Tragedy on our farm

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by fledgling, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. fledgling

    fledgling Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Keystone Heights, FL
    I came home from an appointment this afternoon only to find five separate feather piles. All the chickens were silent. I had let our laying hens and rooster out to free range in our fenced yard while I was gone. It was the middle of the day and they really wanted out this morning. I came home to dead silence. The meat chickens were hiding beneath their ramp. I finally found one of my laying hens hiding in Andy's stall. She was still and quiet. I got her back in and waited until hubby came home to look for clues.

    I thought dogs had gotten in our yard. I was sure of it. When hubby got home, we walked the yard searching for clues (armed with a shotgun) and he found the rooster and another hen. I got them into their coop. The rooster has a deep gash on his back and a big patch of raw skin. He suffered scratches on his legs as well. We couldn't find any real paw prints, much to our surprise.

    After they were tucked away, I finished the chores. Suddenly, a couple of wild doves burst out of an overhead tree and flew away as fast as their fat little bodies would carry them. I looked around and spotted the culprit. Perched towards the top of a dead tree was a beautiful red tailed hawk. His is still gray with his immature feathers. All the anger I had built up towards my neighbors and their dogs that run loose melted away at the sight of this deadly but gorgeous creature.

    We moved prey right into his territory. Can't blame a wild creature for taking advantage of a readily available food source.

    Netting isn't too expensive and I can keep the laying hens locked up in their run and coop. I hope our poor rooster recovers though. I do like him.

    Anyone know any good websites for doctoring up injured chickens? I have some general livestock antibiotics on hand.

    Here is Peter the rooster. Please send some good thoughts for him. Poor guy!

  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Post in the Emergencies/Diseases/Injuries and Cures section of this website. There are a lot of very smart folks over there to help you out. Good luck. Sorry about your losses.
  3. mikeksfarmer

    mikeksfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2008
    Bonner springs KS
    I am so sorry for your loss. Please think on this. If a Red-tail killed all the chickens where are the bodies? Could it have eaten them all? Now I know a Red tail could kill and eat a chicken but 4?? I really think you have something else killing your chickens. To me it sounds like a dog or a fox.
  4. SimplyForties

    SimplyForties Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Carroll County, Va
    So sorry you had to come home to such a scene. I applaud your take on it. Good luck with your future predator control.
  5. silkieone

    silkieone Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 4, 2009

    I to am sorry for your loss and I would pay attention to Owls calling to each other,I had a really large pair that were mates and they hunted day and night and they were big enough to carry away a full grown chicken as they had a wing span of over 6' and they have longer talons than do the hawks.

    Also on the topic of hawks carring away a bird,I assure you that an adult hawk certianly can and I know this because I had a mated pair that nested in the woods not too awfull far from my coop and barn and at that time I had my buff silkie roo and hen in a horse stall and had the top half of the door covered with netting and while realestate agents were here I had opened the lower door so that they could go down and take pictures of the barn and when we got down there I ducked under the netting and low and behold a biiiiggg Redtail flew between my head and the netting and luckly my face was looking down at my poor buff now dead roo. The other hawk took my buff hen and she was never seen again.
    Talk about a guilt trip. I would also check your fence line at the bottom for something digging under and also foxes can and will jump a fence as will coyoties to take a kill.

    I hope that you can get this resolved to alls satisfaction.
    Take care.
  6. Quillgirl

    Quillgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2009
    Metro Atlanta
    Young hawks are very bold and not street-smart, and also not great hunters yet, so chickens are a welcome meal for them. Could have been more than one of the young ones hunting together, hence more birds gone. Could have been a parent showing them the ropes, too.

    OH, THIS is the best website for injured roos. Go to the emergencies and injuries threads. Much info.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
  7. fledgling

    fledgling Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Keystone Heights, FL
    We found another hen last night that survived! Body count is two hens killed (Buttercup and Daffodil) and one injured rooster. I am getting ready to go out to check on everybody this morning. Peter is not crowing. [​IMG]
  8. fledgling

    fledgling Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Keystone Heights, FL
    Quillgirl- Yes, I do believe there is a family of hawks here. How fortunate. *sigh*
  9. Sillystunt

    Sillystunt Master of the Silly

    Jul 11, 2008
    Winter Haven, FL
    I am so sorry for your loss! But i must say that i was so impressed by what you wrote. Alot of us blame these critters and it's true, that we move into their area.

    Glenda and threehorses are wonderful blessings in the injury section. Without them this site would be in trouble! they have helped so many in need and actually patrol that section in order to help all of us!

    I really hope your Roo gets better, use some triple antibiotic ointment on the cuts until you get some response from them.

    Best of luck,
  10. Suzy W

    Suzy W Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 8, 2009
    Quote:How is Peter?

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