Half of my hatch out in the grow pen. That is what is gone now. Yesterday afternoon I saw a white tuft in the front yard. Slowly regretting every step to what I would find, I walked to it. Sure enough..there lay the wings and various other parts dismembered from the second silkie baby. The only two I hatched from my newer silkies are now gone, dead.
Before finding this massacre I spotted a light colored tuft in the grass out back. This was another young serama I had raised. Dead. Fully intact, but with a neck wound.
I always try to look at the bright side of things. Thank goodness the two young sultans had not been taken.
I spent the better part of the evening before dark wiring a fifty foot roll of chicken wire around the bottom half of the grow out pen.
I am not so sure that the neighbors dog is the culprit.
There is something else that puzzles me to no end. When I find the bodies, not parts, but full bodies...they are on a fire ant hill. Why do you suppose this is? It wouldnt be strange for it to happen once, but this has happened three times now.
I think it is a cat, or a fox, well actually it could be anything. What is happening is this.
Whatever is coming, and it is during the day, because the babies are all in a covered corner at night and wouldnt be scared of whatever is trying to get them...is spooking the smaller ones to the point of them squeezing out of the wire. They are in such a panic, they are trying to get away, when actually they are going right into the jaws of whatever is after them.
That is why none of the bigger ones have been killed. They can't fit through the wire.
I want to continue to use the grow out pen. I have many more chicks in the house that will eventually need to go out there. I can't put them out there with this happening. So I hope putting the chicken wire around the bottom half of the pen will keep the chicks in and the predator from grabbing at them or scaring them out of the pen.
So, now I am down to three serama, two sultans and seven of my chicks I invented. Along with the ten polish and five americauna and the one buff.
It looks so empty in there. So empty.