What attacked my chick? Other chickens traumatised..

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Sascha, Jan 29, 2009.

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  1. Sascha

    Sascha Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 29, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Hi there, I'm a first time poster. I had an awful thing happen last night to my favourite 3 month old hen Lucky (it ended up being an inappropriate name, poor little girl).

    My mum had to put the chickens into their pen last night (they are free range in part of our garden), because I was home late from work. Our baby hen Lucky (which we hatched from one of the other hens - she needed to be helped out of her egg - hence the name Lucky) ran in and ate a bit of food and then ran out before Mum could get all the other hens into the hen house. Mum chased her and chased her to get her in but she didn't want to go, and as it wasn't yet dark, Mum thought she would leave her out for a bit so she would start to roost and she could catch her.

    Mum went up there about an hour later as it was just dusk and she found our poor chicken just dead with her head bitten off (and missing) by what we assume was a rat(??), as we think she had tried to roost in a low bush nearby. Mum didn't hear any screaming or anything happening and she feels so awful that she couldn't get her in any earlier. Usually they will all go in when we feed them fresh food at the end of the day, but sometimes one will run out while the others come in and try have a bit more time free ranging, but we always try to get them in early so that owls and foxes and things don't get them. So we buried poor Lucky in the garden. I've been so upset that I didn't get home any earlier to help put her in.

    Anyway, we went to let the other chickens out this morning and none of then will leave their hen house. They are completely quiet and still, no clucking or anything and none of them will step a foot out of the door. They seem really traumatised.

    Does anybody know anything that will help them feel better? Would they have heard her dying or could they smell it? We've cleaned and washed all the area. It probably happened about 2 or 3m away from them from what we could tell.

    Also , does anybody know what would attack it like that? *Edit* If it was a rat, do they attack during the day? Im so worried about the chickens during the day time now too!

    I didn't realise they would be so affected by it or that they'd get so upset. I feel so awful for them and so bad about what happened.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady ~~~Administrator~~~BYC Store Support Staff Member

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