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chickens suddenly turning on each other! please help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by barefootfarmgal, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. barefootfarmgal

    barefootfarmgal New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2014
    Hello, I am new to this forum as well as fairly new to chickens. In the spring we purchased 4 full grown birds (all from the same farm). Shortly after added a young rooster, and then 2 more chickens. Other than normal pecking at the beginning to establish a pecking order, they have gotten along wonderfully, not a single feather missing from anybody ever. They have a small hutch they go in at night, as well as a fenced in run (about 15 feet?) And every weekend and evening they free range. They would all the time, except i run a daycare out of my home the rooster isnt safe around kids....he can be a bit of a jerk ;) anyway, About 4 days ago it snowed for the first time of the season (I live in ontario) and since then we have had one near fatality (2 days ago)and just tonight I found one dead, pecked right to death. I read on here bordom is often the case, do you think this applies to us? Maybe because they cant scratch and peck at the ground anymore? both times it has happened when the door to the run was shut. I plan on letting them free range all day every day now, and just catch the rooster when we want to play outside. Could it be their stress level from the cold? It went from balmy fall to freezing winter in a week flat. What can I do??? I love my chickens, i am beside myself over this loss. I have nursed my injured girl in the comfort of my kitchen, fed and watered her back to health right out of my hands. I only wish I got to the other one sooner. I was out giving them food and water at 1pm, she hadnt a mark on her, and when I went out again at 6pm she was dead.
     
  2. barefootfarmgal

    barefootfarmgal New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2014
    ...now that I think back to it, I am pretty sure the door was opened during the first incident. Dang.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just wondering if it is more detrimental to chickens if the temperature drops suddenly or if it happens more slowly and the chickens have time to acclimate to it....
     
  4. barefootfarmgal

    barefootfarmgal New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2014
    Anyone?!
     
  5. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC!

    I would take the rooster out of the mix and see if the problems continue.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  6. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How big is hutch that they sleep in at night? If crowded they will turn on each other like a pack of rabid dogs and the first one down with wounds,will be attacked by the rest(we don't refer to them as raptors for nothing)provide more space and provide items to alleviate boredom. No i do not believe that the rooster is the problem..
     
  7. barefootfarmgal

    barefootfarmgal New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2014
    It's just so strange they were fine in said hutch all summer...however this has solved the problem thus far. we moved them into their new, bigger and insulated hutch and have had no further problems. Also gave them a straw bale to pick at and let them free range all day every day. Thanks for the advice everyone!
     

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