Found chicken dead - another has tail feathers missing, Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dacdeihl, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. dacdeihl

    dacdeihl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2009
    NorthEast, In
    I raise chickens at a Montessori school where I teach. I walked into the coop this morning with two students to find a dead chicken. It was a teaching moment...blah blah blah. They are not checked on over the weekend so they are given plenty of water and food to last till Monday, But one of my girls is dead!! What happened???

    She had feathers missing around her tail and that was pecked clean to the bone. chickens did that I know, they also ate out her bottom area. YUCK!!!! But chickens are chickens.

    I noticed another chicken has feather missing around her tail and the skin is black and dried blood is there. I'm affraid of the other chickens pecking her to death as well. Any one have any guessed or knowhow as to what is wrong with her? Could it be mites or lice. They have not been dewormed yet either. could it be molting? They were chicks in April so that makes them six months old.
     
  2. Alleychick

    Alleychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    I have been having the same problem only i removed my hen before they killed her. Im a newbie here but i dont think chickens molt until they are 18 months old. I do know chickens are attracted to the color red, so u should remove the living chicken who is being pecked on until she heals up. It could be the pecking order also, that was happening to my hen. They have pecked almost all of her feathers out and she is very skinny. I removed her to try to fatten her back up and grow her feathers back. In any case, i would remove that poor bird before they get her too.
     
  3. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Feather picking can indicate that there is a lack of protein in their diet. It might also indicate lack of space or boredom.
     
  4. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Do a search on site on 'cannibalism' which is what it sounds like you have going on. Usually due to overcrowding & boredom +/- nutritional issues. You need to take a good look at how much space they have per bird, what they have to do that is more interesting than pecking each other, and their diet. You also need to watch them very closely for a few hours and remove promptly any hen that is pecking the vent/tail area of another. It is hard to cure once started, and you may have one or more culprits. Remove in general for the cannibal means culling.
     
  5. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2009
    How many chickens do you have and how big is their coop? Each hen should have a MINIMUM of 4 square feet.
     

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