2 pet chickens murdered by a coon

catherinet(5 IN)June 15, 2009

I went out to close up my chickens friday evening, and they were making much more noise than usual. I had always said I had the Fort Knox of coop/runs. 2 of my beloved pets were dead on the ground, there were feathers everywhere. I saw a coon escaping over the top, under 2 layers of netting.

One of the hen's backs was torn off (skin). The others were mostly just emotionally traumatized.

Poor Hawk and PepperAnne. RIP little ones. I'd had them 6 years, almost to the day.

I brought Brownie into the house to take care of her.

I cleaned her wound and am putting copius amounts of triple antibiotic ointment on it. I don't know what else to do for her. From what I've read, chickens heal pretty well, if you can keep things clean. So she'll be in the house for awhile.

Most all the chickens (only 8 left) are so traumatized they won't leave the coop. We've reinforced the run, but I'm still looking for more protection. I was thinking that rolled razor wire like they have on tops of the fences at prisons. haha. I know......a little overkill.

I was so sad for Hawk and PepperAnne. How horrendous it must have been for them. I'm mad at myself for not being there for them. :(

I suppose the silver lining is that I caught it before he killed them all. If I'd been gone that day, I may have come home to no chickens at all. Coons are so vicious and seem to kill just to kill.

I absolutely love having chickens. But dang, its so painful when they die.

Any suggestions for the top of the run? The rest of the run is incredibly strong and protected......along with the bottom. Nothing can dig under.

I'm considering an electric line at the top, but would prefer something sharp and non-electric.

Anyone have suggestions about what more I might be doing for Brownie? Oh, she's on antibiotics too. She's eating and drinking, which is good.

She's a little confused living in a bathroom though.

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((((Catherine))))) Big hugs,

I am no chicken expert (have never even petted a chicken) but I sure am sorry for your loss. I can only relate what you experienced to a time a pit bull broke down a solid wood fence to kill a cat. (the neighbors must have thought a crazy lady was running down the street waving a hoe chasing a furiously fleeing pit bull)

I hope your Browie heals quickly and well and that you figure out a secure way to protect your chickens.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 7:33PM
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I have no advice for you but would like to offer my sympathies. Your chickens were your beloved pets and I am sure that you must be traumatized as well. I hope you find a solution to keeping your chickens safe. I guess that when you give them a good life, with some room to roam and enjoy their life that there are risks, even in the most secure of pens. You gave them a good life.

Regards and hugs,

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 11:08PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks Anne and Lisa.
Brownie is doing well so far. Today is the first day since Friday that all of the other chickens ventured into the run.
I keep hearing a voice in my head saying "It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all".......but when things like this happen, its not so convincing!
I have the radio playing for Brownie in the bathroom. I hope she likes the station I picked out. :)
Thanks for your support Anne and Lisa.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 11:19AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I am sorry for your chickens panic, and for your distress as well. The chickens will forget soon but you will remember for a long time much to the frustration of the coon. Are you planning on using a flame thrower or a trap first?
Catherine, you are the first person I have known who has chickens primarily for pets, although a friend had two Easter chicks she named Ricky and Lucy. Ricky, the blue chick, died after a couple of weeks. Lucy, the pink chick, kept on growing and was finally sent to live in the back yard after it became apparent that Lucy should have been named Ricky. Lucy lived there for two summers until the complaints from neighbors became too strident and he was sent off to a farm where he became aware of the opposite sex for the first time. He guarded the hen's run as fiercely as he had the back yard. Sandy

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 12:03AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi Sandy,
Check out the various chicken forums, and you will find tons of people who have them as pets. I bought them for eggs, but its hard not to see them as pets soon after they arrive.
Chickens have much more personality that people realize.
I've heard that roos can be incredibly protective of their "harem". I assumed I'd get a rooster when I ordered 15 pullets (females), but they were all pullets.......which is pretty unusual. Usually, people get too many roos with their order.
I always wanted to hear the crowing. Maybe next time.
There is still a pecking order, even without the roosters, and I think the 2 hens of mine that were killed, were probably at the top of the pecking order, and did the most fighting with the coon.
I haven't seen any sign of the coon again. I'm wondering if he had some pretty bad wounds. I hope so!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 1:50PM
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