Help! chickens dead, not eaten, bloody back of neck

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by guidess, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. guidess

    guidess New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jan 24, 2011
    A few days ago I went out to my barn where the winter coop is and found my littlest silkie dead in the little house. She was kind of stretched out, she wasn t eaten and there was some blood and missing feathers on the back of her neck. The other 3 girls were fine.

    We thought she had just died, and maybe the other hen pecked her to move her out of the next box. The next day, another healthy (seeming) hen, this time a salmon faverolle, was dead, same exact appearance. So I brought the remaining silkie and faverolle into the mudroom and put them in a big rabbit cage until we could figure out what was killing them.

    So this morning I went out and my last faverolle was dead, right in my mudroom in a closed cage! What is going on?!? Is my one silkie a maniac? She is the last hen standing! Could it be that they are dying and the silkie is moving them by their necks and that is why they look plucked? Is there a bizarre disease that could cause this? I am up in the dead of winter where there are not snakes or anything, and any predator would have had to squeeze through 1 inch bars right in my house. Please help. I don t want to keep an serial killer bird, but I don t want to give away one that has a communicable disease. The birds seem completely healthy and happy when I put them to late at night and they are dead by first thing in the morning. I am heartbroken and nonplussed.
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    6,771
    130
    281
    Apr 15, 2009
    This is curious. I was thinking you had a mink at work, but it is unlikely that it came right into your house unless the mudroom was not secure. I am sorry for your losses. I hope you figure out what is going on.
     
  3. guidess

    guidess New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jan 24, 2011
    Thanks for your concern. We are 99.9% sure it was a weasel. My husband saw it streaking away from the cage after having killed my last girl, and he said it looked white, and had a white head when it poked out from under the wardrobe. I am totally gutted. He said it looked really small, smaller than a rat, so I wonder if it was very young, and that is why it took them one at a time and could get into the cage. Salmon favs are so timid and mild, and the silkies are small; it was easy for a beginner. I can t believe how it stalked them and figured out how to get into the mudroom to get them. So now my sweet little hens are all dead and vermin can get into my mudroom. Pretty lousy last few days.
     
  4. barlracer

    barlracer Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    22
    May 28, 2010
    Friendship, Wisconsin
    Hi there. Yeah, does sound like a weasel. They are very small, and the size your husband saw is right. They are nasty little things, kill birds and just drink the blood. once they start coming, they will continue until you kill them. small enough that will go through almost any wire or hole. sorry for your loss
     
  5. sorry for your loss [​IMG]


    i almost jeaulous, i know it seems mean i am, but ive been trying to trap weasels without success, if only i could come to your house, a win win situation.
     
  6. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

    3,091
    622
    298
    Jul 9, 2009
    Auvergne
    I am so very sorry to hear of this - my first suspicion was a rat - we too have weasels here and the young are quite small - we found a dead one here that the cat killed and I was amazed at how small it was - thinner than a rat too!

    Sadly we too get rats and other small predators in the stables and occasionally in the house - we had seven Indian runner ducklings killed by what we thought was rats - their heads were chewed up but none of the bodies were taken - we now isolate all young in predator proof housing ( with their Mom of course) -

    Thinking of you

    Suzie
     
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    6,771
    130
    281
    Apr 15, 2009
    I am so sorry! I wish there was something to say that would make it better, but there isn't. Just know you have my deepest condolences.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by