Would like to try the comfrey. Always ready to try something new.I'm a gardener and liked the comment about the chickens preparing the garden.
Our home came with comfrey but I don't know what kind. I made a comfrey root & plantain leaf salve for diaper rash etc. when my son was born. We call it Supergrease
We are getting chickens in a couple months and I would love some Comfrey for them!
Jenni --- I don't have a definitive answer to your first question, unfortunately. I would assume Russian Comfrey would have many of the same healing properties as Common Comfrey since the common is one of the two parents of the hybrid. But I don't know for sure. However, to answer your second question, I'd say it almost certainly wouldn't be any different for bantams than for full-size chickens. People have used this type of comfrey for race horses, sheep, goats, and chickens, so it seems to have wide appeal.
I'd love to get some comfrey starts.
I love how you talk with your hands.
I love your idea of planting along the run. It's one of those 'DUH' moments, I guess. Comfrey sounds like something that would be wonderful for our hens!
Anna, I'd heard there are healing properties of comfrey for humans. Does the bocking 4 variety have any health benefits for people As well as being good for the chickens?
I have Bantams, does that make any difference?
Happy Thanksgiving! Jenni
looking so forward to your articles and those of Mother Earth News!
I would love to get some comfrey growing on my property. I have heard it's a great dynamic accumulator as well as great food for the chickens. I would offer up splits next year if given the opportunity to get these starts.
That sounds great! I will be looking to add Comfry to our pasture for the Egg Cooperative we are starting for our community. Could you include some information on where to find Comfry Starts for non-winners interested??
Amanda --- That's a good question. If you've got enough acreage, your chickens will love that kind of pasture as-is, but they'll need a lot more space to get a significant amount of their diet off pasture under solid tree cover. I've got a couple of pastures like that and they tend to get overgrazed quickly because the shade limits how much will grow within chicken-beak-range.
For smaller areas, as anti-environmental as it sounds, I recommend taking down the native forest and replacing it with fruiting trees and bushes, spread out so the mature canopy only covers 40% or so of the pasture. On a larger scale, you might try just taking down a few trees here and there to make openings, and planting into those openings.
To answer the question you actually asked --- comfrey will do okay in the shade, although it won't thrive. Currants and gooseberries are reputed to fruit in the shade, although I don't have any first-hand experience with that yet. I hope that helps!
We've moved to a wooded lot and plan to start raising chickens in the spring. We've done a lot of research, follow your blog, and are ready to take the plunge, but we have one big problem: we want to pasture the chickens, but we have no open space for them. We'd like to try "pasturing" them under the forest canopy, which is pretty open but has no real grass to speak of, sort of like this, with slightly more mature trees and a lot more brush and bramble: http://www.ouachitamaps.com/picture_library/OHT/OHT%20Pic%204387%20Open%20forest.jpg
Is this possible/advisable, and if so, do you have any advice in terms of growing shade-tolerant plants that the chickens would like to eat? Thanks!
Our ladies love anything green! Comfrey would be a great addition to their diet.
Just a quick followup: As good a mom as the Krienkoppe was, I processed her this year with the meat chickens. She went broody 4 times and was very stubborn to break up. During that time she laid no eggs, and crowded the nest boxes. I just don't need that broody of a hen. I obtained 2 one year old Chanteclers in late spring. Both of them dutifully went broody a couple weeks later. I did the same routine with the golf balls and then some real eggs I saved. They were good setters and communally raised a brood of 24. They are pretty good layers but kind of scrawny for eating later in life. That's OK though, They only went broody once so they have earned a spot in next years broody lineup. Twice would be OK too, but more than that begins to get hard to manage.
I would like this for my chickens,to use to make great compost and if needed for poultices for injuries.
I have some great comfrey recipes for ointments. I appreciate your ideas in your brief article for comfrey starts and where to place them. I never thought to use it for my chickens! We have very alkali soil and we experiment with plants every spring to find the best combinations for our location. I can't wait to experiment with comfrey!
I've never heard of this plant and I'd LOVE to try it with my flock!!!
We just ordered a second bunch of waterers. Our chickens love them and so do we!
I have rabbits and I heard they love it too! Hope I win!
Lee --- There are several different types of comfrey that all start with "Bocking" followed by a number. Bocking 4 is the variety most recommended for livestock, but a reader is also sending me Bocking 14 to try this year (which I'll probably do a giveaway of next year). I'll keep you all posted about how the chickens respond to the different varieties.
