Chicken-sitting for friends.... HORRIBLE morning, HELP! Dead & Missing Chickens... Found 1 baby and

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chem, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. chem

    chem Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2012
    Space Coast, Florida
    hello everyone
    i just joined this forum yesterday. i am a new chicken mommy myself. i have 5 babies that are 5 weeks old. so far so good with my flock. i have some friends who went away on vacation last week and i offered to come down once a day to check on their chickens. please let me explain a little of the background so you understand what i am talking about. my friends actually live on the water. they own a ton of land! people come from towns away to use their land to fish. they load and unload boats there. its kinda like a small family owned fishing spot. they have a bait shop and hold live events from time to time on their land. anyways... they have a friend who lives on a house boat on the land who is supposed to be the one who actually is in charge of feeding the animals and looking after the land. this guy is a great guy with a big heart but he is a drunk and i know he doesnt always get around to checking the pets and feeding them. so i also offered to come everyday to feed the pets and make sure nothing on the land was out of order or vandalized. my friends have 1 cat whom is an outdoor cat. she is getting old and obviously cannot keep catching her own food since old age is catching up with her. i have been feeding her everyday so she doesnt go hungry AND so she doesnt start eyeing the chickens. they also have 2 pigs. the pigs are fine. they are happy and get food and water. they are penned up so there are no problems there. the chickens however....
    my friends have 4 older chickens and 2 baby chicks. there are 3 older hens and 1 older rooster. the 2 babies are around 6 weeks old. not too much older than mine. these chickens are all free range. they have a couple acres of land to roam and they also have a home base next to the house (a coop where they go at night by themselves). well i just got back from checking and feeding the chickens and cat....
    IT WAS HORRIBLE!!! [​IMG]
    LIKE A CRIME SCENE!!!

    when i pulled up and got out of the car i went straight to the porch were the chicken feed is kept. usually the chickens hear me and come running. this time only 1 older hen came running. she was all alone. this is very abnormal for my friends chickens! the older ones were never far from one another. especially the roo! he was always around the older females. i couldnt find the 2 baby chicks either! i kept calling for them and calling for them. these 2 babies are NEVER without one another. for instance, if one baby is lost the other screams for it until they are re-united. well, i finish feeding the one hen that came to me and i go with my partner to look for the missing chickens. i walked to the front of the house and found a TON of feathers spread over a good 10 feet area. no chicken though... i walk further into the yard and find another big mess of feathers. this time i found one of the hens :(
    she had been ripped apart! it was horrible... i ended up finding a shovel and i buried her. i will be making her a little tombstone later today. my partner and i walked the land searching for the missing chickens and chicks for a good hour. probably longer. we couldnt find them! there were no other feathers and no chickens. not even a little peep or cluck! its as if they disapeared. we walked to the rear of the property and walked the train tracks looking and still no chickens. im so nervous. i cant find them! what if they are hurt and i cannot find them :(
    by this time im not only heartbroken but i feel defeated. i walk back to where the chickens usually come to get fed and i start calling out one more time while throwing food on the ground. praying one will come running.... thats when i heard a few little peeps!! i knew it was one of the babies! OMG i found a baby! but its little buddy was no where to be found. only one baby chick :(
    those babies would usually scream so loud if separated. anyways, i follow the little peep and i find the baby stuck behind a fence. i ran all the way around the track to where the chick was holding up on the other side of the fence. thats when i noticed all the little white feathers :(
    the other baby chick was white and those had to have been her feathers... this baby i found alive was hovering in the spot where all the white feathers were found. this poor chick didnt even want to leave the feathers of its friend... i scoop it up real fast and i put the chick in a cage i found on the property and took it home.
    this baby is a female i think. i have to take pics to post to show you all, but i think its a female. i put the chick in the coop/run with my 5 babies and it was so thirsty and stood at the water and drank for a good 5 or so minutes. than it ate so fast like it was going out of style :(
    at first i thought my chicks would be fine with it. but now im nervous. this poor baby just went through some really traumatic stuff and lost its best friend and now my baby sebright is picking on it! im not sure if my sebright is a male or female. but its around the same age. it keeps picking on the new baby! like pecking at it! this little baby is so scared and traumatized it is just standing there letting my bantam sebright peck at it! what can i do to help ease this new baby into my flock? its already had a rough day and lost its best friend. now its at my house living with my chicks. its a new experience and i want this baby to be comfortable and fit in and adjust without issue. im not sure how traumatized this baby is? it just lost its best friend and its such a sweet baby. is it normal for my naughty bantam to peck at it? its not even trying to defend itself. it just seems to stand there. i will go take a pic of the new baby for everyone to see as well. it kinda resembles my barred rock but i dont think its a barred. i just want this baby to be alright. i am VERY new to all of this. i never thought i would be rescuing a chick just shortly after becoming a chicken mom myself. any advice would be greatly appreciated. thank you all for listening and have a good day!
     
