HELP NEEDED

Dottypotty

Chirping
Oct 4, 2019
62
181
81
United kingdom. West Wales.
Hey guys sad day today, woke up one morning to let my girls out the chicken coop and run at 08:30 am thrusday morning. Went inside to sort there seed and came out 10 minutes later to a dead chicken in the nest box. I thought at first it was a pole cat but actually she was killed by another hen, it was all caught on camera to. They ripped the backside of this chicken open, it was horrible,

They've been pecking eachother for a few weeks now, i thought they were bored but they have everything they need, i used jeyes spray on them and it did stop but sadly ran out and waiting for more to arrive in the mail..

So what can i do to stop this? will i have to neck this chicken? I noticed a week ago a chicken under its wing had a wound to, missing flesh, i seperated her to.. Guess what they attacked her and its all on video.

I thought getting a cockerel would help but this morning at 8:30 when i got them out the coop, they've attacked him and ripped half his bum apart, he's still alive but this is becoming a joke.

The cockerel only arrived yesterday and he did put a stop to there bullying as he lost his temper and tolled them off.

I'm glad i have cctv kitted out inside and outside the coop.

Im in awful shock, i dont want to neck a hen but i feel she needs to be gone.

If you guys need a picture of the cockerel i'll post, its so sad, as this flock was with eachother when they were babies.

Ive had chickens for 8 years now and this is the first time ive witnessed this brutal killings.


I mean ive read online this happens, i put a cabbage in the pen and outside as they free range and they've stopped pecking so far.

Plus if you gys want a picture of the cockerel i'll get one tomorrow as he's asleep in another coop. He's eating, drinking and pooing as usual.
 
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Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
36,673
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Southern N.C. Mountains
I'm sorry for your loss.

Can you please post some photos? Of the cockerel may help, but let's see your housing (coop/run) too, plus some photos of your flock.

If you do happen to be able to post a video of the attacks, that may be insightful as well.

How many chickens do you have?
What are you feeding including treats?

Has anything changed in the 8 yrs you've been keeping chickens? Change in feed, location, housing, bedding, number of birds, additions to the flock, etc.?

Is it possible that a predator (Pole Cat?) may have injured the birds first and what you see on video is the aftermath - chickens pick at wounds. Just asking.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,363
33,467
1,122
Colorado Rockies
Such violence in a flock between chickens is not that common, but it happens. What breed is the hen that did the killing? Is it one single individual responsible or more than one? Breed temperament plays a role in behavior, but other factors can make things much worse.

How many chickens do you have? How large is your run and coop? The things that can contribute to such mayhem are constricted quarters - less than ten square feet of run space per chicken and less than four square feet of coop space. Mixing aggressive breeds with docile or bantam breeds can create imbalance and encourage aggressive behavior.

Another thing that creates behavior issues is having a simple rectangular run with no partitions or vertical space where chickens can escape a bully. It makes it all too predictable that such behavior will get out of hand when there is no place to hide or evade.

Feed that is too low in protein, less than 18% can also contribute to aggressive behavior. Not having multiple feeding stations can cause aggression. In the coop, not having adequate nesting and roosting space causes problems with behavior.

Bottom line: for now, culling this violent cannibal is probably your best short term solution.
 

Dottypotty

Chirping
Oct 4, 2019
62
181
81
United kingdom. West Wales.
I'm sorry for your loss.

Can you please post some photos? Of the cockerel may help, but let's see your housing (coop/run) too, plus some photos of your flock.

If you do happen to be able to post a video of the attacks, that may be insightful as well.

How many chickens do you have?
What are you feeding including treats?

Has anything changed in the 8 yrs you've been keeping chickens? Change in feed, location, housing, bedding, number of birds, additions to the flock, etc.?

Is it possible that a predator (Pole Cat?) may have injured the birds first and what you see on video is the aftermath - chickens pick at wounds. Just asking.
Sure i'll post some photos of the cockerel tomorrow as he's roosting. They get there corn feed, layers, shells, grit etc. They free roam after 12pm when i let them out, but this was all captured on video, no pole cat or anything. The 2 chickens whos doing this is pecking them all and jumping on them all the time.

I did have 5 chickens, all from the same flock, but sadly they killed one so i have 4. They've been doing great for ages but now this has started..

The only thing ive done and i'll admit this, i moved there pen location a few 100 yards away. Ever since ive done this there behaviour has gone really bad.. Was this a mistake? Everytime they go to roost they'll roost on the ground where they were before, i feel they dont like there new area?

I'll get pictures of the setup now.
 

Dottypotty

Chirping
Oct 4, 2019
62
181
81
United kingdom. West Wales.
Such violence in a flock between chickens is not that common, but it happens. What breed is the hen that did the killing? Is it one single individual responsible or more than one? Breed temperament plays a role in behavior, but other factors can make things much worse.

How many chickens do you have? How large is your run and coop? The things that can contribute to such mayhem are constricted quarters - less than ten square feet of run space per chicken and less than four square feet of coop space. Mixing aggressive breeds with docile or bantam breeds can create imbalance and encourage aggressive behavior.

Another thing that creates behavior issues is having a simple rectangular run with no partitions or vertical space where chickens can escape a bully. It makes it all too predictable that such behavior will get out of hand when there is no place to hide or evade.

Feed that is too low in protein, less than 18% can also contribute to aggressive behavior. Not having multiple feeding stations can cause aggression. In the coop, not having adequate nesting and roosting space causes problems with behavior.