Kim --- If you follow the link where I say I splurged, you can see a couple of sources for the comfrey variety. I think I ended up going for the 2-year plants from Coe's Comfrey, if I remember right, which came to about $20 after you add in shipping. Not all that expensive if you're starting a nursery bed, but pricey if you get many.
This Bocking 4 Comfrey sounds like a great solution for ranging hens to add more greens and protein to their diet! My girls love greens and I can bet they would tear into this with pleasure! I am an avid gardener and would love to continue on your experiment!
Chickens are so/so with comfrey right off the bush. Prickles. HOWEVER, cut it and let it sit overnight. It wilts a little and the leaves turn smooth. Chickens go nuts over it. It has almost 30% protein and thats more than soybean. I will be mixing this with my barley and oats because it will raise levels up to 18-20% protein daily. Most of this info comes from research because I'm a newbie but plan on getting started right. I live in Haughton, right outside of Shreveport, La. Being so warm I'm able to cut my comfrey 2" above ground around 8-10 times a year. I bought 10 one year old comfrey plants from coescomfrey.com. Pricey at $46 shipped but they did add another 7 smaller plugs for free. And I'll never have to buy them again. As pricey as they are, I may just try to sell plugs on Ebay next year. ha. Not really, I have a two acre pasture that I will be turning in a food forest and every fruit tree I plant I will plant a comfrey under it.
When you say that you 'splurged on two plants' does that mean that they are expensive? Did you order them from a catalog? Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!
Last post - promise.
Use the comfrey homeopathic if you have a broken bone and are concerned about toxicity. It is called Symphytum.
PS - Did you mean Bocking 14 comfrey - the Russian variety, because you posted the number 4? Is Bocking 4 something new?
PPS - If you use a chicken tractor you can move your chickens off a piece of land before they strip it bare, onto the next location if you want some vegetation to remain. Or, with the chicken tractor you can put them on a garden bed before you transplant or sow seeds directly and they will prepare the soil perfectly, removing any weeds and plants, loosening the soil and fertilizing.
Peace and blessings,
That is so nice of you to share of your abundance, and just in time for Thanksgiving - I am appreciative!
Comfrey is one of the great bone knitters. After trails were done in which rats ate 4000 times what they would normally eat of this plant, they started showing signs of liver abnormalities. Oh heck, if you eat or drink too much of anything it will cause an imbalance in your system. If you drink too much water you can disturb your electrolyte balance and show signs of a psychosis. I am not advising you to take comfrey internally. Educate yourself.
What no one mentioned is comfrey is one of the great healers of the soil and a mineral collector. Bioremediate your soil with comfrey. You can chop and drop it on your gardens, adding bioavailable minerals for your veggies, and hence, you.
How about if whoever wins agrees to pay it forward, the comfrey that is, and find two people to share some with next year, who agree to find two people each to share some with the next year, multiplying your generosity. Just a thought.
Happy Healthy Thanksgiving to all.
Peace and blessings,
I read everything you post and have bought nipples too. Most of my initial knowledge about chickens was learned from your teachings. I started with a few birds like most and now I order 50-75 at a time and I've a large incubator too. I've almost always over 100 fee-range chickens running around! Frankly the only time it seems like real work is when the predators find a way in and believe me, they're tenacious. After all, everything eats chicken (I've figured that out at least)! I want to Thank-You for your work (teachings). I have a few non-commercial (hobby) web sites and it's very time consuming to keep them updated. If you draw my name, chunk it and draw again. I doubt that stuff will grow well here in South Louisiana (mostly very hot and high humidity) and heavy clay soils. I've heard it grows in the African sun but that's Africa, not South Louisiana! Ha! Thanks Again.
Your Avian Aqua Miser makes keeping hens so much more hassle-free! I've been recommending your website and products to all my chicken-keeping friends and neighbors!
Thanks for teaching me about comfrey and for improving your products. I'm really fond of the new EZ Miser design!
Hello Anna, I am very satisfied with my Aqua Miser system and have used it for most of the year. In northern OH, where I live, the temps can range down to zero degrees at times during January and February, so I have not ordered the heated bucket kit, but I do think that it is a great idea for most of the country. I would love to have some cuttings of the Bocking 4 comfrey for my chickens. I have not had any animal refuse comfrey and I have missed the plot that I had some years ago.
