chickens killing chicks and other animals?

bullin82

Hatching
7 Years
Oct 21, 2012
1
0
7
So my mother in law has a flock of about 25 to 30 chickens. She noticed that they had killed and eaten a chick and a small cat that wondered in the run. Is this normal or is there a disease she should worry about? The chickens are about 8 months old and she doesnt notice any egg laying or evidense that their eating the eggs.
 

fried green eggs

Songster
8 Years
Mar 25, 2011
1,905
81
181
S.E. Michigan
At 8 months they sould have started laying. Mine are 8 month old and are slowing down a little do to shorter days. Do they free range out of the run? They could be hiding eggs somewhere other than going back to nesting boxes. They are canibals and will peck on chicks or other small animals and draw blood. Once hens see blood they all with peck on it more until they kill.
Chickens don't like mustard so a egg can be blown out and refilled with mustard and left in nesting box.
 

janinepeters

Songster
10 Years
Jun 9, 2009
906
87
153
It's normal. Chicks aren't members of the flock yet, so if a mother hen is not able to protect them from her flockmates, or if you just mix chicks in with older birds, they will sometimes kill, or at least terrorize the younger chicks. Always raise chicks separately if they don't have a mother hen. If they do have a mother hen, watch and see how well she is able to protect them from flock mates, before leaving them and her with the flock.

I'm not too surprised about the cat, either, if it was very small, and especially if it was a kitten. If cats behave aggressively towards them, they are usually somewhat afraid of it, but if any small animal behaves submissively, they will sometimes attack. They might start picking at and eating the dead cat, too, as chickens are omnivores.

As for no eggs from 8 month old chickens, try adding store bought eggs to the nestboxes and see if they disappear. If the chickens are not eating them, some other animal might be stealing them.
 

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