Disaster Stikes.....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by paulandashia, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. paulandashia

    paulandashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2008
    Wasilla, Alaska
    I have not been on in a while, but needed a place to Vent, and share...

    Oh, what a HORRIBLE week!!!!
    I have a nice, large coop, easily big enough to house 40+ birds comfortably in the winter (1/3 of the coop even has a SECOND FLOOR, and there are MORE than enough roosts above THAT for over 50 birds..!!!!), I can keep many more in the summers since they are ALWAYS out during the long, Alaskan days, free-ranging and playing, and are never inside, except to lay and sleep....

    Here is the whole story.....

    At the end of last winter, I had about 35 birds of my own in my coop, and almost a year ago (in the spring), a REALLY good friend of mine (who is the MOST WONDERFUL person to EVER walk the face of the PLANET), ran into some trouble, and had to down-size her flock (apparently the area she lives in only allowed a certain number of birds, and she was WELL over that number). I LOVE this woman, she is MORE special to me than my own family, who does NOT get my love for my Chickens, including my hubby!!!), so what else could I do, but (GLADLY, and HAPPILY..!!!!) take ALL of her excess birds in... Roosters and all. I did not care, she has ALWAYS been there for me whenever I need her, for ANY reason, and at ANY time, and I would do ANYTHING for her! I would have gotten rid of ALL of my birds for her! It was early summer / late spring at the time, and although my coop can house MANY, it was just too crowded, so I got rid of half of my own birds (with NO regrets(including my roosters, who proved to NOT to be able to tolerate new roos in their coop)) to make room for my friends Babies. At that point, more than 75% of the birds I had here were hers.... It was a wonderful arrangement for all of us (and made me feel SOOO good to be able to help her out!), and everything was BEAUTIFUL for months! Nothing was wrong...

    Then winter came, and, being in Alaska, and the winters being so long, the birds were feeling "cooped up", and would not go outside. And although I ran into this before, when during the winter some of the birds end up with the feathers on their backs being plucked, nothing "terrible" ever happened. We always used to Spray the bare-backed hens with Blue-Kote..... This year, was going like any other..... Everything was going well... We were getting excited about summer being just a couple of months away, and starting to talk about how WONDERFUL it will be to see our babies go out and enjoy the green, and warm sunshine again, outside of their coop and enclosure....

    This winter was hard, and although the hens were sprayed with Blue-Kote many times a week, the feathers were still being plucked.... But, everything seemed OK, and there was not any issues other than the feather picking.... So we left it alone, and kept on spraying the Blue-Kote....

