XCR Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my GF comes home and goes to feed the chickens. She has a couple silkies (crazy looking things) and one Rhode Island Red hen. They are amongst her favorite pets and she gets much enjoyment out of them.

She opens the door to the coop and starts hollering for me to come quick - bring a gun!

I ran there as fast as I could, gun drawn, not knowing what to expect, and could not believe it...

A HUGE HAWK WAS IN THE CHICKEN COOP, had eaten the rooster - and was trying to eat the hens!

The hens had tried to bury themselves under the straw, and were completely freaked out.

Not near as much as we were - as we tried to comprehend that the hawk had come in through the small opening (12" x 18") and ate the entire rooster - head and all - leaving some bones and shit load of feathers.

Well, the hawk 'flew the coop' before we could fully react (yes, I know it is not good to kill a hawk) - so we spent the next two hours covering the 'pen' with netting.

A fox ate three hens this spring - and we put up an 8 foot fence to keep the foxes out - but who the hell would have thought a hawk would actually get inside the coop?

Crazy!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Unbelievable...

Full size. The rooster was way cool with beautiful blue ears. He was a bit confused, crowing all hours of the day and night - but that is no way to have to go! The damn hawk ate his little head too!

I know they do what comes natural, but I'm only surprised because the hawk actually went into the coop like that.

We have a couple cats that sleep in there too, under the heat lamps so I'm astounded at his boldness...

No matter, he better bring some side cutters or a razor knife to get in now.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Unbelievable...

Thanks - :)

I'm not upset like the GF is... she gets so attached to all the homeless critters she drags home.

She is the female Doctor Doolittle. She has the dang fish in the pond actually eating out of her hand.

She'd go up there and crow at the rooster and he'd crow back. It was funny as hell too!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: Unbelievable...

OK, here's the whole story...

The coop is actually a 10' x 12' mini barn that was here when we bought the place. It had been insulated and drywalled inside and was a childrens playhouse. It even has vinyl flooring!

We used it as a tool shed for a while - until the first chickens arrived... (four Rhode Island Red hens). I think they were 8 weeks old.

We put up a 4' chicken wire fence around it, but as they grew, the hens regularly 'flew the coop' - easily clearing the 4 foot fence.

We covered it with nylon netting, but then small wild birds would get caught in the netting - so down the netting came...

When we are outside, we usually let the chickens free roam the yard, and they would return to the coop around dusk.

Shortly thereafter, a fox ate three of the red hens - so one hen was all that remained...

Yep, the GF was pretty upset... and thought about finding a home for the last hen.

I was at the pole barn a few weeks later, and the surviving chicken was out digging up the flower beds as usual...

Mr. Fox appeared in broad daylight (he didn't see me) and was making a beeline for the last hen. Fortunately, I had my HK USP45C - but as I drew, he saw my movement and turned for the woods. I was able to get one shot off (I missed!) and at the insistence of the GF - and $400 later - we had an 8' fence, which gave the lucky hen a 25' x 25' pen and a tin covered lean-to for rainy days.

Yeah, this is a now high class chicken coop - for one hen! ::)

She decided to keep the last red hen and get her some 'company'. She set her sights on some silkie chicks to replace the three lost red hens. A couple days later, she came home with a box that had four silkie chicks in it, so I now had to build a protective enclosure INSIDE the coop (the red hen didn't like the strange looking fuzzy chicks) and I had to run electric to the coop for the heat lamps. Oh, did you know that (3) 600W heat lamps will dramatically increase your electric bill? :duh:

So anyway, we had no idea if we had four hens, four roosters, or a combination of both. As they matured, we soon learned we had three hens and one rooster. The rooster quickly established himself as king, and was rather comical with his crowing and puffed chest and general horniness. Silkie eggs are quite small, and I don't think you can eat them? Maybe Terra knows...

I called the silkies "Chickens of the Corn" (after the horror move Children of the Corn) because when they were big enough to fend for themselves - they lived UNDER the chicken coop and would not let me near them. I'd throw some feed out, and they'd dart out from under the coop, peck a few kernals, and dart back under making weird 'peep-cheep' sounds...

ANYWAY - I cut two side entrances (12" x 18") in the coop for the chickens to come and go as they please. This worked rather well, and with the large enclosure and lean-to, all was good - or so we thought...

Now keep in mind that we have a couple cats that actually sleep in the coop with the chickens, and the GF has two small dogs that routinely chase the deer away from the garden, so we never in our wildest dreams imagined a hawk would go inside the coop.

All we can figure is that the hawk dove down to nab himself a meal, they all freaked - ran into the coop - and the hawk followed them in. We suspect the rooster put up a fight, which is why he got ate first. The hens had attempted to bury themselves under the straw and were completely motionless (I actually thought they were dead).

