Chicken murder!!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by plantguy90, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. plantguy90

    plantguy90 Songster

    Oct 4, 2009
    Moorpark, CA
    OK, I'm new at this, but didn't expect to discover a dead hen so soon. About four-five weeks ago I started with 2 pullets a black sex-link and a brahman, no problemo, a week later I added a rhode island red and everyone was happy, no fighting, no signs of dischord. Less than a week ago I added a buff orpington, they were all about the same size. Well I noticed the Black SL (the most dominant one) pick on the orpington a bit, but the biggest bully was the Brahman. I was and still am a bit worried about the Orpington, and maybe I will separate them if it continues. I do have multiple feeding locations.

    But the wierdest things is today I discovered my Red dead in the coop. She didn't fight with anyone, and she got along just fine with my two biggest bullies. The Orpington is so hen pecked I dont imagine the buff and red got into a deadly scrape. So I dont know what could have happened. I rarely leave the place for long, but today was one o those days where I was gone for about 7 hours. They all slept together. I can see red marks along the backside of the red where there was a lot of pecking?

    Can anyone clue me in?
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Did you quarantine? For at least 3 weeks?

    If not you could soon have another three dead.

    Also, I never add just one bird. There is power in numbers. The more the merrier.
  3. plantguy90

    plantguy90 Songster

    Oct 4, 2009
    Moorpark, CA
    No I didn't quarrantine, they are from the same breeder, didn't know about that little aspect of chiicken raising... My father in law seems to think the Red caught something and died too, there wasn't and blood or open wounds, just a bare area around the leg that was red, and another featherless patch downside which I am not sure what caused that. Guess it was some cold the new one brought, the weather is geting cold around here, I mean its just getting about 48 a few nights.
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Here is some info on adding chickens:

    It really is a bit more difficult to do than just throwing them in together--a dead chicken is not at all surprising. I use the "pen next to each other for 3 weeks then integrate carefully" method. Make sure the rest of them have plenty of room (AT LEAST 4 sq. ft. in the coop, 10 sq. ft. in the run) and at least 2 separate feeders. If there is any heavy pecking (blood) still going on you will have to separate them out and try again later.
  5. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Songster

    Jul 1, 2009
    This happened at our farm too, sometimes chickens just up and do that.

    Thats my only explanation!! [​IMG]
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:There are two other possibilities to consider, which are that either the hen died of other causes (perhaps related to laying, perhaps not) and the others pecked at her dying or dead body, rather than actually being the *cause* of death; or b) depending on the nature of the blood on her underside, it is possible that she prolapsed while laying and that *does* often attract other hens to peck mercilessly at the area, and that or the prolapse itself can be fatal.

    Other than it's a reminder of how it's worth keeping an eye on your hens' bottoms for any signs of laying trouble or social damage there, it is quite possible that this is just "one of those things" that you could not necessarily have forseen or done anything about, unfortunately. Getting all your chickens at once will help too, but won't entirely prevent social problems from occurring, even if that *is* what happened here.



BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: