The almost inevitable "lost my first chicken" post

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Chrysostomist, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. Chrysostomist

    Chrysostomist Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 10, 2017
    A story goes with it. We realized after 4 weeks that our hen that was pecked at the first couple days we had her, after which we called her Ratty Hen, was actually Ratty Rooster. He was always unafraid, and would eat out of my hand when others wouldn't, and would go investigate the unusual food I tossed out to them first. Therefore, the guy I got the chickens from gave me another hen, and I brought her home in a box, but when I opened the box at home, she was just looking up, head kind of flopping around, not moving wings and feet. I did see she was really scared as we put her in the box. This was how I transported the first group of chickens as well, and all of them were fine when they got out of their boxes. So, I put her in our small coop by herself for the night with water in a bowl. I checked her again later and she had moved and knocked over the water bowl, so I refilled it. Then I checked her one more time last night and prodded her and she flapped her wings and moved her feet, so I think it was clear she was getting better.

    This morning, I found her dragged out about 40 ft away, dead, and not eaten. This small coop she was in has about 1.5 in hexagonal chicken wire for its walls. To stop predators getting in at the bottom, on each side I stacked 2 long 4x4s leaning against the diagonal walls, and some 2x12 short pieces against the chicken wire walls on top of and somewhat behind the upper 4x4. I'll add a picture later. Whatever it was, it pulled the leaning 2x12 off and pulled the upper 4x4 down and pulled up the bottom of the chicken wire where it wasn't secured to the bottom of the frame. The hole was maybe 3-4 in tall, right next to where the new hen was last sitting. I think it was a skunk, because it smelled like skunk outside this morning. As for being uneaten, I wonder if our dog chased off whatever it was.
  2. Millworker26

    Millworker26 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 25, 2016
    SE PA
    Sounds like a raccoon using its child like devil hands to do what they do. Your coop design as described won't keep them out. It sounds like you have a main coop, with more chickens? Hopefully it is more secure? Sorry for your loss.
  3. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2014
    Foxes have a musky, skunk-like smell, too.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by