Chicken Massacre

I woke up the other morning to an awful sight!  Out of my six chickens, two were killed and two were missing.  I now only have two hens left!  I’m pretty sure the racoons are back.  For the last two years I’ve let my chickens run free and never shut them in their coop with no problem.  Now I will have to shut them in at nights.   This attack on my hens definitely changed their behaviour.  The two hens remaining wouldn’t leave each other’s side the entire day.  Then last night, I went out to check on them to shut the door to their coop, and instead of being in their coop they were huddled together, in the rain, almost like they were waiting for the other hens to come back or their attackers to return. 

I don’t know what is going on, but I’m thinking it might be time to get rid of the remaining older hens and get some new chicks.  They haven’t been laying eggs well lately, and a few of the hens had become carnivores, eating their own eggs, so I think it’s time to move on. 

I hope someday to hear from readers what they do when their hens eat there own eggs.  I have a friend who said to add oyster shells to the feed because the hens probably need calcium, so I have been doing that for the last couple weeks, but I’m not sure it made a difference.  I think the hens had been eating their eggs for so long that they were conditioned to keep eating them.  Actually, not all of them were doing it, but I couldn’t figure out which ones were the culprits.  Now it doesn’t matter since all but two of my hens are left.  One or both of these girls still ate one of their eggs yesterday, so I think it’s time for them to go too. 

I’m assuming that the hens were killed and dragged off by racoons, but if anyone reading this has any other ideas, then please leave a comment.   This photo shows what the animals did to the hens, and based on the teeth marks in the necks, and the feathers everywhere, I’m pretty sure it’s a racoon.  I left the two dead hens out on my lawn yesterday, and this morning one was gone!  I know it wasn’t a dog, because the fence was still in place.  From past experience, I know that the racoons climb my fences, so it’s a process of deduction.  If anyone has any thoughts on this, please leave a comment.

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