Help! What happened?!

SCchickengal

In the Brooder
Jun 4, 2021
58
43
43
Help! We have our first backyard flock of 9 hens. Our 3 original chicks were purchased in April of this year. They are a Barred Rock, a Buff Brahma, and a Columbia Rock Cross. They have lived peacefully together all of this time. We purchased 4 more pullets in July, and integrated them together about a month ago. The seven of those pullets have lived together peacefully—we haven’t observed any fights or injuries. Then my husband brought two more home a few weeks ago. We’ve just started monitoring them together this past week. Everyone has been fine aside from the occasional peck— the July chicks have been more interested in the two newbies, but no fights. Only an occasional peck. Today, I left our flock out back free-ranging when I went out for a twenty minute errand. We came back, my daughter found our Columbia Rock Cross laying in the yard. Then bird was breathing, but severely paralyzed on one side, basically could only flop around, running into things, etc. Anyway, the whole thing was super upsetting. I herded my kids in the house, with tears (mine included 😓) and called my husband to put her out of her misery (when I left her she had run into the chicken fence like a pretzel, neck totally limp bending the wrong way against the fence and all, but I could still see her chest moving.) On the way back up to the house, I observed ALOT of feathers near where my daughter had originally picked her up from “laying down to sleep” (shes 5). Her white feathers and the feathers of our Buff Brahma. The Brahma has no wounds, only a slew of missing tail feathers that are very clearly on the ground mixed with the white feathers from the Columbia Rock Cross. My husband said the CRC didn’t have visible injuries, only bleeding from mouth. Up until now, we were convinced that the Barred Rock was the dominant chicken in our flock (we don’t/can’t have roosters where we live). Can someone tell me what on Earth may have happened?? Should I be worried about the Brahma? Should I be worried about disease? We are very new to this and have been totally caught off guard.
 

SCchickengal

In the Brooder
Jun 4, 2021
58
43
43
Also to add, the CRC has been fine— foraging in the yard as usual, laying eggs per usual, nothing amiss at all. The only thing in hindsight I am questioning is the fact that about 1.5 weeks ago, she had a small Knick on her comb and there was the faintest sign of blood under the feathers on her head. But that went away and all was well. I assumed then that it was either snagged on something while foraging or MAYBE a little squabble that resolved but happened to just catch her comb. I’ve not seen this chicken be bullied or bully at all though, so that is confusing. When they have been in the coop at night, we have two roosts— the CRC, Barred Rock and the 4 July chicks are all on the top roost. The past couple days my husband says the BB has been on the second (lower) roost (the newbies aren’t yet in the coop). Does any of this mean anything?
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,966
29,734
952
Germany
Sounds like the result of a predator visit. Very sorry you lost her this way, but take action to prevent your other hens from suffering the same fate.
Set up some game cameras and get electric fencing, although this would not help to prevent air attacks.
 

SCchickengal

In the Brooder
Jun 4, 2021
58
43
43
Well, we live in a subdivision, on only .80 of an acre, and have a very animal proof privacy fence around our whole yard (we have dogs). I was only gone for twenty minutes, and we have security that catches movement on 3 sides so I don’t think “big” predators are to blame unless they can hop a 6 foot fence undetected by movement cameras, but not sure about arial visitors. I’ve attached a pic of the feathers where they lay (the CRC was originally found about 5ft away from this), it’s only about a 7 foot radius of feathers. Largely concentrated in one spot. No blood or anything in this area. And then a pic of where I just went out to find the Brahma to check on her. She’s alone, under the coop just laying there but I notice there are small fluffy white CRC feathers all under there. No Brahma feathers. They both had already laid their eggs this morning. Still convinced this is an attack of a visitor? I’m so distraught! 😓
 

Attachments

  • 0C5290DE-E0C8-4F76-830F-23E8B5C2A9FE.jpeg
    0C5290DE-E0C8-4F76-830F-23E8B5C2A9FE.jpeg
    716.6 KB · Views: 4
  • 26A85B76-2BC6-44B7-966B-D664A6BF1EB0.jpeg
    26A85B76-2BC6-44B7-966B-D664A6BF1EB0.jpeg
    1.4 MB · Views: 4

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,966
29,734
952
Germany
A cat, raccoon, weasel, fox or opossum could have climbed your fence without a problem.

Or perhaps one of your own dogs could have paid a short visit slipping through the gate...
 
Last edited:

SCchickengal

In the Brooder
Jun 4, 2021
58
43
43
Haven’t seen a raccoon or opossum the whole time we’ve lived here (it’s a heavy residential/traffic area). Does anyone make anything out of the lack of visceral wounds but blood coming from the mouth?
 

Kiki

🙄🤚Do More!
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 31, 2015
125,862
830,703
2,182
Houston, TX
My Coop
My Coop
Haven’t seen a raccoon or opossum the whole time we’ve lived here (it’s a heavy residential/traffic area). Does anyone make anything out of the lack of visceral wounds but blood coming from the mouth?
Were your dog's outside?

It is entirely possible to have internal wounds with no visible outside.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom