Dead chick mystery. Please help!

Vocjuved

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 14, 2014
13
7
57
I am a new chicken owner. I boughts 15 chicks at our tractor supply. Since i am new, i selected 4 varieties. I had moved them from the brooder to the coop about two weeks ago. The chicks were about eight weeks old.

Last Tuesday I opened the coop door to allow them to go outside into the small temporary run until I could build a permanent run.

The weather was very windy, so I was concerned about them, but they were perfectly healthy. When i returned from work all but two were gone! They were inside the coop, just sitting. I closed the coop and assumed I had allowed the others to escape. The following day I checked and the two that were in the coop were dead! My son looked under the coop and all but oneof the rest were dead under the coop!

We also lost two kittens about 1 month ago without warning and havn't seen them since.


We were told that there is a family of raccoons in a tree next door. My Mother in Law said it was a cat or dog since raccoons wouldn't attack the chicks in the daytime.

Any idea what could have happened to the chicks?

I have since made a new coop and will have a more secure run, but am sad and curious.

P.S. My son brought the lone survivor into his room and put her into our dog kennel until the new coop was built. He is very attached to this chick so I can't allow it to die!
 

bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Mar 15, 2010
14,364
27,112
982
On the MN prairie.
Raccoons will happily attack your chicks during the day. They are usually out and about at night, but if the opportunity presents itself, they will attack during the day, too. This doesn't sound like a raccoon, though. My suspicions would lean more toward a weasel. I had one in my coop a long time ago, that killed most of my flock. I had no idea what it was, because there were no obvious injuries, they were just laying dead on the floor. Upon closer inspection, I found little fangmarks either on the neck or just under the wing (commonly referred to as the "wingpit" in my family). Weasels will bite them and then lap up the blood.
 

longswamp farm

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 7, 2013
26
0
22
Don't know where you live, but here in zone 7 at 8 weeks old if it turns off too cold at this time of the year, which it usually does, that could kill them.
 

Vocjuved

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 14, 2014
13
7
57
Hmm. No, the wind blew increadibly hard that day, but I only needed a sweatshirt. Could high blustery winds kill them?
 

mortie

Songster
5 Years
Feb 16, 2014
2,249
413
201
The Frozen Tundra
Where I live the last 2 weeks have been rainy, cold, windy, and cloudy. Temps have been in the 40's during the day and 30's at night. My chicks will be 8 weeks old this weekend. I really don't think cold/wind alone would have killed your 8 week olds. I am at a loss as to what it was but unless they are somehow really slow to feather in or something, I doubt it was just cold/wind.

I do hope your remaining chick makes it. Do you have other chickens? It's rough on them to be without other chickens. Good luck!
 

Vocjuved

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 14, 2014
13
7
57
Yes they were all feathered in and quite healthy> The weather was not cold that day, just extremely blustery with wind gusts up to the 40 mph's. The only other variable that I can think of is I fed them some thawed out rhubarb. My wife had it in the fridge for about a week then was going to dump it. It smelled fine, so I fed it to the chickens. Maybe it poisoned them?

Anyway, it was sad. I purchased about 14 new chicks, and they are about 4 weeks old now. They have been in the coop full time contained in a stock tank with heat lamp. I am going to fix the fence to start allowing them to go out during the day. Today it will be 72, so they need some sun and grass. I am struggling with how to integrate the old pullet with the new chicks. I know they need to be seperated for at least another month but it will be a management problem. I have to build a cage for them outside as well as in the coop for the time being.
 

mortie

Songster
5 Years
Feb 16, 2014
2,249
413
201
The Frozen Tundra
I have read different things oh rhubarb. Some people say it's okay, others say it's not. Maybe that was it? I'm sorry for your losses :(
 
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