Dead chicken: puzzled!!

liannabella

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 20, 2014
3
0
7
Hello. I had small flock of 6 chickens. 5 weeks ago I found one of them dead on the floor of the run. There was a large hole eaten into her abdomen. The upper coop and the run looked like Armageddon had hit with feathers everywhere. I found a few fist sized holes in the fencing around the run which I have since sealed up.

I have since added three 22 week Rhode Island Red mixes. In the past 5 weeks I have not had a single egg produced. By any of them. (The others are 1 1/2 years old and have been excellent producers) The days have been shorter and I have not supplemented with light.

This morning, I found my (head of the pack) hen dead in the upper coop with NO apparent injury whatsoever and a few of her feathers strewn about. She was by far the healthiest, most aggressive and largest of the flock. I also noticed one of the smaller girls had a clear white/brown mixed mucus looking stool this am.

The coop was RE-sealed up this morning (again, a few fist sized holes in the perimeter) and they all look healthy (feathers, appetite, energy)

Lots of info here and many pieces of a puzzle. Any advice out there?
 

liannabella

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 20, 2014
3
0
7
just to be clear, NONE of the hens, the 26 weekers OR the 18 month old ones have produced in 5 weeks. Also, I have supplemented with high protein cat food in the past 10 days
 

dekel18042

Songster
Jul 18, 2013
2,195
305
241
Pennsylvania
just to be clear, NONE of the hens, the 26 weekers OR the 18 month old ones have produced in 5 weeks. Also, I have supplemented with high protein cat food in the past 10 days

What a shame about your hens. I don't know what is going on, but just wanted to ask if the 26 month old ones have EVER laid? Sometimes this time of year the young ones wait until the days get a little longer to start.
Could your older girls be in a molt? I supplement with higher protein like cat or dog kibble when my hens are in a molt to help them grow back feathers faster. I'm not sure it helps with egg production per se but I figure when the feathers grow back they will start laying again.
 

liannabella

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 20, 2014
3
0
7
The 22 weekers have not yet laid, ever.
The older ones did appear to be in a molt about 5 weeks ago but it looks like all feathers are fully grown back in. I did give cat food this last week but still nothing.
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
138,555
270,409
2,027
Out to pasture
Whatever is making the fist sized holes in your fencing - may also be carting your eggs away. Please do post in full detail on the predator threads. The experienced people there will probably be able to determine what type of predator caused this damage. You probably need to replace any poultry fencing with 1/2" hardware cloth that can stand up to predators.
You could also post photos of the holes and harm done to your birds. I'm thinking they are specific night time preds because chickens witnessing an attack will be very upset and afraid to go back . If it was committed in the dark - they chickens wouldn't know what happened.
 

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