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Chicken death mystery

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ravingbantha, May 27, 2017.

  1. ravingbantha

    ravingbantha Just Hatched

    8
    1
    12
    Apr 5, 2016
    Whitehall, Mi
    I have 3 groups of chickens, group 1 is just over a year old, our initial flock of 13 chickens of about 6 different breeds.

    Group 2 consisted of 5 new chickens, of 3 different breeds. They are 3 months old.

    Group 3 consists of 6 chickens, these are about 3 weeks younger than group 2.

    Group 2 and 3 lived together in a brood area completely away from our primary flock. Our chicken area has a covered coop and an outside run area. 3 weeks ago we put group 2 in the outside area, there is a shelter for them out there. After a week or so, we let group 1 and 2 begin to intermingle under supervision. They seem to be fine as far as getting along.

    Thursday we took group 3 outside, and put them in the exterior area. Groups 1 and 2 were moved back under the covered shelter. Yesterday I noticed group 1 pecking at group 2, so I decided to move group 2 outside with group 3, since they are much closer in age i figured there would be less fighting between them.

    Today I went outside and found 5 dead chickens and 2 missing, though it's possible they got out through a gap that we did not see earlier. There are no injuries on them, from what I could tell. One of the heads was off, but there was no sign of blood around the body, so I'm guessing that happened after death. There's no sign of a predator trying to get in, there's not a bunch of feathers everywhere like they were being chased. Just 5 dead chickens.

    Any thoughts on what might have caused this?
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,896
    3,466
    436
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    With the head missing and no peck marks from other chickens it has to be a predator. Things like mink are small and can squeeze into small opening. I would set up a game camera if you have one and do a good inspection of the area looking for access points.
     
  3. ravingbantha

    ravingbantha Just Hatched

    8
    1
    12
    Apr 5, 2016
    Whitehall, Mi
    I imagined a predator killing them would have made more of a mess. There was no blood on any of the dead, aside from the one missing it's head, and that one did not have any dried blood around it. I kind of expected more feathers and blood around the coop
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,896
    3,466
    436
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    That's why I mentioned mink, they sometimes drink the blood only.
     
  5. ravingbantha

    ravingbantha Just Hatched

    8
    1
    12
    Apr 5, 2016
    Whitehall, Mi
    Gotcha, thanks. Now I gotta mink proof the area.
     

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