Chickens killing chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rasorbackq, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. rasorbackq

    rasorbackq Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2008
    I have 27 layers and one rooster which are 2 years old in one pen. In a second pen I had 20 younger birds 16 weeks. 6 roosters and 14 hens. Pens are side by side 6 weeks ago I found a young hen in with the older birds and its head and neck skin was missing from the comb to the base of the neck. It was still alive and I thought that maybe it would survive. Seemed to be eating and drinking. It new home would be with the turkeys as they didn't pick at her. Next day I put her down she could no longer see as the fluid was in her eyes. Thought this was a one time case.

    Couple more weeks pass the wife finds a young hen in the other coop with her head buried in the saw dust jammed in the corner. Her skin too is also missing but not as close to the eyes. We moved her in with the turkeys and is doing very well still. Her skin and feathers are starting to grow back as a matter of fact the scab just fell off. It was 1" X 3" long.

    I few days after the last attach I found a dead young hen on the other coop It was missing the skin from the neck and was picked right to the bone.

    Then we get 3 very nice looking very colorful bantee roosters and because of their size we put them in with the young hens. They are still half the size of the hens.
    Bantees can fly out all the time and first day they all got into the old birds coop. For their size they held their own against the hens. The rooster was a giant to them but they did not stand down.

    So yesterday I find a bantee rooster all beat up. Covered in mud and is missing his comb. Pecked down to the skull.
    Not sure who did it but a second bantee was also mud covered. So maybe they fought but I tend to think it was the old bags that have been attacking and killing the birds. Any ideas as to what I can do???
     
  2. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    How are your little ones getting into the other coop?? Is there no top on their coop?
     
  3. rasorbackq

    rasorbackq Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2008
    They fly over the 5 ft fence. Keep in mind there are normally other young ones in there at the same time but they are not harmed.
     
  4. rasorbackq

    rasorbackq Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2008
    The old bird can fly also but don't try to get out.
     
  5. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Maybe you should cover the top of their pen with netting or a tarp?
    I'm not big on wing clipping, but it may help in your situation.
     
  6. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    Sounds like you have two problems here. First, you have too many roosters. When mine fight, they go after the comb and head of the other one. So that's what I think happened to your roo.

    As for the neck attacks... that sounds like a coon or a possum. Both will reach through a fence or hole and grab a chicken around the neck. If they can get to the whole bird, a possum will eat the soft insides and leave the wings, legs, and so on. A coon will take the whole bird.

    If I were you, I'd set a trap for whatever it is and bait it with either raw (store bought) chicken or dry dog food. If you use chicken, tie it to the back of the trap so whatever is after it has to pull on it to get it.

    Kathy in Texas
     
  7. rasorbackq

    rasorbackq Out Of The Brooder

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    It is not coons or other critters its the hens that are attaching the young ones. I have seen them do it . My questions is why and how to stop them.
     
  8. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    What size pens do yo have them in? They could be getting stir crazy.
    Can you let them free range on oppisite days and see it that helps?
     
  9. rasorbackq

    rasorbackq Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2008
    Coop are large and they get to free run every other day. Unfortunately they do not like the snow.
     
  10. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    You can't stop them, you need to give them more and better things to do than harass, kill and eat each other. More space, more things to do. The picked on ones needs more space and places to hide to get away from dominant birds. Attacks and cannibalism happens when there are bored and confined birds. Or too many roosters. One rooster per 10-15 hens, but most roosters can't be kept with other roosters unless you have LOTS of space.

    In commercial houses where there are a bunch of birds in tight quarters- they chop off half of the top beak, to keep them from hurting/killing/eating each other. Not recommending doing this, but chickens attacking other chickens is common in high stress close confinement set ups. How much space per bird do you have?

    Less roosters, more space for the hens. Separate completely the young one and the old ones. Chickens do not tolerate new chickens and will try to drive them away. Introductions need to be done carefully- whole different topic.

    Free ranging birds almost never eat each other, but will still attack new comers. Roosters will attack and try to drive each other away, if the loser can't get away it will be killed if possible. Dominant/aggressive attacks- will generally be directed at the head, eyes, comb ect. The meat loving cannibal hens will usually go for the vent. Dominant hens will peck the heads of new inexperienced roosters, chicks not protected by another hen, or any new birds.

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