Cannabalism

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JesseMT, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. JesseMT

    JesseMT New Egg

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    I have two Orpi pullets and two chicks. The chicks are an Orpi and a Sussex. Today I found the Orpi chick dead and the Susex had been eaten. Nothing left but the head, liver and intestines. Even the legs and wings were missing. All four fowl were allowed to run free in an otherwise very safe yard, as an eight foot fence surrounds my entire property. What did I do wrong here?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Raccoon?
     
  3. Dartanion

    Dartanion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nothing but I would say opossum,fox or raccoon.Don't get discouraged,try again,but the smaller the flock the more likely that will happen.
     
  4. JesseMT

    JesseMT New Egg

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    I live in a large, built up subdivision outside the county line. I have been here for five years and have not seen either a fox or a raccoon in this area. The Orpi chick had what appeared to be a large swollen area on its neck, but no other damage. The Sussex was mauled and much of it was missing. Could it have been the larger Orpi's who were responsible?
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Was it at night? How long had they been together before it happened.

    Where do you live?

    If you don't go out at several intervals every night with night vision you may never see predators but rest assured, they're there.

    I knew there were possums, coons, fox, coyotes, etc. etc. here but until I had chickens, I had no reason to go out back in the middle of the night. But once I did, I realized the population of various predators was much larger than I had ever imagined.
    Raccoons even broke into my basement and killed chicks leaving the remains like you described.

    My dog wanted to go out in the middle of the night to do his duty, I live on a very busy road with bright street lights and when I went to the door a coyote was trotting down the road like it had no concerns.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  6. JesseMT

    JesseMT New Egg

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    I just found, near the site of the eaten chick, a small mound of scat in the high grass. It did not look or smell like that of a domesticated cat;, nor was it chicken droppings. Any suggestions? I am expecting a coop any day, but are t he larger pullets at risk from the same predator?
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Absolutely. Even a rooster is no match for a nighttime predator, especially raccoons. They're extremely fast, nimble, ferocious, rugged, excellent night vision and a big appetite.
    I had a hen that didn't make it into the coop at night get eaten and a couple nights later a family of coons got into the same coop and killed the rooster, 2 hens and mauled 2 more.

    Night blind chickens are sitting ducks without fort knox for a coop.
     
  8. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh yes, predators will be around whether you see them or not.
    In my own area in the UK you don't see anything during the day or early night, but once the sun is down & there are few people still awake there are rats, foxes, cats, owls & other night life visiting our garden between the usual hours of 1AM & 6AM.
    And lots of them tend to pass through between those hours.

    And we to live in a very built up area in the center of a large town.

    You should take measures against predators even if you don't think there are any. That's just what they want you to think because nocturnal wildlife is usually very private & quiet.

    Just glad we don't have racoons, wolves & coyotes, the Red Fox is the most successful predator here & they are getting bigger & bolder over the years , they are more the size of a collie or medium to large dog in the UK now. Ten years ago they were more spaniel sized [​IMG]

    Foxes are my own main concern because they can climb & I have had a few (or the same one) try to fight my dogs briefly (Rottweiler & Staffy) in the garden after chasing my cat back home at 2AM in through the door & of course the dogs shoot up & out into the garden to see whats wrong. [​IMG]
    So they aren't THAT scared. They will take on one dog, but not two thank god, they run if they realise there are two.

    Don't get me wrong, I love wildlife, but that fox is looking for a serious kick up the ***!

    The dogs wait to hear it & then run out snarling & growling to check random noises at night, it drives us nuts. ALL night... EVERY NIGHT... Just give it up fox...
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  9. JesseMT

    JesseMT New Egg

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    Yes, it was at night. After 10pm but before down. The group had been together about 10 days. The pullets paired up in one area and the two chicks in another. The pullets would peck at the chicks if they got to close, but nothing dangerous. The bazaar thing is, that same night I had installed a 4*4 perching stand about 2' off the ground. The pullets took to it immediately and the chicks were excited to see it, but warned off by the larger birds. In the morning, both chicks were dead. One appeared to have been pecked to death near the neck, with no other damage [there was a visible nodule, but the bird was intact] and the other was found nearly completely eaten about 30' away. H/her wings were missing and the torso was eaten up to the neck. The liver and intestines had also been left behind. Near that chick was a pile of scat that was neither from a chicken or a domesticated cat. The plot thickens, as my chickens free range in a yard completely enclosed by an 8' fence. We have an assortment of wild birds in our trees, and a few stray cats; but, no raccoons, possum or coyote.
     
  10. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Weasel? Rat?
     

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