Are they eating each other, how to save?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HeadHen, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. HeadHen

    HeadHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2008
    Houston, TX
    My neighbors have chickens and I have not seen my neighbors in about a week (we did not see them often, this isn't a chummy neighborhood). I was worried about the birds so I went over and peeked in the windows and it looks like they moved out (in a hurry). Their birds showed up about a week or two after I got mine, so I guess they are around 14 weeks old? They don't appear to be laying yet.
    Anyways, I checked on the birds (they were confined in their coop) and some are dead and have been ?hollowed out? from the rear end. One had an exposed tail bone and not much rear end left and died in my arms. Another has a bleeding rear end but was up running around with the other birds. I isolated him/her and I don't think the others are injured. I gave them food, grit, and water and I'm trying to build them a shelter and yard on my property to move them to.
    I am not sure what else I can do for the bleeding bird, the drops of blood have slowed since I isolated it.
    Any advice?
  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    One or more of the birds due to stress, hunger or plain boredom in confinement started pecking another bird around the vent and tail- it is a terrible habit- cannibalism. All injured birds must be immediately removed, and someone needs to watch and identify the instigator bird or birds. Search the forum for cannibalism. It is hard to cure, much easier and faster to cull/kill the cannibals and let the rest of them heal. This is a surprisingly common problem in crowed set-ups, where the birds get bored or hungry- they peck at anything red (like a blood feather or a vent) and once they discover that meat is good, will continue the bad habit until the hapless victim is dead. The hollowed out from the back end corpse is classic cannibal chicken remains. Rats, racoons, ect leave different evidence.
    Be very careful who you bring home (if you do this) from this household. In the meantime, take out any injured birds, give the remaining ones lots of things to do and eat that are more attractive than each other, and try to ID the bad bird or birds....
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    any chance your local humane society could help? I know many of them do not deal with poultry, but some do... might be worth a call anyhow.

    Best of luck,

  4. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    Definitely, a call to a humane society is in order, if not for help, but to report these low-lifes.

    In most states that I'm aware, abandoning animals in such a manner is a crime. Let's hope their children (if any) fare better the next time these people need to go on the run.

  5. HeadHen

    HeadHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2008
    Houston, TX
    The women that was renting the house to them says they skipped out on their rent too. Apparently they gave her a false name and she says she didn't check them out when she rented out the house since she usually just does the honor system and goes by her instincts (not anymore!). Poor thing, they apparently did more damage to the house then their security deposit will cover too.
    The injured chicken lived and has started crowing with gusto (but no tail feathers)!
    I found a good home for all the birds. I was afraid of mixing them with my flock since they have canabal tendancies and I don't want to loose my babies to pecking order injuries from chickens that might eat them.
    Found a first time chicken owner that is thrilled to have them and let her borrow all my chicken books to learn what she is doing, might see her on here soon!
    She already had an empty coop on her property (was there when she bought the house) so she is tickled to get a free flock and her kids are adding chickens to their daily chores.

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