HELP. Something is very wrong here.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by IndigoJaguar, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. IndigoJaguar

    IndigoJaguar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I would suspect something is going on in the coop at night that they are afraid of--maybe a rat, oppossum, weasel, or some such predator is attacking them. The chicken mite which only comes out at night could also be a culprit, but shouldn't have caused a death. Since two have died, you might want to pay a surprise visit.
     
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    I have a couple ideas that could be possible. First idea would be the red mite. You won't find it on the chicken as it lives in the hen house in cracks and crevices and only feeds at night while the birds are asleep. They are very tiny and hard to find. I've read if you take a white paper and put it in the hen house then come out late at night with a flash light you could see them on the paper. This is one possible way to find them. They come out during cooler months as well. This will make the birds apprehensive and not want to roost at night in fear they will be bitten. They are quite common.look up the red mite and chickens on Google for more information. Another possibility would be mice or rats chewing on them during sleep. Something is making them apprehensive about roosting and you need to find which culprit is behind this. I would lean toward thinking mites but because you had some birds chewed on it could be mice/rats or both mites and rodents. Do some investigative work regarding their house at night and hopefully you can find the culprit or culprits and irradiated them so the birds will once more feel comfortable in their roosts. I hope this is helpful and wish you the best. Let us know what you find upon investigation. Good luck.
     
  4. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definitely check for some predator,check for any openings that some animal is coming through.

    Have you changed/added anything in their house lately
     
  5. IndigoJaguar

    IndigoJaguar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wondered about red mites. They have a small coop that they sleep in at night and it is attached to a straw bale shed type where their food, water,and nest boxes are. The whole thing is surrounded by electric netting except for the very back of the small house. The electric netting connects to either side of that and forms a circle. This summer I saw a dead rat in their yard and noticed that there were no longer any mice in their house at night when I would go out there. Before that therewere LOADS. I think I have seen a hole coming out of the dirt floor under their feeder. I'll have to check it out during the day. Also they are barely eating any food even tho they aren't getting out and free ranging. Could a rat be scaring them away in the day?
    How would I check for and deal with rats? Are there rat traps? I'm seriously bothered by all this. I hate that they are freaked out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  6. IndigoJaguar

    IndigoJaguar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only new thing I have added is a cabbage ball to entertain them.
     
  7. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A rat could have them scared. Seal up any holes/openings,etc. Try removing the cabbage ball,see if they act different.
     
  8. tastybabies

    tastybabies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definately sounds like a rat or possum. possums can get in through holes the size of a tennis ball. scour your coop since they're turning up dead.
     

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