Dealing with multiple chicken predators finally happened. I must have jinxed myself by saying "We don't really have a problem with predators" too many times. Somebody slap me! *sigh* A few weeks ago a grumpy guinea went missing. (she was grumpy with me for stealing her keets) 

It happened the day after I took away the babies she had helped to brood. They are NOT very good mamas at all, and the situation was quickly going south....but I digress. 

When she went missing I assumed she had taken over the only nest I couldn't find. I watched every day and count the guineas so when she came back to eat I could follow her back to her nest. I never saw her, but they do look an awful lot alike and I thought that I was just missing her. So I faithfully followed those guineas around day after day but they never went to visit her. I was sure she'd come back with babies in tow a few weeks later.

blue hen that was attacked by a hawk

2 days ago I went outside to see what the guineas were screaming about (again) and found a puff of feathers in the yard. Blue Marans feathers. Ut-oh. I looked and looked, but nothing. Finally I took the dogs into the woods and wouldn't you know, they found feathers!

Dealing with multiple chicken predators

At least a full acre from the yard, the feathers started in a circle and we followed a 20 foot trail of them until they went under a fallen tree and beneath some vines. There we found lots of feathers and a wing. We looked a little more but it was like it started at one spot and ended at the other. We're thinking it was a hawk. My poor lovely little blue girl is gone....RIP Blue, the chicken that hatched from the refrigerated, medicated egg. We buried what we found of her under the big tree by the duck pen, next to her daddy Mr. Copper.

Yesterday I was following the guineas (again lol) and heard some awful shrieking from the sky. I look up and count 8 hawks circling overhead. I run around and do the bird count and come up short 1 guinea! I check all the nests...nope, not setting. Unless there's yet another nest I don't know about which is highly unlikely, but stranger things have happened. Her BF King Julian was in the yard with his other GF. So I decide since it's getting dark, I'll follow them to her in the morning.

Only they didn't go to her. So, another day spent scouring the woods for a guinea hoping to find her on the nest. Even the dogs were looking! No luck at all. I kept the main flock locked up so I could easily count the 5 that were out in case she came back. All day long, there were only 5 in the yard.

I'm not sure what to think about the guineas. They very well could be setting...especially if the predator is a hawk. A hawk wont find a guinea hidden by ferns and branches under the trees in the woods. A raccoon will, so will a fox and we've had problems with both. We relocated 8 adult raccoons and a baby this spring...and the traps are back out now. 

We've also had problems with opossums attacking baby chicks, but I can't see them going after an adult guinea. The only other option is that those 2 guineas really didn't wander off to set on nests, they were snagged right out of the yard by hawks. *shudders*

I did learn something about hawks this week...they don't like firecrackers. I'm talking about those simple little ones in the 20 pack. I set them off one at a time and the hawks kept flying higher and higher till they gave up and flew off. Don't shoot them at the hawks! That's harassing to them....they are a protected species. I just toss them on the ground about 3 feet away from me.

I'll keep up my daily hikes with the dogs looking for guinea nests, but I'm pretty sure nobody will be free-ranging for the next few weeks. Gotta keep my babies safe!


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  1. I had a bear tear into my coop & kill & eat several of my hens before I gave the last three pullets away. I am going to rebuilt my coop and TRY to make it bear proof.

    1. Oh no! Bears are by far the hardest predator to protect against! We have bears here also but they have only grabbed free ranging chickens, never broken into the coop. Good luck with your repairs!