    Then a bit over a week ago, all HELL broke loose!!! When going out to feed and give fresh water, we found a dead bird in the Coop, it was eaten starting at the vent, insides pulled out.... Just terrible... 2 other hens were seriously injured (my friends hens)... One was hurt / ripped at the vent, bloody, and mangled, and another had a hole ripped out on her side. I have had birds for a few years now, and NEVER seen anything like this.... I called my friend IMMEDIATELY, and she came over right away.... We thought something had gotten into the coop, and walked all around, but found NO tracks from a potential predator (the coop is fenced all around, and they have a LARGE run, and part of it (about 100 square feet) is covered, so it is a snow/wind proof area for them during the winter...
    Since I can NOT handle blood and gore, my friend took the 2 injured birds home, and is (still) being a Nurse for them, taking wonderful care of them....
    We made some chickens saddles, and we saddled ALL the hens that were plucked on their backs, even if there was a feather out of place, they were saddled.... Fearing the birds were going CANNIBAL, I sprayed a "No-Chew" bitter, and utterly DISGUSTING spray on the bird's rear ends, vents, sides, backs, wings, and necks....
    Everything was OK for a week...
    I went to check on the birds yesterday, and saw my favorite hen (a dark olive egger, and the ONLY Olive I had, who was my BABY), sitting on the nestbox, laying, so I scratched her neck, talked to the birds, and went back inside the house.....
    An HOUR later, I went back out, to gather the eggs (the Olive Egger eggs I was collecting to put in a Bator to hatch, as she was PRECIOUS to me!), and when I walked in the coop, my Olive egger was BLOODY in the rear, looking like get GUTS were ripped out of her, frantically running around, with a couple of hens and a rooster following her... I FREAKED, and gathered her up in my arms, carried her to the house (leaving a blood trail as I walked, and put her in a kennel, when I did, blood squirted all over the floor.... I screamed, then went back out and looked at the other hens... A LOT had wounds on them... Near vents, and on their sides.... I called my friend, I was HISTERICAL, saying I wanted to get RID of them all, because I could not handle anymore of this... I was TERRIFIED to go into my OWN coop now! Since the first bird was killed a week prior, I was scared of cannibalism..... I was having NIGHTMARES about my babies being eaten alive by the other hens! And I mean vivid, terrible dreams!
    My friend tried to calm me down, said we should sell some of the birds, and she came right over..... While waiting for her arrival, I saw her Prized rooster try to go after the vents of a couple of hens, and realized that HE was a part of the group of birds that were doing this!!!
    I KNEW that I could NOT sell them as "layers", because they have gone cannibal on me, and I could not bare to sell them to someone and have THEIR flocks damaged..!!!
    I know a woman who is oriental, and she, and her family LOVE fresh birds, so I called her to come get them for cheap....
    My friend showed up first, and she helped me go thru the flock and decide which ones to get rid of..... And when the lady showed up, and they were packing up the birds to take away, I kept on loosing it, and crying like an idiot.... I felt so helpless.... a FAILURE..!!!!!! Most of these birds, including a BEAUTIFUL Lavender Orpington rooster who was a CHAMPION, were my FRIENDS.!!!!! I do not know WHAT I did wrong to cause this. I have NO idea, but I feel SOOOOO terrible..!!!!! (crying again)
    My friend thinks she can save my Olive Egger, And she took her home with her when she left, and is trying to nurse her back to health.... (Crossed fingers)
    She says that it was NOT my fault, and that it is the nature of the chicken, but they were MY responsibility! And this happened at MY house!!! It's MY fault.!!!!
    Today, I went out, and trimmed the beaks of all the birds I had left to prevent anymore problems.... I am doing the Salt-Water treatement. I am cooking Fish/meat pots to boost protein. I am serving cabbage, carrots, lettuce, apples, broccoli, and MUCh more to try to give them SOMETHING to peck, OTHER than each-other......
    I don't know what else to do...
    I went from a flock of 43 to less than 20... in a DAY....
    I do not think that I will EVER forgive myself for what happened.... I am just going to have to make it up to my friend.... Somehow...... I searched online, and bought her 10+ CHAMPION ameraucana eggs, they are supposed to be VERY blue, and the birds are supposed to be TOP OF THE LINE.!!!! I don't know what else to do to try to rectify this... I feel SOOOOO terrible..... Like I FAILED her..... Most of these birds were HERS....

    Thank you guys, for reading... Just needed to share.....

    Less than 2 Months til SPRING!!!! (Hopefully no more birds decide to KILL eachother!) In the meantingI will do what I can to prevent this EVER AGAIN..!!!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  2. Squawkbox

    Squawkbox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's horrible! I cannot imagine the birds cannibalizing each other! That is just disgusting and disturbing [​IMG].
     
  3. THATS AWFUL! I feel bad for YOUR chicken

    i have a BFF just like the friend you have, I would do ANYTHING for her, but its not your fault. Trust me, I would be searching online buying her a HORSE (she loves horses) if that happened to my friends pets (shes not a chicken fan... yet.. :p) but you have to realize, it was not your fault. You did all you could, you sound exactly like me, I would freak out cause of the gore, I would be buying my friend (equivalent to your champion eggs) a horse, but, the one thing that we most have in common is, we would think its our fault. Its not, dont put this guilt on you, OK, hope everything turns out well

    what town you in? not too many AK folk on here
     
  4. I feel very badly for you. So sorry that this had to happen. Please don't blame yourself, you are NOT responsible. You have a nice large coop and outdoor runs but if they don't want to go out and just stay inside, even if the weather is nice, there's nothing else you could have done. Now if you had kept them all locked into the coop and not let anybody outside, then this would be your fault. I don't think you did that. They were over crowded and they took it out on each other. There are chicken bits that you can get. The metal ones are best. I think the plastic ones are really tight and cause a lot of discomfort. The metal ones are sharp though so you need to file the ends til they're nice and rounded and smooth. Keep running your fingers over them in all directions to see that they're smooth. Then they can be put in the chicken's beak and squeezed so the ends rest in the nostrils. Getting it snug without being too tight is the trick. They sell special pliers to put them on with. We were having a lot of trouble a couple years ago with cannibalism... nothing this bad though. A lot of feather plucking and a few birds had some bad wounds but nothing like what you described! I certainly feel for you and understand how it could give you dreams. Hope you find a quick solution and stop blaming yourself.
     
