Oct 28, 2013

Chickens Under Attack

As you know we are backyard chicken keepers.  We love our little flock, and we try to let them free range as much as we can.  I’ve posted before about how we use temporary fencing to expand their run out into the yard and garden.  Until last week we’d only had one predator incident where we lost a bird. 

Last week, however, we lost 3 – one of our Silkie hens and 2 little Silkie chicks that were about 8 weeks old.  They just disappeared on Tuesday.  No sign of them anywhere – no mess of feathers, no carcasses, nothing.  We searched for them and called them (we’ve trained them to come when called – I highly recommend training your birds!).  We looked high and low, down into the woods, under the deck, everywhere we could think they might be hiding, but there was no sign of them.  Even though we feared they had been carried off by a hawk, we were hoping they had just gotten loose and were lost.

Well, 3 days later our Silkie hen came back.  We have no idea where she came from or where she’d been, but she was thirsty and a mess with weed seeds and cockleburs.  We can't believe she survived three days out in the open, much less 3 nights!

The chicks have not been seen and we’re assuming they’re gone for good.  We’re pretty sure they were carried off by hawks because Beanie (the Silkie hen) won’t go out into the uncovered run and seems to prefer being underneath the coop even when she's in the covered run.   Poor thing.  We’re sad to have lost the chicks, but so glad Beanie is back.  She was part of our flock from the very beginning and we hated to lose her.

We are a little more cautious about letting everyone out since this happened and we try to keep an eye in the sky for airborne predators.  They may have gotten one meal at our place, but I’ll be damned if they get another. 

Linking up with Homestead Barn Hop


  1. So sorry about your chicks, but glad you got Beanie back! I guess it's always a fine balance between free ranging chickens and safety from predators.

  2. We just lost our Mama Hen and two chicks to a hawk. It sucks big time :(

  3. I lost all my chickens to hawks:(. I will also be using temporary fencing when I replace them. I dread cleaning out the coop... A big scary nest is in there


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