protector was up prone!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CapeCodRobbin, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. CapeCodRobbin

    CapeCodRobbin Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 13, 2015

    I heard some noise and chickens calling out to me, they call out when they get scared or caught and stop when they see me because They know help is there. My babies are going on 6 weeks now and I let them out of their coop to play and sun in the yard. When I went to the window I saw nothing, no chicks moving anywhere or the chickens. I have 16 babies and I always see at least one. I found my Rock rooster "Protector" lying on the ground face to the side and feet in the air, not moving. I went over to him and he moved a little and turned himself over and stayed frozen to the spot. He was terrified, I didn't understand. I looked around and heard another chick moving around in the bushes. I called out to Liney and she came out of the bushes. They were terrified, I was holding Protector and he was just sitting quiet in my hands. I went looking for the other chicks. I found one of the chickens in their coop and tried to get her to come out, but she wasn't coming. I found the babies under the coop and the tarp hiding. I calmed protector and Liney down down and put them in the coop. I had noticed Liney feathers were missing and messed up. I took count of the chicks and chickens. Found 2 were missing of the babies, and no where to be found. I went back to where I found Protector and searched the ground for clues. I found my 2 chickens missing colored feathers on the fence and on the ground, plus Liney's color feathers.

    I figured we had a predator from the sky still around, that is why they were all still hiding.I looked and saw nothing in the trees, but there is a lot of trees and very little sky covering the Yard.

    Liney was lucky the bird had dropped her as I had walked out to see what had happened. I had seen a black blurr, but thought it was squirrel running up the tree. I actually thought that protector and the squirrel had gotten into it. He was always chasing that squirrel up the trees and away from the flock. But the evidence told me another picture.

    I was setting up their coop in the outdoor cage I built for the chickens, and the chicks had come out of hiding and were walking around a bit. I had my back turned to where they were and I turned see them all coming running towards me and into the cage. I knew something was wrong, but didn't see anything. I took a count of the chicks again and now a white one was missing! Feathers on the ground confirmed it for me. This was about 8am and I fixed up the cage and closed it up and kept the rest of the chickens and chicks inside. They each have their own coop inside the cage.

    I went out throughout the day to see how Protector was getting along, and to see how the chicks were. My hens didn't get bothered to much they each layed their eggs.

    It was getting dark and I went out to give them food and water for the night and when I walked out into the yard I found 2 of the missing chicks, and one outside the fence like Liney. I couldn't figure out where they had been or how they got back. I can only assume the bird that took them dropped them in the woods like Liney and they all made their way back. What do you guys think?
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I don't think it was a hawk.
    If you're in cape cod, I'd think raccoon, weasel or fox is more likely.
  3. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    I think if something took them, they'd not be returning. Whatever scared them, you probably scared off in the nick of time.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ditto Dat^^^

    I'd keep them locked up in a covered run for a week at least....whatever it was, it'll be back.
  5. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

    Oct 21, 2015
  6. Rreese

    Rreese Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 4, 2015
    Dripping Springs, Tx
  7. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    agreed - from my experience a hawk will only kill one bird at a time, and not do the fox type thing and kill everything it can all at once.
  8. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2012
    If I'm reading it correctly you didn't loose any birds? It's hard to imagine a ground predator leaving a frozen in place rooster behind unharmed. What you are describing with them all surviving but frozen in hiding sounds just like when the goshawk killed one of ours the others all ran for cover and found hiding spots and stayed frozen in them till we came and found them all. No amount of calling or rattling of food dishes stirred them. Some were harder to find than others. Sounds like what you are describing with them taking a while to come out not because they were far away but because they were too scared to move. Terror may have given the one outside the run wings. Your girl sounds like she was very lucky, at that age they are still small enough to be an easy meal for some of the smaller birds of prey too
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  9. CapeCodRobbin

    CapeCodRobbin Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 13, 2015
    I have been letting the chicks out again and there has been no sign of trouble. Thank God! Thanks for all of your advise and wisdom.
  10. tdepointe

    tdepointe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2015
    Brooklyn, Connecticut
    Assuming you are on Cape Cod, this sound like it may have been an osprey attack. They feed primarily on fish but will take other birds and small mammals when they see them.
    I agree you should keep them locked up for the next couple of weeks until the osprey migrate for the winter.

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