  5. paulandashia

    paulandashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2008
    Wasilla, Alaska
    And CochinBrahmaLover.................

    Thank you.... It is SOOOOOOOO nice to know I am NOT a freak thinking this was my fault.......
    You would be surprised how many people told me "OMG, like, she had you take care of her chickens and then they went LOCO and you are blaming yourself?"
    OMFG, REALLY?????? My Coop is MORE than large enough to handle 40 birds.....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This was NOT HER fault..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was MINE.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I should have thought of more "entertaining" things for them to do.... I should have thought of SOMETHING.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And DO NOT TRY TO BLAME ANYTHING ON MY FRIEND CAUSE I WILL SQUASH YOU LIKE A FLIPPING COCKROACH.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
    (Seriously, I would DUMP ANYONE in my life if they tried to put HER down...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
    (and I did one person already!)

    And....... I can not handle blood and gore, (why she took the injured birds home, since I am a chicken myself), and if anything EVER goes wrong I DO blame myself...!
    Everything was going good, and then.............. BOOM.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hubby tells me that if I can not handle stuff like that, I should NEVER have gotten chickens.............
    WHATEVER.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I tried to tell him that as a FEMALE, I am AUTOMATICALLY PROGRAMMED to CARE for ANYTHING under my care............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (including his 2 kids!)
    Yet, he does NOT GET IT.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




    Lacy Blues........... WHAT are Chicken Bits???????
    I have never heard of them, and I would LOVE to know...........
    Do they HURT them? Are they Uncomfortable? Do they get used to them (like the chicken saddles, that are not painful, just "weird" and after a bit, they act like they are not even there?)

    Sorry for so many questions..................
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  6. paulandashia

    paulandashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2008
    Wasilla, Alaska
    IGNORE ****posted twice!***
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Slap some pinless peepers on those birds. That's the "bits" that were mentioned. I prefer the plastic ones.

    I am so sorry for your situation and losses. A disintegrated flock is an awful sight to behold. I had a similar flock issue last winter, but mine never got as severe as yours. I, too, had to cut my flock in half despite having enough room for twice the number of birds that I had. My problems were related to a bad roo, and it sounds like yours may have been too.

    I hope your flock settles down. Spring is coming.

    Good luck.
     
  8. paulandashia

    paulandashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2008
    Wasilla, Alaska
    Pinless Peepers.... I was confused as to what they were, so I googled it.... I read all the feedback, and it would be a WONDERFUL solution for the Winter!!! (Would take off in the summer though as the girls are allowed anywhere they want to go, and we have NO problems at all..............

    Only problem is.......
    I can NOT afford to pay that much for each one! LOL It might seem silly, but we are a 1 income family at the moment (for the next year and a half or so).....
    Hubby does not make much, and we are barely scraping by as it is...... (Seriously, bringing in less than $2,000 a month, and the mortgage is $1500, Electric is about $200 to $250 a month, Gas is another $200 or so, much less gasoline, food, car insurance, and much more...... Just not cost effective........
    (one of MANY reasons I watch kids occasionally at my house!!!) LOL

    The Hens used to earn their keep by laying... I could sell their eggs, and buy feed..... But Now...... I dont know.......

    Having to pay $20 to cover a single set of these is not really an option for me... (believe me, I WISH it WAS!!!!!) But we are "Poor Folk", and likely to stay that way.......
    Neither of our families has any money.... And even if they did, they could care less.... :) So we do what we can with what we have........ :) And are grateful for it. :)


    Any other suggestions? LOL


    PS: all the birds are ****** at me right now.... :(
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  9. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  10. paulandashia

    paulandashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2008
    Wasilla, Alaska
    THANK YOU! So much!
    I just ordered 20 of them...
    LOL Serves me right for not looking at more than one site.... LOL Too eager I guess...
     

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