Did my Bantam kill my Barred Rock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jhs51684, May 30, 2017.

  1. Jhs51684

    Jhs51684 Chirping

    Mar 29, 2015
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I woke up to a dead 4 month old Barred Rock today. My flock includes 3 Bantam Old English Game Hens and 3 Plymouth Barred Rocks (well, unfortunately 2 now). The Bantams are 3 years old and the BRs are 4 months old and I integrated them with the bantams at 2 months old. The BRs are already twice the size of the bantams, but the bantams are dominant over the BRs, seeing that they've been in the coop longer.

    Today, I found a motionless BR. There were no signs of a fight. No loose feathers or cuts/scars. I found the BR in the nest box with a single drop of blood underneath it. Typically the bantams sleep in the nest boxes and the BRs sleep on the roost. I checked the coop first thing in the morning (5:45 am), all the other hens were up, except the dead BR who I found in the nest box. I don't know that a BR has ever slept in a nest box.

    I'm worried that the bantams may have attacked the BR. Is this possible? The BR is twice the size of the bantams and they have been living in the same coop for 2 months now. Is this common behavior? If it was an attack would there be signs like loose feathers and wounds?

    Any help would be appreciated and I sure could use the piece of mind.
  2. AnneInTheBurbs

    AnneInTheBurbs Crowing

    Sep 8, 2013
    Bucks County, Pa
    I wish I could help, but it sounds like they may have attacked her. Did you see where the blood came from? Can you examine her again? Feathers and down can hide a lot. So sorry you lost her. Maybe you can observe them and see if there are still any conflicts.
    Jhs51684 likes this.
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    If your bantams had killed it, I'm quite sure that there would have been signs of a struggle. When chickens resort to killing one another, it's usually pretty ugly. I'm guessing you had a weasel, in which case you're going to have to inspect your coop very thoroughly to make sure it doesn't happen again. The smaller weasels can get in a hole the size of a nickel.
    Jhs51684 likes this.
  4. Jhs51684

    Jhs51684 Chirping

    Mar 29, 2015
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Thank you for the reply! There was literally 1 drop of blood under her body that I found in the pine shavings. This is the first time I've dealt with a death in the flock so I didn't inspect too thoroughly as I was a bit freaked out. I really hope it wasn't an attack. I just can't see this hen, that is easily twice the size of the bantams, being killed by them. There are 2 others BRs and I hope I check on a happy and healthy flock tomorrow morning.
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I think it was a weasel and if so, he will be back. Or the bird died of natural causes. Some thing not quite right internally. In a flock fight there would be feathers everywhere, if the bird was feeling poorly, it might not get as high on the roost, and chose to stay in the nest.

    I think the bird just died. It never is good, but it just happens.
    Mrs K

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