Severely Traumatized Chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Rider3, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Rider3

    Rider3 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 26, 2009
    Hello, I am relatively new to raising chickens, and I had a horrible experience this past Friday. I wonder if anyone knows how long the effects of this will last. After having my chickens for 3 years, this is the first winter that the hawks are coming for them. I've already lost 3 of my hens to the hawks. After the last attack, I rigged up fishing line and flags all above their turnout, thinking it would deter the hawks. Nope. Last Friday, they came back twice - first a redtail hawk and then later a Cooper's hawk, smaller yet really mean. I saved the last of my hens (got 3 left), but they are so traumatized that they won't even come down from the nesting boxes into the main area of the coop, which is all covered and contained. When they're locked in, nothing can get them, but they won't even go into the main part of the coop for their food. I've had to move their food/water up into the nesting boxes. There, they will eat/drink. I've never seen them so scared, and I cannot blame them. Any suggestions on how to get them back to being how they were before? It breaks my heart to see them so scared. I feel like a helpless mother. Thanks for any advice.
  2. GrannysRoost

    GrannysRoost Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2011
    Casa Grande
    Make sure everything is secure first, they are traumatized and are in a safe place. Then take out some treats, talk to them to coax out of the nest boxes and eventually they will come to you and forget...If nothing else, just that them be for a few days and they will move further out. Good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  3. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    x2 make sure they are in a predator proof environment. Give them some really good treats and move their food back down so they have to come down to get it. Give them a little time to get over it but they will.
  4. llandry

    llandry Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2012
    jersey shore, nj
    X3 I lost two chickens a few months ago to what I think was a racoon. It took a little over a week for the rest to begin acting normally again. Two weeks ago i lost another to a stray cat and again it took about a week. No more free ranging for us. This past weekend we built a 10x10 covered enclosure. Today was the first day they were confined to their new area. They were definitely pouting.....but alive!

    Good luck and i'm sorry for what you're going thru. It's heart breaking. We had a decent amount of damage from hurricane sandy and all i could think of was my poor polish who got killed by a cat. :(
  5. mg15

    mg15 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2012
    My dog got our darling white young leghorn. They were also traumatized. I sat outside with
    them in a lounge chair where I give them treats. I brought out my iPad and played classical
    music and talked to them. I gave them favorites and just stayed out there for the longest
    time, they started to jump up on me and sit. All five came up and I was just with them.
  6. Kierciejo

    Kierciejo Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 7, 2013
    Graham, NC
    I'm so glad you posted this. I'm really new to chickens too, and we just lost one of our 7 wk old chicks to what I think was the neighbor's dog. We want to free-range in our fenced in yard and we've been giving them a little freedom each day, but a storm came barreling in and they didn't go back into the coop. Instead they scattered and one ended up on the other side of the fence through a hole I was unaware of :-( We rushed outside as soon as we heard the rain, but it wasn't fast enough. I feel like the most AWFUL chick momma because now I can't coax the others out of the coop no matter how hard I try. It's only been a few days, though, so that is hopeful hearing that maybe in a week they will trust me and the yard again. :-(

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