We had enough of the nylon netting left from before to cover the entire pen, so now I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

If nothing else, it is never a dull moment around here! ;D

I came out to get in the truck to go to work one morning, and looked up in disbelief as there was a herd of cattle in the back yard, eating whatever was in range. I said to myself, "DAMMIT - I wish the neighbor would fix that fence of his right!"

So I head up to herd the cows back down to the when I hear a rather distinct "snort!"

I look to my left and thought "Where in the hell did that bull come from?!?" and "Damn, that SOB has some BIG HORNS!"

So I eased back down to the truck, figuring I'll drive over to the idiot neighbor and let him deal with it. About this time, the GF's two little mutt dogs (mix between daschund and pekingese) are tearing out back to chase off the black giants that have invaded their space.

I figure OH NO this is gonna be bad, with another trip to the vet (or worse) after the bull stomps the dogs to pieces. Much to my surprise, the dogs actually scare the cows and the entire herd takes off on a mini stampede and smashes down the other neighbors fence around her garden. Of course, the herd is now content with eating and stomping her entire crop.

I see her come out and try to run them off with a broom - until she saw the bull herself - and she runs back inside to call her son-in-law (the owner of the herd).

It's now getting late, so I leave for work chuckling, and shaking my head...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: Unbelievable...

** UPDATE **

We have a SERIAL KILLER loose!!!

After all that work to encase the coop pen in nylon netting, we found another fatality this morning...

Another silkie was dead under the coop - the breast meat eaten.

I closed all the remaining gaps in the netting and checked for ANYTHING that could resemble a hole or gap something could get in through. NOTHING!

Now we also considered the fact that maybe we actually trapped the predator inside - but it sure as hell isn't the hawk!

The last three chickens are freaked out more than before, so I guess we'll know more tonight.

I'm thinking about picking up a game camera and putting it inside the pen. Maybe that'll reveal what the hell is going on?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
No digging - no evidence of attempts either. This SOB is a ghost. I'm going to pick up a game camera - so does anyone have any suggestions on which camera may be best - like in short trigger time? Also IR capable...

I've read too many customer reviews that complain about cameras having slow trigger / wakeup time - and that some are only good at feeders or areas where the game stick around for longer times.

Now keep in mind I don't want to spend $300 :mad:

I do have ground level protection - so there have been no digging issues so far.

Ha! KFC wouldn't want these chickens! :D
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Hmmm Terra... we considered a rat, but with all the cats - that seems unlikely - but I can't say for sure! The yard used to be infested with moles, but the cats eradicated them rather quickly.

I'd even support the racoon / skunk theory - but what are the chances of a hawk in the coop one day and racoon/skunk/something else the very next night?

I am headed to Cabelas tomorrow to see what kind of game camera I can get for under $200 and hopefully solve this mystery. ???

As it stands now, I have three confirmed losses to the fox, one to the hawk and one unknown... :ninja:

I did also hear MS 13 was active in the area, so maybe I'd better be extra careful - ;D
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Question: but what are the chances of a hawk in the coop one day and racoon/skunk/something else the very next night?
Answer: Pretty good, the blood smell attracts them.

About the moles - are you sure the cats got them? Another nice thing about the chickens, with all the scratching around they do they drive off the moles. The moles depend a lot on hearing to find the grubs and such they eat, the chicken's scratching makes it impossible for them to hear their prey, so they leave or starve.
That makes sense about the blood smell... I should've considerd that! :duh:

As for the mole eradication - yes, it was for sure the cats, as the chickens came a year later and the cats would leave the dead moles by the door for us. ;)

However, you bring up a good point and I'm sure that between the chickens and cats - the moles do not stand a chance! I've noticed that the moles have moved down the road and are tearing up a neighbors yard. Tsk-tsk... so long as they aren't here, good riddence!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Hey, that dude on the right closely resembles a man that walks into town twice a week to buy chewing tobacco at the Food Lion. I've stopped to offer him a ride several times, but he just looks at me, shakes his head and keeps walking - rain or shine.

I did get a good whiff of him this summer and decided it best that I don't stop no more and offer a ride - unless I want to de-funk my seat. ::)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Ha! Good point! ;D

On the chicken aspect, no new updates - as we seem to have been able to stop the killing for now.

I'm still looking for a good game camera to install up there. I figure if something is sniffing around, I'll at least know what it is. :ninja:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Looks like the old (well - he was actually young) rooster died trying to protect his offspring.

We now have seven new silkie peeps, just hatched a couple hours ago.

The other hen has been on her nest too, so we expect another hatching soon.

Looks like the circle of life continues. ;D
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top