Thanks for entering, everybody!
Carol --- I wrote my thoughts on whether comfrey is carcinogenic in this post. I haven't seen any specific data for chickens, but I would suspect it could cause liver damage in large amounts. On the other hand, it seems unlikely you could grow enough to feed your chickens the large amounts required to cause problems. In the end, it's a judgment call.
Sarah --- Those are good questions. It does take some skill to drill the hole in the side of a bucket without it leaking, but the plumber's take or rectorseal should fix you right up. You will want to unscrew the nipple (carefully so you don't damage the threads), apply either one, then screw it back in. If using the latter, let it dry for 24 hours before refilling your waterer.
If your angle is too great, the nipples will leak, but if you follow Mark's lead, they won't. You want to make sure the nipples go in at no more than 30 degrees away from vertical.
I'd love to see a photo once you get the kinks worked out and have your waterer in action!
I would love to have some comfrey in my pastures. I have been trying to start some, but your idea of starting it just outside the pasture fence until it is established is a great idea.
Thanks for encouraging home grown chickens. They are inspiring.
I am new to raising chickens this year. These starts would be a great addition to their non- GMO feed. Looking forward to more info and giveaways! Thanks!
I would love to get a patch of this started at my future homestead!
One way or another, I will be trying out comfrey this year ;). I love this time of year, planning for spring gardens, which on paper and in my head are always perfect and pest free. And, on paper, my chickens never hop the fence to enjoy garden fare early.
We have been using all kinds of your ideas including the waterers...building the heated variety tonight:) as it was 12 last night and switching out water gets old. The comfrey plantings are a great idea and make perfect sense.
I raise Partridge Chanticler chickens and am constantly looking for ways to supplement their diet with more natural food sources. We live in an extremely difficult area for farming, due in part to our weather. Summer temperatures often above 105 degrees F and winter temps below zero for days on end. I would love to try Bocking 4 Comfrey on the outside of my enclosures as you suggested. Great idea!
Love our chickens! always looking for new and creative ideas for feed, proper nutrition for our family and the birds,and money saving. Also,When we receive great ideas we always spread the news.
Count me in on this giveaway. Thanks
I hadn't raised chickens since I was 10 and had forgotten a lot about them. Well,man are they destructive. Our beautiful bed of hostas looked like a mangled mess within 1 week. The wildflower bed my wife worked so hard to keep nice became a dirt bath wallow in just 2 days. Rhubarb patch is nothing more than a faint memory now. So much for the landscaping. We wanted the chickens to be free range, but they lost that privilege when they started to destroy the lawn next to the chicken house. We fenced in the area under the deck and gave them a 10x20 run in what used to be a grass patch. At 61 I am not ready for all these new challenges, but am facing them head-on anyway.
I go to the farmers market every week and get the green scrapes that are pulled off the lettuce etc. I would love to grow something my chickens could benefit from.
Looks great! I would love to try it. Thanks for the giveaway.
I love reading about your comfrey experiments and have wanted to try it in my garden. I'd love to enter my name in the contest. Thanks, Joe R.
I would like to be in the running for the bocking starts. Thank you. John Swift.
Boy, Anna, do I need this! My 4 hens have only their fenced yard and coop, and they have eaten every last bit of any greenery that was in their yard. We are way out in the East Texas country and have too many predators to allow the hens to free range or even be out in the yard for a little while (owls, hawks, coyotes, bobtails, etc.) I could plant these comfreys all along the one side of their yard on the outside of the fence just like you did! It would be a blessing for sure! Thanks for your great products by the way. Our girls love having fresh water to drink all the time.
It would be awesome to be able to try this. Never heard of it. We're getting ready to split our pasture for paddock type rotation. Thanks for considering us. Thanks and 'tis the season to give thanks. Have a GREAT Day!
I read in another of your posts about do's and don'ts of comfrey that you shouldn't take it internally because it might contain a carcinogen...so is there any research of it being carcinogenic for chickens? Thanks!
First off, starting with when I got my first chicks 3 years ago, I have never used any other watering method than your nipples! When they were little I screwed them into milk jugs. For the older birds I put them in 5 gallon buckets. I LOVE your new design which allows you to put the buckets on a pedestal and a heating base!!! I have been looking into adding comfrey to the garden for my chickens and haven't been able to find a source so I would LOVE to have a start!! Happy Thanksgiving!!
