And then there were 26

Our new chickens were 10 weeks old on Sunday. After raising them this far without incident, today we had the first loss. Robin went out to feed the chickens in the “victims pen” and found one of her two favorite poof-headed Golden Polish chicks dead. There was no obvious sign of injury (other than plucked feathers). We were mowing near their pen today, and it might have been killed in the course of the wild mosh-pit hysterics to which they were prone.

Our future egg laying flock just become 42% less cute. 🙁

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14 Responses to And then there were 26

  1. Rae says:

    Sorry to hear that. 🙁

    • robin says:

      This sounds bad, but I wished that it had been a male that had died. We have way too many of those, so losing one wouldn’t have been a great loss.

  2. Benita says:

    Awww… I am really sorry to hear this. They are cute, too.

  3. Snowbrush says:

    I guess the lesson here is that of a chicken looks like a punker, it will probably play around in mosh pits like a punker.

    • robin says:

      Hehehe, I got a kick out of the punker comment. Now I feel like calling my jaunty remaining polish chick “punker”.

  4. Ron says:

    It stinks having losses… especially so late in the game… but it happens. It always motivates me to try to give the birds a more ideal environment, and even then some losses may occur.

    Ahh, the joys and frustrations of raising chickens…

    • robin says:

      I told Lee that I’m not getting animals next time until we are 100 % prepared for them. I hate the rushing around trying to get everything set up for them. I think having male chickens this time has added another level of frustration for us too. The Lakenvelder males are so small that it seems pointless to eat them. Nothing has been ideal this time around much to our frustration.

  5. Ann says:

    I feel bad for you guys. Do you have any idea what caused them to die, other than a good fright?

    Robin, I agree with your comment to Ron. That’s what’s holding me back from committing to a small flock right now, it’s that we’re not quite prepared yet. My plate’s full enough…

    Hope things work out, despite this set-back.

  6. ..I wish my rooster would get lost. He is SO NOISY. He crows as much as the 6 roosters did before him combined. Now the only way to get him to stop is to throw things at him..I am running out of shoes cause he is usually in the woods near our compost pile..but I have a secret weapons brewing under a hen…with no bad habits. I have no posted about it cause I didn’t want to jinx it but within the week I will have 6 new chicks..I hope. The good news is I am up everyday before my alarm. With your dead chicken you might want to check for puncture marks near the neck where something might have latched on..I know that weasels sneak in at night and kill chickens by biting them on the neck/suffocating them and sometimes all they do is drink the blood. Maybe you want to hang a silver cross in the coop on the other hand…and before you bury that chicken you might want to consider driving a stake through its heart. ..has anyone been trying to sell vacuum cleaners door to door at night wearing a black cape? If so don’t invite them into your house.

  7. I feel your pain. A hawk picked off one our eleven new chicks just yesterday. And then there were ten.

    The “live” in “livestock” means that there is inevitably death. This farming gig isn’t for the faint of heart.

    Here’s to your poof-head. May there be many more.

    • lee says:

      Ah, sorry to hear about your lost chick! We haven’t lost any to birds of prey yet, but there are certainly enough large hawks and vultures flying around here. The remaining poof-head seems lost most of the time. I suppose they were both lost, but it was probably better when there were two of them to be equally confused together.

  8. Lou says:

    used to raise golden Polacks and Houdans; they are not good mothers so we incubated them by putting their eggs beneath pigeons or turkeys who make great broody mothers; a pigeon can brood a couple of golden polish eggs and a turkey about 36 🙂
    just regular domestic junk pigeons will do; just have to make some nesting boxes and keep them in the chicken coop about 5 feet off the ground……if using pigeons to brood; they are hotter than the hens and recommend to moisten the eggs and turn them few times a week at night…..HTH

    Lou

    • lee says:

      Wow, I never heard of brooding chicks under pigeons. That’s pretty neat. I wonder what the mother thinks when her babies hatch out and they are twice her size in no time. 🙂

      We were just talking about pigeons today … our local feed store sells pigeon feed and we were asking what people bought it for. He listed homing pigeons, wedding pigeons, bird-dog training pigeons, and show pigeons. I guess he should have added “brooding pigeons” to the list.

      We’ve never had any fertilized eggs before to try raising chicks. We bought a Cochin this time because they are supposed to be good mothers, but we generally have one hen that’s broody at any given moment. There’s an old Golden Laced Wyandotte right now who’s been trying to hatch a golf ball for the last month or so.

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