doing well soon.
Hi Everyone, thank you to everyone at this forum as you have all been so helpful! Every night I have a routine which includes checking on my 5 hens and closing their hutch door. I have done this for 5 years. Last night I am assuming I forgot as I noted the main door open this AM. All of my chickens are gone. There are no bodies, bones, etc. - just piles of feathers. I live in town with 2 sides of 8 foot fence and 2 sides of 4 foot fence. Hawks have been my daytime issues in the past as I lost one of my birds two years ago to a hawk in the daylight. I feel horribly guilty. Does anyone know what predator, in a southeastern PA town would just leave feathers overnight, be able to kill 5 birds, and leave nothing more? There are no gaps in the fence bottom and I have 3 dogs who use my yard to run and play....thank you for any information. I truly appreciate it!
 

hayley3

Crowing
12 Years
Aug 16, 2007
786
677
276
Southern Indiana
I'm a little late reading your post but I had to reply. I totally get what you are going through and the guilt is awful. But we all make mistakes, its just part of being human. I too have forgotten to close the chickens in one night, unbelievable since it is a daily routine. But these things happen to us all. I have two groups of chickens. For our larger group we now have an automatic door that opens and closes without us -- no mistakes again there. Our second group includes a blind hen who must be put away and carried to her coop every night. For them I now set an alarm every day so that I can't get busy and distracted or so tired that I forget them. Once was enough.
Just know that you are not alone in forgetting to close your chickens in, many of us have made that same mistake. Also, there are ways to protect against it happening again, alarms or automatic doors. If you go the automatic door route, there are many different doors out there and they are not all equally good, so do your research. We went through a few before finding a good one. Let yourself have chickens again, it will ease the pain of your loss and they are such fun characters. I'm sorry for your loss and hope that you are feeling better soon.
Can you say which door you preferred?
 

Fluffyflufffluff

Chirping
Premium member
Dec 30, 2019
191
384
86
Hi Everyone, thank you to everyone at this forum as you have all been so helpful! Every night I have a routine which includes checking on my 5 hens and closing their hutch door. I have done this for 5 years. Last night I am assuming I forgot as I noted the main door open this AM. All of my chickens are gone. There are no bodies, bones, etc. - just piles of feathers. I live in town with 2 sides of 8 foot fence and 2 sides of 4 foot fence. Hawks have been my daytime issues in the past as I lost one of my birds two years ago to a hawk in the daylight. I feel horribly guilty. Does anyone know what predator, in a southeastern PA town would just leave feathers overnight, be able to kill 5 birds, and leave nothing more? There are no gaps in the fence bottom and I have 3 dogs who use my yard to run and play....thank you for any information. I truly appreciate it!
Oh my. That looks horrible indeed. I hope you can discover what did it so you can make your move about what to do next. good luck.
 

Basultooutdoors

In the Brooder
Oct 10, 2019
12
25
37
If you have a fence, the problem is most definitely Racoons. Foxes and Coyotes cannot scale walls🤣😂

I have had issues with racoons myself and they tend to drag the bodies off to eat them later.
 
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