I will try it it I I win.
I would love to try something similar for my girls by planting some comfrey just out of their reach until it grows over the fence!!
We just attempted to make this bucket last night, put it in the coop, and discovered this morning that it does leak. The nipples were really hard to get in the holes - in order to seal them, do we need to remove them and add the plumber's tape and or Rectorseal? Or can we add the Rectorseal or silicone caulk around the nipple?
One other question we had is if the nipples themselves will leak on this bucket since they are at an angle, instead of being straight up and down?
We are super excited about this bucket, and very grateful that you posted info about it!
No problem! I forgot to mention that the temperature controller I used is now available on eBay for about $15-$20. It controls down to an accuracy of 1 C. For slightly more money, you can get ones that are accurate down to 0.1 C which would be even better for incubating.
Darren --- Thanks for commenting! I was reading your post this past weekend and trying to decide where would be the best place to share your data. Right here works well.
It's been a while (cough... 2.5 years!), but I finally got around to running my incubator with a Fridgemate. It works beautifully! You can check out my instructions here:
To insure that no one end's up on the ground or coup floor I added a night light that is not plugged into the timer and turns on just as soon as the timer shuts the primary lights out. This allows enough light for everyone to find their favorite place on the roost.
Rudy --- When I saw your question on facebook, I thought you were talking Fahrenheit, not Celsius. -4 Fahrenheit is still pretty cold, but might be something you could work around. I don't know yet, but we do have an early data point that's looking hopeful. It got down to 14 Fahrenheit (-10 Celsius) here this week and the nipples were still in good shape.
Daddy --- Unfortunately, the bugs seem to fade fast once weather gets this cold. Even out in the woods where they can scratch through leaves, our chickens seem to be finding much less.
Brad --- Good question! I thought others might enjoy seeing the answer, so I'm going to post it on our blog this coming Wednesday. Stay tuned!
Hi,my birds free-range during the day. Came home in the daylight today to find my only rooster dead..some blood around the head/neck, and pile of his downy feathers about a foot away in a big pile. All the hens were OK, but a bit scared. I can't figure out who the predator would be...any ideas?
No bugs left to eat?
I wonder if the nipple would freeze solid in Eastern Ontario winters at -20 celsius.
I just started reading your blog and love it. I am trying to learn about permaculture but there is nothing in my area at all so your site is a real blessing, thank you
Just heard the chickens going off at 3am ran out a coon has one of my silver duckwing old english bantams in its mouth saved it but missing a bb red old english bantam rooster no trace of feathers no nothing
I don't see much difference in Brown or white eggs but my wife prefers brown eggs. Which chickens lay brown eggs? And the best chicken to survive vermont winters? We plan on getting 4 - 6 chickens in the spring. We are both retired and don't travel much anymore this would give us a nice pass time throughout the year. THANK YOU.
We built a new pen today and sometime late night or very early morning (before 3am) I kept hearing racket an d chickens yapping which is odd so late. Upon inspection there was a chick in the middle of the pen with its head detached but all parts remained. The rest were all scattered at the corners and hiding. Even had a hen lay an egg under the coup (it's on stilts). The fence is wooden 3-4ftt tall and no sign on digging or destruction. We do have a huge pine tree that over looks the pen and I heard some screeching from its highest point when I went out. It was just the one chick but the rest of the chicks, hens and Roos were all clearly rattled from it. We live in a residential area and have never had a problem with cats or dogs. What is it and what do I do?
Hi there. I went out to my chicken coop today to find a dead chicken..it looked like something ate it's way into her but. It was horrific to see. They were all locked in the coop. I don't know whatcould have done this?? Did it diebnatural and a rat ate her or did a weasel mmaybe sneak in?????
Vladimir --- You're right that Lowes has changed their bucket. We haven't tried the new ones yet to get exact measurements on where to cut.
But it sounds like your problem isn't the bucket, but the method. Two buckets of the same kind (no matter what kind that is) should fit over top of each other with the heat tape in between, but you have to cut quite a bit off the bottom of the outside bucket to make them come out close to even. I hope that makes sense --- it's hard to describe without a bucket in front of me. If you look back over the photos in this post, I suspect it'll click, though.
Yvette --- Good call! I used to keep the hearts, but couldn't figure out how to cook them so I liked them, and my dog wouldn't touch them. What do you do with yours?
