Traumatized chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by fischerfam, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. fischerfam

    fischerfam Just Hatched

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    Jan 27, 2014
    I had 6 EE's that we'd had for a year with no problems, but last week (coincidentally) while we were gone on vacation a raccoon (I think) climbed 10 feet up and got through a hole close to the bottom of our deck that we evidently forgot to cover and got 2 of our chickens. 2 nights later they came back and got 2 more. We're home now, and we've reinforced everything soundly, but my remaining 2 ladies are traumatized and while they seem mostly fine during the day, they're not wanting to roost in their coop at night. I generally don't shut them in, because we thought our pen was safe so we'd leave their pop door open, but since they're trying to roost anywhere else, I've shut them in the last 2 nights. Has anyone had experience with girls forgetting a bad experience and returning to normal roosting behavior? Should I re-coop train them and lock them in for a while? They usually free range during the day. Should I just continue to catch them and lock them in until they start going back on their own? They both layed eggs in the nest boxes in their coop today, so it seems like it's only night trauma. What do you think? Please be kind in your answers, I feel like a terrible chicken mom, and I'm KICKING myself for letting this happen to my girls. :(
     
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It was an accident[​IMG] Sorry for your loss. I would keep them in for a few days so they realize the coop is safe again. It's best now to always close the coop door at night cuz the predator will come again.

    I forgot to explain that keeping them in for a few days is better because chasing them or grabbing them at night just adds to the trauma they just had.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  3. Free as a Bird

    Free as a Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry that happened. I have had a good deal of predator experience over the years. They are tricky and desperate sometimes. I had a fox jump a fence and a hawk fly under netting one time. After a death in a flock the remaining chickens do seem to be a little nervous after. I have not had experience with anything like what you described though. Re coop training them sounds like a good idea (again I don't know from experience). Just until they go back to normal. Don't worry, you are a great chicken mom. I am sure you gave your chickens a great life!
     
  4. Rocky64

    Rocky64 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After a while, the chickens will go on with their normal life, at least that's what my chickens did after a pair of foxes came and carried off a few chickens right outside their pen. The one exception I have is an older hen who wouldn't even go outside, she now goes outside but stays very close to the pen.
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    So sorry for your loss, and for the miserable experience your two survivors experienced. I would keep them in their coop and run for a while, until they go in to roost as they should. Chasing them down at night isn't good either. Make sure that you have a very safe coop and run, and set out live traps to catch and kill the predator, who will return. Good luck, Mary
     
  6. fischerfam

    fischerfam Just Hatched

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    Thank you for the responses. I think I will try keeping them in their coop for a few days. While my girls are very tame and let me handle them quite easily, I imagine it could still add to their stress right now. Such a bummer, but I've loved having them and I'm looking forward to more chicks this spring!
     

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