Recently lost two chickens...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dani004, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. Dani004

    Dani004 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 22, 2013
    Eastern Long Island
    Hi everyone, I am not a chicken expert and really have no clue what I am doing when it comes to taking care of them. But I really like them and they have become awesome pets. Last summer my husband and I were adopted by a stray Rhode Island Red. Yes, you read that right, she was a stray. After she showed up and decided to make her home with us we went out and bought two friends for her. Things in the summer were great, and with the exception of some aggressive behavior a few months ago, things were going very well.

    Unfortunately, over the frigid cold winter the lock on our coop broke. On Tuesday one of them escaped and all we found were feathers. I bawled my eyes out, had my husband fix the lock and we vowed to make the coop more secure once all the snow melted. I checked on the chickens last night around 8:00 all was ok. My husband checked on them when he got home (11:00) all was ok. This morning we found the lock BROKEN, door pried open and Kentucky, the chicken that started all of this, was gone. Again, just feathers. Crimson was still in the Coop. What the hell is going on? My husband thinks it is raccoons, but there is no blood. Nothing ever attacked them before. I am so upset by this! I feel like we didn’t protect them well enough. I am sorry for venting so much, I am just in shock.

    Now my concern is for the sole remaining chicken. We moved her into our garage to make sure she is safe, and will reinforce her coop. But now she is a sole chicken and I’ve read that is not the best thing. My husband asked me if I wanted to get chicks. I am worried because we have 5 indoor cats, and I don’t want the poor chicks out there with whatever is killing the full grown chickens. He wants us to keep the chicks in the garage. Any thoughts as to what to do? Should I not get chicks because Crimson is full grown? Will she hurt them? Should we get another full grown chicken? Can I even get one in March?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    If you get chicks, yes, you can raise them in the garage -- that is often an ideal spot. But they will need to be separated from the hen for several weeks. preferably in view and earshot of each other. A mature hen will commonly attack and kill young chicks when they are itroduced from outside. Buying another adult hen is just the luck of the draw, unless you order from a hatchery or breeder that will ship and that carries them, or unless you live near enough to pick them up. Of course, that can be a bit expensive, especially if you have to have them shipped.

    Raccoons are quite clever at opening locked doors, depending on the type of lock, of course. Since you found feathers, I will guess it wasn't a human. Are there bears there? I can't quite see a coyote breaking a lock, but anything is possible, I guess. You might want to look over the stickied threads in our Predators and Pests forum, here.

    I frequently share this thread, about raising chicks outdoors in cold weather:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/735392/redneck-fungshui-brooding-17-degree-temperatures/0_20
     
  3. Dani004

    Dani004 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 22, 2013
    Eastern Long Island
    Thank you so much! I think that we will see if our local farms have any full grown chickens. We can do chicks when my son is older and can appreciate it. He is only 13 months right now.
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I think older chickens would work best for you now too!. Ask at the feed store, I just got a partial flock of hens and roos, their owner is making room for new chicks.

    As stated an older hen will not take to baby chicks, and you are talking many weeks until the chicks are old enough.

    Mrs K
     

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