  2. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    First of all - none of this is your fault. Your neighbor apparently does not lock up the chickens' enclosure at night (and thus doesn't have you do it) so it's open to any and all predators. That's not a good situation, but, that's how they do it.

    Second, if I were you, if possible, I'd catch the older chicken as well. BOTH the baby and the older one need to be put in separate boxes, or kennels in a quiet, dark, warm place. They are in shock and will be for the next few days or so. You'll want to give them their own food and water - and I'd put electrolytes and vitamins (polyvisol NO IRON) in their water for a boost. If they're at all injured, you'll want to give them lots of protein - like soft scrambled eggs, or some cat food.

    I'm guessing that WHEN the baby is no longer in shock, and had a few days to recouperate, she/he will probably integrate in with your other babies fairly easily. Right now, though, they're reacting to her like a sick chick and might hurt her badly.

    I'm sure others will have some opinions! You're in the right spot!
     
  3. chem

    chem Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2012
    Space Coast, Florida
    thank you klmclain1, i was able to examine the baby real well. it was so nervous when scared when i found it that once i scooped it up it didnt move. i think it was just so thankful to feel safe. it didnt want to leave me arms at first. but i was able to examine the baby and i did not find any marks. whatever attacked the other chick and elders did not get a chance to harm this baby. i took it and isolated it like you mentioned but now i am having a problem with that. when i first got home with the chick i put her in with my other 5 chicks. i have built a very large coop/enclosed run. plenty of room for 5 chickens to frolick and be happy :) so when i first put her in there my bantam sebright was being a butthead and started pecking at her. i was so nervous for her. after a little while that seemed to subside. the sebright will walk up to her and give her a couple pecks here and there but for the most part started leaving her alone. she also seemed to be following my chicks around and eating/dust bathing with them. my other chicks are fine with her. after i read your suggestion i took her out and she is in a small pen i made that is right outside of the big pen. now i have the sebright screaming (as it often does when it cannot find another of the flock lol) non stop for the new chick! because sebright is screaming bloody murder for her i have a feeling i will have no choice but to put the new rescued chick back in with mine lol my little sebright is VERY demanding and will scream til it gets what it wants. now it hovers near the edge of the pen screaming for the new rescued chick! and the new chick is acting nervous now and pacing because of the sebright screaming for her. why is my chick so demanding! it wants to peck at her here and there but now that i took her out its as if i tore the flock apart and the new one has only been with them for a few hours lol
    do you think i should put her back and see what happens? just watch them for a little bit to make sure they will be alright? the last thing i want is to upset any of the chicks lol

    im trying to figure out where i can put the big hen... im going to go back over there and do some more chicken searching. i really hope i can find the roo and other hens. its as if they ran far away. no trace of them at all. just the crime scene feathers and body from the big hen and other baby chick. i might have to try and build a makeshift coop for the older hen til the morning when i can try and get something more reliable built up for her...

    thank you so much for helping me. i really appreciate you taking the time to walk me through this :)
     
  4. chem

    chem Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Mar 30, 2012
    Space Coast, Florida
    good morning everyone, it was a long day yesterday but we managed...
    the rescued baby chick is doing great! i ended up taking her out of isolation and putting her back into the pen with the othr chicks. once i did that little sebright stopped screaming and they all seem to be getting along :) right before bed last night i took a peek into the coop and it was laying side by side with one of my twin reds! that made me happy.

    i went back to my friends and i tried so hard to catch that hen but she was wise to my ways :/
    im sure there are some tips/tricks to catching larger chickens that are somewhat wild. im going to go back this morning to see if the other chickens came home. there was still no sign of them :(
    that roo and his hens should have returned by nightfall....

    well, im going to get my coffee on. have a great morning to all who read this :)
     
  5. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    Sounds like things are going well. The older hen will probably be ok - and if the others are around and hiding, they'll probably come home. I hate to see them not being locked up at night though. That's unfortunate. Pretty cute about your sebring demanding the other chick be brought back! You did it just right!!
     
  6. PtldChick

    PtldChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Thd best time to catch the hen is at night. If she goes into her coop to roost, once she's in there and it's dark, chickens usually don't move (that's why they're such easy prey for predators at night).

    The other adults you haven't found any traces of may be Ok and just hiding out somewhere. Chickens are good at finding their way home, so if you go back periodically, you may eventually find/see them.

    I saw your other post and the barred rock is a boy, and so is the sebright, which may be why the sebright was intially picking at the BR, establishing that HE is the boss of the flock.

    Good luck!
     

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