Stella the Chicken(s) Update – Sad News on the FroBuzz Ranchero

baby chick - Barred Rock chicken in my backyard chickens operation
A Barred Rock chick who survived the heinous attack

This post was going to start out very cheery with an update on nutrition and growth about my Barred Rock chicks who are all named Stella.

But tragic news has struck the ranch – three little Stellas have left this Earth. 

I was going into town for a meeting at 6 pm and the roof on the coop had been closed all day so I thought they might be getting hot since it was 83 degrees today. I opened the hatch and left.

When I returned at 8 pm, I started feeding the horses and went to check on the chickens and top off their feed pan. Sadly, two chickens were lying in the coop dead and one other was missing. The two that were dead in the coop looked like their necks had been broken and bitten but their wings and legs were intact. Basically, I think the killer was killing for sport and took the third away for dinner. I’m not impressed. The seven remaining chicks were understandably huddled together in the corner and probably traumatized.

So, we’ve closed the lid and set a live trap for the perpetrator. I have no problem seeking revenge on whatever varmint attacked my baby chickens. I will punish appropriately.

The obvious sadness of my chickens, even though they’re small, is that I do care about them. They were in my care and it was my job to raise them and I couldn’t protect them – I feel horrible. On top of that, it’s also a financial loss. Not a huge one but down the road, that’s three fewer chickens to lay eggs. If I want to boost the flock, I’ll have to go buy three more chicks (which I’ll probably do but maybe I’ll get a different breed. Suggestions?).

The next update will hopefully feature me bragging about my varmint catching and a more upbeat post about nutrition and growth of the baby chickens.

In sadness,
~ Buzzard ~


7 responses to “Stella the Chicken(s) Update – Sad News on the FroBuzz Ranchero”

  1. Sorry to hear about your loss!! We had a similar issue with our first set of chicks. The barn cats would reach through the chicken wire and injure the chicks. We had a pretty creative set up involving a stock tank and an old dog pen panel to keep the chicks safe after that incident. (We didn't have an official chicken coop at that time.) We have some Barred Rocks, but my mom really likes Buff Orpingtons too. They all seem to be good layers. Good luck with the rest of the Stellas!!

  2. Sorry to hear about your chickies. Sounds like a cat or maybe even a dog to me. Other animals would take everything they killed. 🙁

  3. Sad day 🙁 Statistically, the likelihood is probably a cat. They account for the vast majority of "for sport" killings of small animals in the U.S. (I don't remember where I read that.) If I saw that cat I'd punch it in the face for you.

    Even if birds scare me, I'm sad for your loss of three Stella's and I hope the little beady-eyed soon-to-be-demon-chicken babies recover okay.

  4. Jenae – our coop is sort of a mini-coop (not the car, haha) and you can retract the roof. So as long as the roof is closed they're fine but once it's open it's bad news bears.

    Dairy Carrie – I think you and Kelly are right on the money with a cat. I had seen one around our house once or twice (but not recently) but didn't realize it would do that. I already despise cats and this gives me even more reason to do so. If I see it, I might just boot it as hard as I can. The trap was empty this morning so it must have been full and didn't want to kill for sport anymore. Geez, I hate cats.

    Kelly – sorry you don't like birds. We're not all that bad though!

  5. Oh Buzzard, you know I like birds that eat other birds. I've just had scary run-ins with poultry. They have beady eyes and talons and sharp beaks.

    Dogs? No fear. Horses? No fear. Cattle? No fear. Cats? No fear. Well, sometimes a little, because you can't always trust them. Goats? No fear. Chickens and turkeys? ALL THE FEAR.

  6. I'm so sorry! This is the crappy part about animals. Best of luck with the rest!

  7. Thanks Meg – I will be on the lookout for cats and will not open the coop again until they're big enough to flap back at the cat!