Why do predators always seem to get your favorite hens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by deborah, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. deborah

    deborah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    We lost one of our favorite hens to a fox this morning. My husband was up on the roof and heard her squeal. She had gone out near the road, and a fox was chasing her. He said the fox would grab her, she would escape, but the fox would be right on her again. He hollered from the roof, but to no effect. I was inside and oblivious to what was happening. The ladder was on the back of the house. He ran across the roof and rushed down the ladder, yelling to me that a fox had her. We both rushed out, but only found feathers near the end of the driveway. We searched for her, my husband spent more than an hour, but found no sign of her.

    Green, (we get very creative with names; she had a green band on her leg), was a free spirit. The rest of our flock stays in the approx. 2 acre area we have fenced in. But Green easily jumped over the fence and came and went as she pleased. She kept our 11-year old dog company (and helped him eat his dog food). She often greeted us when we came out the back door. She would come when we called and she was always in the hen house at night. My husband suggested we cut her wings a few times, but I was dragged my feet and did not encourage him. A few days ago he commented that he had seen her going out toward the road where she was more vulnerable to predators (it's a dirt road with more woods on the other side), and we should clip her wings. But we delayed. If we had, she would probably still be here.

    The only good thing is my husband saw what happened. Otherwise, when we just saw feathers, we would have suspected a hawk. Hawks have always been our biggest challenge. My husband feels particularly bad. He saw it, but couldn't do anything from the roof. And he didn't clip her wings. It's been more than a year since we've lost a hen to a predator. We put up bobble-head owls and it's kept the hawks away. But I think we got less vigilant and, unfortunately, one of our favortie hens paid the price.
     
  2. deborah

    deborah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    Good News! I went out to the chicken yard and Green was there! She escaped the fox and came home! We looked for a long time, but I guess she stayed hidden for a while. She has a small puncture wound under one of her wings, but it seems to have closed up already.

    We are lucky, but it's a wake up call to be vigilant.
     
  3. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    Glad she's OK. I think its not the predators that know our favorites; its that our favorites are so sweet and gentle, they are easier marks for a predator. Sometimes I feel guilty that I have made mine so tame. I hope they all still have good instincts....
     
  4. One Acre Wonder Farm

    One Acre Wonder Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2009
    Vermont
    So sorry for your loss [​IMG]

    We lost 4 Ameraucana chicks to a fox this morning. The fox had come back and grabbed one of my hens. We heard her squawking and shot at the fox. The fox dropped her and we haven't seen it since. Poor girl is missing all her tail feathers but at least she's still here!

    They always get the favorites, it never fails [​IMG]
     
  5. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    [​IMG] Yaah! So very happy for you! I thought I had lost one once, she wasn't in the run with the rest of the girls when I went to close the door. I looked and looked all around the house, under the bushes, every where I thought she could be. No luck...I had plans for the evening so I had to eventually leave. Later, I texted my son and told him about the loss...he texted me back and told me she was outside the run door when he got home, so he let her in. I was so happy!
     
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] That's just Murphy's Law of Chicken Depredation: They always take your best/favorite bird.

    That seems to be true when a predator will pass up a whole bunch of ugly cockerels you had intended for the table and grab the prettiest pullet in the flock.

    But I also think it's just hindsight, when a bird gets taken we think of all the things we loved about it and right then it becomes our favorite.
     
  7. Yardbirds286

    Yardbirds286 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 7, 2009
    Western Mass
    So glad she made it home! NOW CLIP HER WINGS!!!!!! [​IMG]
     
  8. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    The smart predator watches closely and figures out which chicken is the favorite. They know that one will be the easy to catch, for they like to be handled.
     
  9. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 11, 2009
    I too, was going to give credit to Mr. Murphy and that crazy law of his....... [​IMG]
     
  10. DragonEggs

    DragonEggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    Borger, TX
    Seems its always my favorite ones that die.... Glad the fox didnt get her! though!
     

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