Spooked chicken

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by motorrad, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. motorrad

    motorrad New Egg

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Hi--

    My bird was attacked by a raccoon at 2AM last night.

    Fortunately, I was able to run out within 10 seconds and break-up the brazen act before anything serious happened (I think). There were a lot of feathers pulled off; they looked like down feathers than one's from the body, but this is a guess. No signs of blood.

    The bird quickly flew off screaming in one direction, and the perpetrator in the other (gosh, it was big as an adult german shepard!). I was not able to find her in the immediate area after the attack nor before I left for work pre-dawn.

    My question: She flew off in a direction where she never normally plays. As to how far she would fly in darkness is anyone's guess. Will she be able to return to my yard/her coop from unfamiliar surroundings on her own, though somewhere nearby? And if not, how far might she have flown in the dark? (Though this point might be moot, as I won't be able to look for her until late this afternoon.)

    My chickee is feral (she chose me), so when I built a small coop for her I didn't have the heart to box her in every night. Now I know better.
     
  2. Asweet23

    Asweet23 Out Of The Brooder

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    She should come back to where she roosts and gets fed. Is she your only hen? She definitely needs to be locked up at night. It's for her own safety and I'm sure she won't mind at all. Keep us updated!
     
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm sorry you have to spend all day at work worrying about her. I have heard about hens coming out of hiding and returning to the flock. Unfortunately she may be kind of spooked by the coop since the attack occurred there. There is a good chance she didn't go too far hopefully when you call out and tell her you have food she will come out of hiding.
     
  4. motorrad

    motorrad New Egg

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Thanks for your replies.

    Thankfully, my chickee found her way back and was over at her favorite place over the fence in the neighbor's yard among her hoofed buddies (horses). She hopped over the fence when she saw me after I got home, though not as enthusiastic as she can be. She was not much worse for wear after losing what looked like a lot of feathers; I could not tell where the loss was from. No signs of injury. I gave her a buffet of earthworms, mealworms and pill bugs--all her favorites, and she ate it all, so her appetite was healthy. She also allowed me to pet her as she was eating.

    However, when dusk started to arrive, I could see she was conflicted about returning to her coop. Normally, she hops over the fence and ambles 50 feet to her home. Tonight, she hopped over the fence, made a few tentative steps, stared cautiously at the coop from a distance, then when back over to the horses. She did this 2-3 times until the light got to it's usual darkness for coming home. I couldn't see where she ran off to, but I am thinking it is in one of the shelters for the horses. I am hoping that ginormous raccoon won't go near the horses, and in turn, my chicken so as to try and make another meal of her.

    So might bunking with the horses be a temporary thing? Or has she found a new home?
     
  5. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It time to get a live trap to catch that raccoon before you lost more chickens.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  6. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

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    It is good that she is safe. You should definitly put her in the coop, though, for her own safety. She won't mind, it is better than getting eaten. Chickens have very bad vision in the dark, so she will be defenseless. The raccoon may be a little wary of the horses at first, but he will definitely get over his fear. They are very smart. Just put her in the coop or another safe place and she will soon learn that it is home.
     
  7. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    It doesn't surprise me that she was reluctant to come back to the coop. Our first chickens came with our property and roosted in the rafters of an unused horse shelter. When a predator - probably a raccoon - got a couple, the rest of the flock found a new place to roost. They had no interest in the shelter, and being great fliers, chose to roost in the trees. These chickens would not let us pick them up, despite the fact that they would follow us around for treats. We did put out live traps on the property. We transformed the shelter into a secure coop with a run by fall and had to lure them back there with food. Once they spent several nights shut in there, they did return on their own after free ranging during the day and we shut the door to secure them at night.

    The horses will at least make a raccoon think twice about approaching. If you want her to return to the coop, maybe you could move it to a different spot once you have figured out a way to secure it at night, and coax her in it with food. It sounds like even when she roosts with the horses she knows you are the special friend who provides excellent treats, so at least she won't stray too far.
     
  8. sarge

    sarge Out Of The Brooder

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    My guineas got spooked by an owl awhile back,they were roosting in a big tree next to the chicken house, the next night they were all inside the chicken house roosting.
     
  9. BigdaddySean

    BigdaddySean Out Of The Brooder

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    I would use the three S method.....
    My chickens are my pets, somebody tried to mess with my chickens once....
    once.....
     
  10. motorrad

    motorrad New Egg

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Well my bird once again was happy to see me when I got home from work yesterday. I fed her her favorites again. But once more, when it got dark, she sidled up with her equine buddies for the night.

    From my bedroom window it was a picture perfect sight. She was standing at the edge of one of the shelters staring towards the sun as it started to set. Not moving around or anything, just staring out all the while. I could have painted a portrait of her there.

    She didn't show any interest in coming back over to the coop.

    My worry is that she was standing just 2 feet from the best side of a horse, if you know what I mean. She probably found a spot in that tiny shelter somewhere. While safer from a marauding raccoon, I am worried about her being trampled or sat upon by her stallmate.

    She did come by early this morning to see if I was around for some goodies, which I obliged. Totally forgot about leaving something out yesterday AM. Doh!
     

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