You forgot the heart is good.
I am trying to make this heater using Home Depot buckets and they fit to tightly to go over the heat tape when taped to the first bucket. Does anyone have a recommendation for a bucket that will work?
BTW.. Lowes seems to have changed their buckets and they seem smaller. At least they don't fit over a HD bucket.
We got it in the mail the week before last and my husband has now had it set up for over a week and we just had to refill it yesterday. It is working very very well. Thank you so much for it.
I am a new to raising chickens so was wondering if someone had insight on this mystery. We have a coop and right now we have wood stacked on top of boards around the edge of the coop to prevent something from digging into the coop. We came home two weeks ago to find a hole dug with one 7 week old chick gone. There wasn't one sign of a chicken anywhere. Then yesterday came home and the 10" x 7" door with wooden latch/sliding lock is ripped off the coop and four now 9 week old chicks gone without a trace. We have two dogs, a golden retriever and a chocolate lab and no neighbors. We have never seen a raccoon, rat, possum, on our property (I think because of our dogs). We do have coyotes that trapes across the property but don't usually get close because of the dogs. What do you think???
themorrisons farm --- Thanks for the data point! We've had good luck with our Australorps in terms of foraging, although they don't lay nearly as much as the hybrids. I'll be curious to hear how your second experiment goes!
Alex --- I was wondering if they would roost in there, but luckily they haven't. I'm guessing you're right --- they just got in the habit of using the roosts, so they've stuck to them.
Ruth --- Good point! That would definitely be a good reason to keep the nest box inside.
Jude --- I've noticed that the more complex our plans are, the longer it takes to get them done. That's why we stuck to the simplest nest boxes.
Amy --- Great tips! We may have to install some curtains. It seems a bit unfair to the hen on the nest when two others are waiting in line, cackling loudly.
Ally --- We ended up getting quite a lot of fruits this year, despite the fact that I not only pruned the tree heavily last winter, I also picked half the tree's leaves to feed silkworms. I didn't pick the fruits --- just let the chickens have them --- so I don't have an idea of quantity, but there always seemed to be at least a few fruits ripening up all the time. It's definitely worth a shot in your small space, where any fruits are probably better than none.
Tom --- I'm sorry you had trouble. We only sell our nipples as part of our do it yourself kits.
Sorry, Anna, I've tried to follow your instructions on how to locate just the nipples for purchase. Alas, I get redirected to kits only. Might I suggest creating a link(s) to the individual parts for your waterers so they can be more easily found? Thanks!
Did you still get good fruit production pruning them smaller? I have a small yard in the city and would like to give mulberry bushes a try but I'm afraid if I keep them pruned at bush/small tree size (no more than 5 ft) I won't get any fruit. My neighbor has a 35 ft tree and I'm going to take cuttings to root but I can't have a full sized mulberry in my yard as it will completely cast my garden in shade.
I have a few comments about nest boxes. I recently put up nest box curtains. I always thought these were silly but I have to say, my hens really appreciate the extra privacy they offer.
It's hysterical when I go out to their run and peek inside the coop and ask, is anyone in here, a little head will pop out between the curtain, look at me, blink a few times and then pull her head back inside.
And my other comment is on the size of the bird. Maybe this really only applies to Jersey Giants which can get BIG but if you plan on raising Jersey's, you need to make your nests a tad larger than the standard 12" by 12". My poor JG always has frayed and tattered tail feathers because my nests are too small for her.
I would love some nest boxes (lucky you). I have previously designed some external boxes with a lift up roof for more visible access; we sometimes get snakes in the chook house and I don't want to reach in without looking. These boxes also had an insert made from those square plastic, 15 liter jerry cans with one side and most of the top cut out(but with the handle left intact). The purpose of these inserts was to be able to lift the whole thing out easily for cleaning and also to be able to lift it out with a clucky chook installed on eggs and move it to a brooding cage. We hatch our replacements yearly and it is handy to not disturb the hen when she has just began to sit. I hope one day to build these nest boxes, when time permits.
I also prefer to have the nest boxes inside the coop - I found that when it gets really cold here in Wisconsin (it van get well below zero) the eggs freeze more quickly in external nest boxes, and even nest boxes mounted on the outer wall of the coop. My current setup has the nests more in the center of the coop.
