>>> WARNING: Clinically Graphic Description to follow <<<GROSS FINDINGS:
Four adult chickens were submitted for necropsy examination.
Chicken 1: "Helen" New Hampshire Red, 2+ years old, leg Band CTA13610. There was extensive hemorrhage on the head and subcutaneously along the adjacent neck. There were small tears in the skin and some perforations that appeared to be "bite marks." She was in good body condition and was in production with a hard shell egg in the oviduct.
Chicken 2: "Bianca" White Leghorn, 2 years old. There was extensive hemorrhage with tearing of the skin over the head and neck and over the back in the lumbar and coxcygeal areas. There were "bite marks" with what appeared to be chewing on the head. She was not in production but was in good body condition.
Chicken 3: "Comet" Red Comet, born 4/11. The head and neck were missing. There was what appeared to be chewinng of vertebrae at the remaining cervical spine with extensive blood staining of feathers around thoracic areas. She was in production with a soft shelled egg in the oviduct. there was one inspissated remnant of an ovarian follicle in the abdominal cavity.
Chicken 4: "Millie"
SPECIAL STAINS: NA
All 4 chickens: Extensive trauma to the heads and necks with extensive hemorrhage. Extensive trauma to the back areas of one chicken.
Extensive trauma with extensive hemorrhage.
The trauma was characterized by "bite marks" and evidence of extensive chewing and some missing tissues of the heads and necks. The cause was from a "predator" that had gained entrance to the housing of the chickens.
Avian influenza PCR testing was negative.
So, even though chickens can "go after" each other, pecking at each other, that is not what happened in this case. Something did get in to the coop during Storm Sandy, resulting in the death of (now) five of my nine chickens.