chicken commits suicide

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jeepgurl, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. jeepgurl

    jeepgurl Songster

    Jun 4, 2012
    Yesterday afternoon, I found one of my barred rocks wedged between a wall and some bricks. She was upside down with her head in the wet dirt and appeared to have suffocated. She had broken a leg six weeks earlier, but we treated that and she had been up walking around during the day. We had sectioned off an area just for her because the other chickens were picking on her. When my husband picked her up, she had dirt caked in her mouth and down her throat. I told my friend about it and she replied that she had heard from her grandma that chickens sometimes do this. Can anyone explain this to me? Have you ever seen this? Specifics: she was a three year old barred rock, she was on the mend from a broken leg and walking around, she was isolated from other but still inside the coop area, had plenty of food and water and just had some corn on the cob that morning, it was 100 degrees outside, but she was in a shaded area with a large fan circulating in the coop, she had water to walk in, and she had laid an egg that morning.
  2. Sarahej

    Sarahej In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2012
    I don't have answers. I am sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
  3. Awwwe that poor bird. :( What sounds really strange about this is how in the world she managed to get get turned upside down. I can see a bird getting wedged somewhere, but upside down... that's .... odd.
  4. jeepgurl

    jeepgurl Songster

    Jun 4, 2012
    Thanks Sarah. I hate to say this, but it was kind of a relief that she died. I felt really bad for her being injured like that and getting picked on by the other chickens. At least she is not in pain anymore.
  5. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    That's awful and I'm sorry to hear it. It sounds like something scared her and she panicked and got stuck, or she stumbled and fell between the wall/bricks, panicked, and got stuck.

    When we first started introducing our roo to the girls, we put a large dog crate (with him in it) in the run. We pushed the crate up against the one solid wall of the run (the foundation of our house) so that he always had one side he could be in and not be harassed if he wanted. The crate wasn't in there for 24 hours before our BA got stuck between the foundation and the crate.

    My DH came home and found her upside down, wedged in, but alive. She limped for about 30 minutes one he freed her, but she was otherwise completely unharmed. She must have jumped up on top of the crate and then fallen between it and the house, which was impressive considering the gap at the top of the crate for her to get in was only about 3 inches. But she must've lost her footing and then couldn't get any grip and somehow just twisted herself in and was unable to get any leverage. She hadn't even slid down to the ground, she was stuck at the top. How they get into such predicaments is anyone's guess, though.
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Chickens can sometimes find the damndest ways to kill themselves in spite of our efforts to keep them safe.

    I moved a bunch of EE birds out of their brooder yesterday into their grow-out tractor. Anytime I move birds like that I try to do it on a day that I can be there to check on them periodically. So that I can be there to rescue the ones that manage to get themselves into a predicament such as the one that had managed to worm its way like a rat under the rear apron wire only to get stuck so bad it was completely immobile. It was in the mid-nineties and she was in the sun so I have no doubt if she'd been trapped there until the next evening when it was time to move the tractor she'd have died.

    Another instance I went out to my rooster pen to find one of the boys (naturally it was one that I had plans for) hanging upside down by one spur from the fence three feet off the ground. I have no idea how long he'd been there but he was mighty stiff and unresponsive when I arrived. Had to play chicken masseuse working his leg flexion until he could walk again.

    Others over the years have done other improbable things. Birds have ways of dieing in freak accidents just like people do.

    Sorry about the loss of your bird.
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    What AT said. Keep them long enough and you will continue to marvel at the situations they can get themelves into.
  8. pm

    pm In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2011
    Reed City, MI
    To quote my brother who has raised birds for 40 years: "You can't tell me chickens are stupid....they can figure out more ways to kill themselves".

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