Lesson 1297 – Attack in the hen house

It’s a horrible sound, that of a flock in panic – at night. I rushed outside to see what was up and with the help of my tiny LED flashlight (always kept on the fridge with a magnet for quick use), I saw that I was too late.

Something had gotten into the henhouse.

A sight all chicken owners hate to see.

A sight all chicken owners hate to see.

All 3 of this year’s chicks (now adolescents) were dead.

One of last years’ chicks was greatly injured (we thought she was dead until Spencer saw her trying to breathe.) She’s currently receiving Chick-ICU treatment. Last night I wasn’t sure she would make this, this morning she’s doing better but she can’t walk. Not sure if that is due to an injury or shock. I’ll be keeping an eye on her.

I’m sick. Just sick. You know that expression about how easy it is to shoot sitting ducks? Well when *something* attacks from within the hen house (and we have no idea what is was but our local fisher cat comes to mind), there is no place to go. The chickens get picked off one by one.

And the babies, who knew the least, were the ones who suffered the most.

Just yesterday morning I was telling Addy that I loved to see how Frick, Frick and Frack acted as if they were a tiny flock within the greater flock. They always played and stayed together as they explored the yard. And now they are gone.

Just like that.

From a practical point of view, this is devastating. All 4 of the chicks we got this spring have now died (one died within a week after we got her, she was deformed and didn’t grow correctly.) The remaining members of our flock are old (some are going on 6 years) which means that our egg production is going to go waaaay down.

From an emotional point of view, this is devastating. These birds are under my charge. And all 3 of the babies – at once? My heart hurts for those little ones.

Darn it.

I’m so very sorry this happened, my friends, my little chicks.


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Eggs

13 responses to “Lesson 1297 – Attack in the hen house

  1. Kate Rothwell

    Aw jeeeeeez, I’m sorry.

  2. I am so sorry Wendy. Let me know if there is anything I can do. Love, Diane, Fiyero, Josephine, Idina, Albert, Figgy, and Trent

  3. Phall0106

    I’m so sorry. Do you know how whatever it is, is getting in???

  4. I’m so, so sorry, Wendy ❤

  5. Jennifer Eastman

    I’m so sorry! I pray for comfort and peace for you today chicken mama. Xoxo

  6. Charlotte Llewellyn

    I know the feeling. As my chicken house is secure, all the murders took place in broad daylight–raccoons, bobcats, and the worst, a mother black bear and her three cubs. They wiped out my entire flock while I was at work. I have never replaced them after having chickens for over forty years. I loved my precious feathered friends.

  7. Suddenly Jamie (@suddenlyjamie)

    So sorry, Wendy. This is one of the very real reasons that although my daughter would love a hen house full of chickens, I’m not sure I’m cut out for such potential loss. I am sending hugs and compassion to you and your whole flock. xo

  8. Linda Lee Bickford

    Oh Wendy! Some days should be just wiped off the books. :(. So sorry for those little ones ❤

  9. Lauren Sheuer

    Wendy, that’s so sad. I’m sorry. 😦

  10. This is horrible, I am so very sorry!

  11. I’m so sorry. I lost one last week and I feel your pain. 😦

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