Bottom line: for now, culling this violent cannibal is probably your best short term solution.
It's 2 of them, the breeds are Australop i believe. This has recently started to happen after i moved them to a new are of the garden. Ive had them for nealy a year in the same coop, run, diet they love and these 2 chickens have turned into pyschos
 

Dottypotty

Chirping
Oct 4, 2019
62
181
81
United kingdom. West Wales.
@Wyorp Rock


ok guys hes woken up. I feel this could be down to moving there area, as they always roost in there old area and sometimes i have to pick them up and put them to bed..

heres the pictures, so the cockerel i couldnt catch him for now, be warned in future pics the wound is worse.. There pen is open from 8:30 am, then at around 11-12pm they free froam all day long

Also when i found the cockerel the coop was locked, its all meshed and rodent proof to, it was mostly caught on camera.

The pen is for protection in the early mornings, there not stuck in this all day at all, they free roam form 11-12 till 8pm when they go to roost.

cockerels only 4 months old

Also i wont be uplaoding the videos of the first chicken they killed as its brutual to watch, and also the cockerel. It'll upset many people, its not pleasent and i think it would be for the best to leave such gorey content to myself.

Do i care for this cockerel or put him out of misery? I can see some bones to :( hes walking, talking, eating, drinking but i feel i should neck him, you peel his feathers away and its terrible.. I put TCP on it idk what else to do.

Also i'll post the other chickens wound on her side tomorrow for you all to see.
 

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Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
36,673
51,533
1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
I thought getting a cockerel would help cockerels only 4 months old when i found the cockerel the coop was locked
They get there corn feed, layers, shells, grit etc. They free roam after 12pm when i let them out
I did have 5 chickens, all from the same flock, but sadly they killed one so i have 4.
There pen is open from 8:30 am, then at around 11-12pm they free froam all day long
Are they locked in the small coop until 8:30am or do they have access to the larger run at dawn? (first light - when is Sunrise for you?)
You have a camera in the coop?

How old are the others - the cockerel is 4 months - are all the same age?

I'm sorry, but looks like space it at a premium in your coop - with large fowl they need more room.

The cockerel - up to you whether you want to try to treat him or not - it's really hard to see how much damage there is - but I would not put him back with the others until he's fully healed - a wound like that they are going to continue to pick him apart.
Do you have another coop you can put him in or take him inside and place him in a large kennel?

If you want to treat - then flush his wounds well. Trim the feathers away from the wound so you can get a better look at it. Apply an antibiotic ointment or consult your vet.

1591502157300.png
 

Dottypotty

Chirping
Oct 4, 2019
62
181
81
United kingdom. West Wales.
Are they locked in the small coop until 8:30am or do they have access to the larger run at dawn? (first light - when is Sunrise for you?)
You have a camera in the coop?

How old are the others - the cockerel is 4 months - are all the same age?

I'm sorry, but looks like space it at a premium in your coop - with large fowl they need more room.

The cockerel - up to you whether you want to try to treat him or not - it's really hard to see how much damage there is - but I would not put him back with the others until he's fully healed - a wound like that they are going to continue to pick him apart.
Do you have another coop you can put him in or take him inside and place him in a large kennel?

If you want to treat - then flush his wounds well. Trim the feathers away from the wound so you can get a better look at it. Apply an antibiotic ointment or consult your vet.

View attachment 2181011
There let into the big run at 8.30 when they get up, then there let to free roam.

The girls are 1 year olds. Was tolled by many people a cockerel would stop this behavior. It did In the day until the morning, usually when I let them out at 8.30 there still mid roost.

I'll get a picture inside the coop, it looks deceiving to be honest, its a lot larger inside than people think. I've had many visitors who have said the same thing but once you take a peak inside its of a shock lol.

What I did was I widened it inside, so underneath the house I extended it to the floor and added perches, also I made modified the hen boxes.

Yes camera caught the incident. As the coop space is good its in the corner. I've just got them up now at 6am and they're still roosting. My grandparents get there flock up at that time. They advised me to get them out earlier.

Also could it be moving there location? Because ever since on the first day there behavior has been extremely odd. They've been acting strange.

But yes size wise I think its alright for the night, as in the day they free range to there delight. I must say this breed austrolop do behave in terms of not wondering on the road etc.

But yeah again this morning there out in the open and they won't stop pecking or fighting.

I've narrowed it down to one chicken. Its got a really ugly comb and its a vicious witch.
 
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Dottypotty

Chirping
Oct 4, 2019
62
181
81
United kingdom. West Wales.
ok first picture is the bird thats attacking them, the bird with the white chest is the injured one under the wing, the one with the white head is a very vocal lady.

Not the best pictures but least you can see part of the flock.
 

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Floof

Songster
5 Years
Sep 28, 2015
435
492
191
Is it possible they are eating too much of the corn feed? My understanding is that layer feed should make up 90% of a laying hens diet. They like the corn better but it's a treat, not a meal. They need more protein to accommodate laying eggs every day and if they aren't eating enough of the layer pellets then they might be finding protein in more gruesome ways.

I also think that your coop and pen are too small. My hens had a 4x4 coop attached to a 5x8 run and they could exit the coop and enter the run at their choice because I predator proofed the whole thing. I let them have reign of the rest of the yard from 3 until sun down when I would lock them back up in the run and they would hop back into the coop to roost right as the sun went down. Enlarging your run and predator proofing it so they have full time access to it might be an easy enough fix. I made my run shaped like an A frame so that I only had to build and wire 3 walls instead of 4.
 

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