HELP. Something is very wrong here.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by IndigoJaguar, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. IndigoJaguar

    IndigoJaguar Songster

    Mar 5, 2011
    I have 12 chickens of various breeds. They have been acting strange lately but tonight when I went to shut them in, most of them were out sleeping in the snow! We have like 8-12 inches on the ground and several of them are out sleeping in it instead of inside their house. Only one of the twelve is actually in the house. What could be wrong that would make them sleep outside? Some of the are under the shelter where their food and water is but five of them were in the snow!!! One that was in the snow looked like she had run around the yard a few times before settling in the far corner.
    They have been so weird lately and two I found dead in the house with holes eaten in them. I thought maybe all the snow and cold was making them cannibalistic since they won't go out in the snow and stay in the house all day, but now I'm really worried.
    Any ideas???

  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Crowing

    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Check the coop very carefully - you may have some unseen visitors like rats, weasels etc. Any small space - even 1/4 inch will allow access to these critters. The holes in the dead sound very similar to rats or weasel bite. The birds would be frightened enough to not go in the coop for fear of their nocturnal visitor. Good luck, Sue
  3. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2013
    N. Texas
    Check the coop for mites as well.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    What killed them?
    Were the holes from the predator or did they die of disease and snacked on by their flock mates?
    If there was a predator inside, that's why they don't want to go in there and why they've been acting 'weird'.

    How big is your coop? If it's too small it can cause bad behaviors.
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Predator of some sort involved. I would provide a different location roost. Then assume predator moves around on ground in coop before climbing up to roost. Predator will be small. Bait livetrap with a combination of items.

    Also provide picture of dead birds where you found them with wound exposed.
  6. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Songster

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    Something is lurking in your coop. I thought mine was like Ft. Knox until I found a mouse in it. Couldn't imagine how it got in until I saw it scurry out the chicken pop-door. It found a way into the run and then helped itself to the coop.

    Also had a bird in there one afternoon, it got in the same way.

    Hope you find your predator soon.
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Yep, you have some critter getting into your coop. Rats, skunks and weasels will make a hole in the egg. Thoroughly check your coop.

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