I'm not sure how you guys don't end up with hens roosting in that nest box in the photo: it looks like it's higher than any perch around it, and my chickens all wanted to roost in the highest available spot.
Of course I managed to let my hens use the nest box before they were laying, so I guess I let them develop bad habits. So rather than taking away a nest box being used as a roost, I could try taking the next box away when I starting a new batch of hens. Let the older hens teach the younger ones the ropes.
I had 35 red stars and 15 americana chickens on 6 acres. My experience this year 2013 has been I raised them from chicks through the winter on feed in an open bottom chicken coop. every one was laying good the grass started to turn green and I started throughout the weeks cutting their daily feed rations back to incouraged foraging. They did just fine weight wise but with the cut back of my feed the egg laying quite as soon as I got to taking away half of what they would have been getting over the winter. It is now October and a sold all because they never did pick up again. What I have read and I am going to be trying is that it is all in the breed and quality of land. well see though I'm going back to old old heritage breads
Jude --- Glad we could help, and good luck with your new chicks!
C Ruby --- Thanks for sharing! It's great to have some hands-on data!
Patricia --- Our Avian Aqua Miser Originals are made with food-grade plastic (not BPA-free), our EZ Misers are made with run-of-the-mill plastic, and our DIY kits allow you to choose a container that meets your own standards.
Did your earlier answer mean that avian miser waterers use Lowe's buckets that are bpa free? Thanks.
The kit was great! And the chicks are loving it. Much cleaner and cheaper than the waterer we were using before! We appreciate your product.
I raised 20 freedom rangers this year in Ketchikan Alaska. They reached 11 weeks and were in a free range/tractor with new grass every other day. Very mellow breed. 14 roosters and 6 hens. Roosters averaged butchered, 4-6 lbs, hens 3-5 lbs. Raised on Flock Raiser. I kept one the the hens that looked more like a buff orphington. She laid her first small egg at 17 weeks. She has been laying a small egg every day and the egg is getting larger by the week. Her food is restricted, but does forage well. She is still a heavy bird weighing in at 7 lbs. But her egg production is superb so far. I just thought this would be good info for people to read if they kept a freedom ranger for egg laying. My neighbor took 5 of my cockerels and culled at 20 weeks and got 8 lb birds dressed.
it is great, it is perfect four our chick condo, we really appreciate your products! makes my life so much easier!
I have just come home with a dozen fertile eggs to put under a clucky. I may have to jeep them separated from the main flock due to the differences in aggression. Thanks for the tip (just in time)
Interesting data point! And a potentially good solution, to add another rooster. We just put the flock back together so I could give one of the coops to the last set of fall broilers, so we'll see if the issues pop back up.
I ordered one waterer to try with my flock of 18 new meat birds and 4 little layers. They are about 7 weeks old now.
Introducing the birds to the waterer went fairly well. I keep the EZMiser in the coop and they still have other water outside during the day. Since the waterer is almost empty in the mornings, I think they are all using it just fine. I love to see them sipping.
The coop is much cleaner and they can hang out under the waterer, which helps with space. Our meat bird coop is smaller than our regular coop and they need as much floor space as possible as they grow so fast.
It's easy to fill and the last bit of bucket does seem to collect silt... which is good for keeping the nozzles clear.
I'm planning to move the EZMiser into the main layer coop when the meat birds "graduate" and we'll see if the older chickens can figure it out.
The chicks love the EZ Miser and it took no time at all for them to find it. I have been using the ez nipples on a 5 gallon water jug but the EZ Miser is so much better and easier to handle and for the chicks and cleaner for sure! Good invention!
Kathleen's photo is an absolute work of art. I want to be that boy.
Thank you so much for the honorable mention Anna. That was nice.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Have to admit... I'm very partial to my Buffs. Not only beautiful birds, they have good temperament and are both layers and meat birds.
HELP! I am farm sitting for a friend on a business trip. Last night one chicken was missing completely. That's not unusual so it was dismissed until this morning when it was discovered that another hen was missing its tail feathers and bleeding. Sadly, the hen died only a few hours later. A closer inspection revealed a large piece of skin missing and only one puncture mark could be identified. The wound didn't look fresh but rather dry and old. It was a large adult hen. I am concerned that another will come up missing or maimed. Also, I would like to point out that her dogs have been visiting the coop, which I figured was their way of looking for their human but now I'm wondering if they were the culprit or knew something was staking out the scene?