Late last week I heard about a chicken owner, two blocks away, who lost an 11 week old chick to an unknown predator. My thoughts were hawk or, less likely, dog. Not a possum, raccoon, or weasel as the rest of the flock was unharmed and there was no carcass left behind.
This morning I found a partially eaten chick carcass in my run, which had been locked since about 8:30/9:00 last night. I didn’t do a head count last night when I locked up so it’s possible, and probably, that the predator got to the chick between 4 pm and lock up. If the predator had gotten into the locked coop/run then the carnage most likely would have been inside the coop. Since it was a Silkie chick, my guess is that while I was gone last night the predator found the chick far enough away from Mama Georgia and the rest of the chicks that Georgia cut her losses and sacrificed the one chick in order to keep the others safe. I’ve had a stray cat in the area, but I’m not sure a cat would eat the bird once they were done playing with it. My cat was locked inside, so at least I know it wasn’t her.
It’s been really hot out, which makes for hungry predators. Please keep your chicks and hens safe. Don’t leave them unattended outside if you can help it.
We process the meat birds on Sat morning.