Chick dead w/twisted neck, no wounds, what happened???

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Sunny Side Up, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Welcome to CSI: Poultry.

    I have a batch of 22 8-week old chicks that live in a wire-fenced tractor. Up until a few nights ago I would put them in a sturdy (but stuffy) cage to sleep, but then decided they would benefit more from the fresh air. They now sleep in a big pig-pile by the side of the enclosure. Each night I place boards & other materials against the side where they're sleeping to prevent any critter from reaching in & grabbing them.

    This morning I found one chick dead, its neck twisted, but no wounds to be found. There weren't any feathers fallen off, no holes in the wire side, no signs of a struggle.

    I have my theories, but want to hear what you think without influencing you.
     
  2. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    My guess is that this chick wound up being the "mattress" last night, and was squished by the others. I can't imagine that Florida nights would be chilly, but the pig-pile mode of sleeping makes me think they were still chilly.
     
  3. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

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    It got piled upon and broke it's own neck trying to get out.
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Loxahatchee, Florida
    That's what I was thinking too, that it was squished by the others. Especially by the two Cornish Xs that have been growing up with the rest, they're the same ages but about 4X larger & 6X heavier. They're scheduled to meet their ends this weekend so they won't have much more time for smothering their pals.

    Even though our nights are warm chicks always seem to prefer the pile method of sleeping. They have comfy roomy perches & roosts to use but still use the corners each night. But this was the first time I ever had one smothered.
     
  5. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    :aww It's always sad to lose one, regardless...
     
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Loxahatchee, Florida
    You're right, and thank you. It's especially upsetting when you think it could have been prevented.

    I set traps around the tractor last night just in case, and didn't catch anything yet. And no one else got smushed either. I'm offering cash bonuses to the ones who will start sleeping up on the roosts.
     
  7. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    [​IMG]

    Any takers yet? [​IMG]
     

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