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Dead Hen in cope ! Now everybody is acting wired.. HELP Please

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sandrameissnest, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. sandrameissnest

    sandrameissnest Chirping

    Feb 16, 2012
    yesterday i found one of my 6 hens dead :( she was a happy one always eating and very nice.
    in the morning when i let them out of the cope she was dead laying there ! and the other chickens pecked on her ( it was not a nice picture ) .
    i don't know what happened , or why she died.
    now 3 of the 5 left don't want to sleep in the cope no more... one i found in my shed and the other 2 on a bench.
    what should i do?
    what can i do ?
    Please help.

    p.s i don't think nothing got inside the cope since everything is sealed well. - the night before she died she was fine as well.

  2. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Songster

    Aug 10, 2011
    Indiana, PA
    Sometimes if something is wrong with a chicken, the others will attack the sick one. But that doesn't explain why the others won't go in the coop. Are you sure nothing can get in? It sounds like they may be spooked.
  3. sandrameissnest

    sandrameissnest Chirping

    Feb 16, 2012
    thats what i think- but no i checked and no way something can get it in.
    in the day time they go in- but at night like i said the 3 dont want to go to bed. :(
    i dont know what i should do;
    do you think it also could be the death of the other hen ?
  4. JanetS

    JanetS Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    Sorry about the loss of your chicken. It sounds like something got into your coop to me. Maybe a snake or rat. Do you have a game camera? It's a outside camera that will take a picture( day or night) when it senses movement. It might give you an idea if something is messing around your coop. We use 2 of them. We have a few raccoons around our coop almost every night.
  5. 12321

    12321 Chirping

    May 27, 2012
    Sorry for your loss. Could you tell if hen was chewed on, or was she too badly pecked? It's strange they don't want to sleep in the coop. Sounds like a small predator to me too. Maybe a weasel? They are really small. But if the coop is really tight...I don't know. Is it possible something got in during the day and stayed in? That happened to my Aunt last year.

    If you can do it, and still have the dead hen, I would put her on the floor after it's dark and see if anything comes back. You'd have to get up before the chickens to check. Excellent idea about the game cameras if you have access to one. You can use them inside and outside.
  6. Duffysma

    Duffysma Chirping

    Nov 12, 2012
    Wakefield, Virginia
    I would give them a day or two to calm down. I had a similar experience a few months ago when my little EE, Muffin, died suddenly. I had gone out in the morning to let the girls out for the day and noticed they were making an awful racket, but didn't think much of it. When I went into the coop, I saw that they were cowering in one corner and had to chase them to go outside. I thought maybe they had been frightened by some farm machinery (I live mostly surrounded by cultivated fields). I realized that Muffin was missing but thought she was probably on a nest. Then everything became clear to me and I went back into the part of the coop where the girls roost and I found her lying directly under where she roosted. I know this sounds weird but I believe they were scared to go back into the coop- one even waited so long to lay her egg that I thought she was going to lay it in the middle of my yard. She managed to get under a small bush just in time. That night it was well after sunset before my husband and I were finally able get them into the coop.I have been puzzling over their behavior since this happened.
  7. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Even though you swear that nothing could have gotten into the coop to kill your chicken, that is probably exactly what happened.

    I've had chickens die of natural causes or non-violently, and I've lost chickens to predator attacks. When it was the former, none of the remaining flock was the least upset. They went about life as usual before and after I removed the dead bird.

    When it was a death from a predator, the flock was traumatized as you describe your flock, cowering in a corner, hiding. This was the behavior after every single type of predator death I've ever had.

    So, your chickens, by not wanting to sleep in the coop are trying to tell you it is NOT safe in there! A rat or weasel can enter through the smallest crevice. You need to go over the coop very thoroughly and find out how something could have gotten in. Even an owl can fly in through a very small opening and kill a chicken.

  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Something is getting into coop, likely at night.

    Can top or bottom of door be pried open with you hands even with latch in place?

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