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crimsonlonghorn

Raising Chickens

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Posted (edited)

Speaking of snakes. Don't normally shoot rat snakes but I do shoot thieves who I know will just keep coming back for more  loot.

Very sneaky snek. My nest boxes are attached to the back door and are about an inch or so above the floor of the coop when it's closed so they can drain underneath. Where that snek is laying would be under the boxes with the door closed. Likely nobody could have seen him under there, not even that mean barred rock rooster. And he would have just slithered out after dark once they were all on the roost up above.

 

 

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Edited by crimsonlonghorn

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Snek, "I was just in here to eat the rats that were getting into the feed, honestly."

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It’s been years since we had chicken coops and a pen but occasionally we’d find one gone in the morning with a smooth, bloody tunnel under the outer concrete/rebar barrier. Weasels are a motherfucker but gotta appreciate the craftiness 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/6/2020 at 3:54 PM, crimsonlonghorn said:

Last month my kids convinced me to let one of our broody hens sit on some eggs and try to hatch them. Rather than let the hen lay them all we collected eggs from two coops and gave her an instant clutch of nine eggs. May 7 (tomorrow) was supposed to be the day.

Two eggs broke early on and were thrown out. We found a dead premie in the coop on Monday (gross) but then opened the coop this afternoon and found these with the mother still sitting on four more eggs. 

Never hatched eggs before. This is kind of cool. 

They will all be mixed breed since none of the roosters and hens in either coop where we gathered the eggs are of the same breed. The one on top is likely a cross of the Barred Rock rooster and a Buff Orpington hen. The one on the bottom hatched from a white egg, so we know she's 1/2 leghorn (and looks like a leghorn chick) but can't tell which rooster was her daddy. 

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Lost the little yellow chick on Sunday night. Dead body was in the coop with the head pulled off, which makes me think a raccoon got him through the steel mesh and could only get the head since it was still small enough to fit. I'm curious why he wasn't roosting up inside with the other birds, but maybe he didn't know better and his mom didn't know he was gone.

My 13 YO was pretty broken up about it after we found the body. That chick was was growing a comb pretty rapidly and appeared to be a leghorn/orpington cross cockerel. 

Ironically, the other chick had injured herself over the weekend and had a bloody scratch on her head, so she got moved into the brooder box to heal and avoid the risk of getting pecked. This probably saved her because I'd think she would have been with the other chick on the ground when the same raccoon came by that night. 

Circle of life and everything... 

Edited by crimsonlonghorn

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2 hours ago, crimsonlonghorn said:

Lost the little yellow chick on Sunday night. Dead body was in the coop with the head pulled off, which makes me think a raccoon got him through the steel mesh and could only get the head since it was still small enough to fit. I'm curious why he wasn't roosting up inside with the other birds, but maybe he didn't know better and his mom didn't know he was gone.

My 13 YO was pretty broken up about it after we found the body. That chick was was growing a comb pretty rapidly and appeared to be a leghorn/orpington cross cockerel. 

Ironically, the other chick had injured herself over the weekend and had a bloody scratch on her head, so she got moved into the brooder box to heal and avoid the risk of getting pecked. This probably saved her because I'd think she would have been with the other chick on the ground when the same raccoon came by that night. 

Circle of life and everything... 

That and raccoons often will just eat the head and leave the rest.

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1 hour ago, DDD Dad said:

That and raccoons often will just eat the head and leave the rest.

Yeah, totally agree on that. 

I guess the good news is that all the other birds in that tractor were still alive and fine the next morning and the raccoon(s) never got into the roost itself. I've had my share of coon massacres where you go out there in the morning and dead chicken parts are everywhere. Pretty clear this little 5 week old chick was the only one it (they) could get to for whatever reason. 

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