1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Help with Mysterious Death!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by IndigoJaguar, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. IndigoJaguar

    IndigoJaguar Chillin' With My Peeps

    200
    0
    101
    Mar 5, 2011
    My chicken died and I can't figure out why. She was just found laying dead in the coop. No missing parts, no pecking, nothing. She was less than a year old....about 9 months. I have them all living in a greenhouse with electric netting around it.
    I wasn't home at the time she died, so I had my sister put her in the freezer so I can examine her. Today when I was looking around at the back of the greehouse, I noticed a hole tunneled under the back of the greenhouse and it comes through to the front. Small hole...probably an inch or so in diameter. Could this be related, and what kind of animal tunnels right next to an electric fence?? The hole starts inside the electric fence, so it would have to be something that came through the electric fence...maybe? I don't know. I'm confused about this death.
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    43,515
    462
    486
    Dec 22, 2009
    What breed was she?
    Any changes in behavior?
    Any symptoms at all?
    How was her laying?
    Did you perform a necropsy?
     
  3. IndigoJaguar

    IndigoJaguar Chillin' With My Peeps

    200
    0
    101
    Mar 5, 2011
    She was a purebred Ameraucana. No changes in behavior that we could see at all; healthy and active up to the day I left, and my sister said she was fine after that too. No symptoms. She was laying regularly. No necropsy; how would I do that? Just cut her open? [​IMG] I don't think I could do that. She was my favorite chicken. I cried just looking at her after I took her from the freezer.
     
  4. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    43,515
    462
    486
    Dec 22, 2009
    Was she in with a rooster or a aggressive hen? And I've never performed one so not much help there. Hopefully an expert will chime in
     
  5. IndigoJaguar

    IndigoJaguar Chillin' With My Peeps

    200
    0
    101
    Mar 5, 2011
    Nope. No roosters, and I haven't seen any signs of agression among my hens either.
     
  6. IndigoJaguar

    IndigoJaguar Chillin' With My Peeps

    200
    0
    101
    Mar 5, 2011
    bump
     
  7. chefgian

    chefgian Chillin' With My Peeps

    81
    1
    101
    May 10, 2011
    Stow, OH.
    The same thing happened with mine and it was my first "Easter Egger". I never did figure it out, but I will follow this post to see if anyone knows. Good Luck!
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,195
    2,165
    421
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    If you haven't buried her yet, look under her wing (in what is referred to as the "wingpit" in my family) and on her neck for two small puncture wounds. Weasels will do that, and lap up the blood. The other thing is, sometimes chickens just die for no apparent reason.
     
  9. IndigoJaguar

    IndigoJaguar Chillin' With My Peeps

    200
    0
    101
    Mar 5, 2011
    Could weasels get thru an electric netting without getting shocked? I will look if I can thaw her out. *winces* Would there have been any blood in the chicken house if it were a weasel?
     
  10. Lightfoote

    Lightfoote Out Of The Brooder

    98
    0
    29
    Apr 26, 2011
    Quote:I second that inclination - it could have been any one of the members of the polecat/weasel/stoat/mink family. Mink in particular are notorious and are to be found in some of the most unexpected places - though they will most frequently inhabit areas near a body of water.

    They are vicious and voracious predators; nearly fearless and will attack creatures many times their own size. They have an array of sharp, needle-like teeth - they bite until they draw blood (most often biting near warm body areas where veins are near the surface and as bobbi mentions, they will consume the blood. If a chicken is killed by one of these little beasts, the carcass will be virtually emptied of blood and fluids, and thus weigh much less than normal.

    Was the carcass of your chicken much lighter than it ought to have been? If so, that is a(nother) giveaway.

    To catch them - use a live catch trap baited with the recently dead carcass if possible - even if that means thawing it out. They will smell the blood...It may take a night or two. but then once they are trapped, it is best if you tell no one. Simply let the unfortunate beast have a 10-.22 "accident" whilst being relocated, and then "S.S.S."

    Don't relocate and make them someone else's problem.

    Very sorry about the loss of your chicken, BTW...

    Lightfoote
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by