raccoon incident has traumatized one of our orpingtons, what to do?


8 Years
Jun 1, 2011
this past monday morning, a family of raccoons circled our coop and somehow managed to swipe our wyandotte to the side and literally ate her alive THROUGH the small chicken wire. all the while, pearl (our orpington) witnessed the whole thing! and was making such noises that i went running to see what the matter was, but i was too late!

we have 3 other smaller chicks that were inside the coop and not in the run to see it happen. our 3 younger chix are 4 mos old and have been living with our older chix for about a month now. had them seperated while they were so fragile/small. they were all getting along just great until this past monday. now pearl (the oldest and biggest chicken) is super aggressive towards the smaller girls. she is obviously traumatized, often standing right where 'dottie' was eaten. she is still very docile with me. she's eating and drinking water.....stopped laying though.
and advice? do they have chicken therapists for PTSD? hahaa! just kidding....just want to know if there is anything i can do. meanwhile, we have seperated the chickens again cause pearl is so mean to the others only when in the coop. she is better when they are all free roaming.
don't know what to do?
I don't have any advice--only sympathy for your horrible loss. Not being a chicken expert, I would imagine she will calm down given some time and TLC. That's what I would need. Nothing like a bit of anthropomorphising.
Again, what an awful thing to have happen. Good thing you were there.
We have a duck who survived a pretty gruesome dog attack and I swore she had PTSD as well. There really isn't much we can do for our hens emotional health besides spoiling them rotten with the treats she loves the most, lots of reassurance and affection if she enjoys that. Associate the younger ones with positive reinforcement (feed her her one of her FAVORITE foods ONLY while the younger ones are around her). It takes time and the stress of it all can definitely stop them from laying. Just keep an eye on her and be sure to notice if symptoms worsen (lethargy, not eating/drinking, unusual poops).
Hope she gets to feeling better!
Im gonna say, YES they have PTSD. after something like that, it may take 5 weeks for her to feel secure enough to lay.
Your support is what she needs.

Racoons easily reach through chicken wire. why they call it 'chicken wire' ill never know. You need hardware cloth.

I would also trap that coon. The family WILL be back. A humane trap with sardines in oil, or honey bun as bait.

Good luck.
Lady Gaga, if Pearl and Dottie were the only adult chix you had, and they palled around together, maybe Pearl is sort of establishing her new position with the little ones. Not that I would suggest you let her damage the young chix, but this may have more to do with re-establishing normal chicken pecking order than it has to do with PTSD. I'm just sayin...
This makes alot of sense! My chickens were attacked by raccoons or a raccoon and my chickens were sooo.... stressed but they weren't mean to each other in fact I think they got closer, cuddling together for weeks after the attack. I am so so sorry for your loss and hope Pearl is back to her normal self soon!
thank you for all of your advice! my neighbor has a live trap we are borrowing. we reinforced the sides of the run, and still have them all seperate for now. maybe this w/e we will put them all together and see how it goes? i'm sure a lot of it could be establishing 'pecking order', since pearl is the biggest/oldest. our other breeds aside from our orp (pearl), are a brahma, bard rock and polish. the polish (ladygaga) seems to be on the low end, poor girl. maybe b/c she has that crazy hairdo, the others kind of pick on her. i know that they will all mesh, but will just take time. but thanks for all of your help!!!!

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