1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Adults killing young birds

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RBOutdoors, May 14, 2012.

  1. RBOutdoors

    RBOutdoors Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    0
    109
    Sep 4, 2009
    What should I look for to figure out if one of my adult chickens killed two of my young birds? Also, will they eat part of the chicken they've killed?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    62,251
    4,318
    666
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    The nature of the pecking order is that bigger birds peck at smaller birds. When raised in a flock environment, given enough space, adults generally leave young birds alone. When introducing younger/smaller birds to an established flock they immediately become targets. In the process of pecking, the adults may kill and consume part of the young birds. If something is eating whole carcasses, there is another predator in the mix. We need more information to give a better idea of what is going on.
     
  3. RBOutdoors

    RBOutdoors Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    0
    109
    Sep 4, 2009
    I have two flocks really the older established flock is 2 RIR roosters and 2 hens. We are about to cull the two roosters. They were necessary when we had 10 hens but now we are down to just 2.

    We also have 35 or so 9 week old chicks. A bunch of different varieties. 9 are dark Cornish cockerels,10 are dark Cornish hens and the rest are BO, leghorns, rocks.....

    The little ones are a 6x6 at night an free range during the day. The big ones are in a portable coop and free range all day as well.

    Two little ones turned up dead in the middle of the day in the small portable pen. Not much is gone so I doubt a predator, just wanted to check.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    62,251
    4,318
    666
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Not impossible that the roosters might be trying to breed the smaller birds and inadvertantly killing them. Also snakes will someime kill birds that are too large to swallow - in this case the heads and necks of the bird are generally slimy. Good luck at resolving this.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by