Chicken Attack

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by slguy, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. slguy

    slguy Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 25, 2015
    Yesterday afternoon I go in the back yard to check out the chickens after watching a movie and cleaning the kitchen...

    I find no chickens... I find a path of feathers.. I find a separate spot with a substancial pile of feathers..

    I look all around the yard, no chickens ( of 5 ).. I walk around the neighborhood twice.. No chickens.. I get back home and start whistling and all of a sudden - I hear chickens. I walk towards the noise and find 3 of them hiding behind a tree trunk. They are very timid to come out.

    My assumption is a predator bird came by and attacked... At first I am devistated - thinking all 5 of my babies are gone... But it made no sense - no dead bird bodies, no sign of anything beyond the feather pile/path.. Then finding the 3 hiding I am highly relieved! At least I don't have to tell my other half that the entire flock is gone on my watch..

    I'm still sad.. Actually, I'm ****** - something killed 2 of my babies! I search craigslist - are there any missing chickens in my area that have been posted? Nope, but I did find 2 free Ameraucana chicks a few miles away.. Do I go replace my missing babies right away?

    Out of nowhere, some random cackling, I rush out back thinking a predator has returned - nope it's one of the missing girls - WOO HOO I'm so happy she found her way home!! I try to pick her up - this is obviously the very stubborn one - she runs around the coop a few times before I can get her... Then about an hour later the last of the 5 shows up with a greater amount of cackling and ruffling of her feathers. I run out again and it is pretty obvious this was the victim of the attack. I can see a decent amoutn of her feathers gone. She acts as though her wing is hurt/sore.. She lets me pick her up and I give her some loving..

    So any hints/tips/advise - What should I feel for - what should I check - Just let her be and see if she has any symptoms later?
  2. Pyotr Koecher

    Pyotr Koecher Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 1, 2015
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Hi Slguy! My first question is-do you live in the suburbs or country-side? I live in the country-side and my chickens are often attacked by raccoons, and sometime weasels. I highly suspect the culprit is a raccoon, if it happened during the daytime. The only advice I can give you is to make sure there are no holes that are not sealed, and to lock them up everyday at dusk. As it could have been a eagle or hawk, the only way to prevent that is if you see one circling of your residence, quickly lock up all chickens.

    Hope it helps, Pyotr
  3. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2014
    Jones County, Georgia
    If she has bite wounds infection could be a risk. Can you see any blood/puncture wounds?

    Try not to use alcohol or peroxide on open wounds if you do find some.

    Sounds like the predator wasn't very efficient, maybe a local cat or small dog? How secure is your yard?
  4. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

    Oct 21, 2015
    I'd watch her and see if there are any problems you hadn't noticed at first.

    If there are any open wounds I'd spray with Vetericyn wound and Skin Care. Inspect her wing and see if there is any obvious damage. Severe damage may need cleaning and splinting. Minor and she just may heal on her own with a little TLC. If she is a laying bird don't expect eggs for a while. Stress can cause a bird to temporarily stop laying.

    My guess is it was an unsuccessful hawk attack (based on the pile of feathers), but in all honesty it could have been anything. You'll need to keep an eye out as what ever it was will surely be back and take appropriate steps to protect your flock going forward.

    So glad you found them all. You are very lucky.
  5. Akrnaf2

    Akrnaf2 The educated Rhino Premium Member

    Jul 5, 2014
    Center of Israel

    You should give all the chicken some extra top quality food like crushed boiled egg, tuna fish, code liver, dry cat food, and you should give them some extra electrolytes and vitamins. This will help them to reduce their stress levels.
  6. slguy

    slguy Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 25, 2015

    I am in the suburbs, so we have been very lucky with no dogs and no cats that we have seen all summer. About 2 months ago we saw a very small pile of feathers - didn't think anything of it since the girls never showed any signs of trouble. The next day there was a dead blue jay in the yard - no sign of attack. We're kind of stumped as to what is attacking. We do have a bird feeder at the edge of the yard - so many birds visit the feeder we're going through nearly 30 ounces of bird seed a day. Squirrels also rummuge the area, but I have never seen the squirrels interact with the chickens.

    Looking at her today, her left leg appears to be bowlegged, and she stayed up in the coop rather than going down to the runner - im guessing her leg is not doing well. She did flap her wings when I put her in the coop last night - I will have to spend some more time with her tonight after work. I didn't see any signs of blood - but i'll have to give her some TLC tonight. She is a gold sex link and has never show any desire to be held/petted/etc. I have a feeling if I hold her and pet/feel for any injury she will attempt to flee rather hurt or not.

    Yes very very lucky and very relieved! I was pretty upset when I thought I lost all 5. Relieved when I found the first 3. Then had a moment of thought about why couldn't the MEAN one be the one who was kidnapped.. I'll have to look up leg splinting as that is the only sign of injury so far. Poor little girl!

    Good advice! I gave them all a large treat this afternoon, I will have to give them some tuna tonight!

    Thanks for all the feedback!
  7. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

    Oct 21, 2015
    Along with the list of treats Akrnaf2 suggested you can also add kale. It is packed with lots of good stuff and will help promote healing. If there was a dead blue jay found I might lean toward cat as the culprit.

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