Lost 2 birds in 4 days

Chui Cat

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 23, 2009
On Monday, in broad daylight, something got into the chicken yard and killed our Rachel. Two or three other birds had near misses judging by all the feathers everywhere. We were home and never heard a thing. Hubby went out and found poor Rachel lying dead in the corner of the yard, she was gone from the shoulders up.

Today, we were working in the bee yard and Lucy, one of our Reds, was making a funny noise. It's really hot this week and she was panting and sounded like she was wheezing. Since we were up to our armpits in bees, we couldn't go check on her right away. A short time later, there was a rapid thumping coming from inside the coop. Since I was getting stung, I broke away from DH and the hives and went to the coop to have a look. Lucy was dead on the floor; she must have had convulsions right before she died.

We examined her to see if there was any injury we overlooked on Monday but found she appeared to be intact. Her vent was very read and puffy. There was a 'knot' of angry red tissue just inside her vent as though she was on the verge of prolapse, but there was nothing visibly protruding out of her.

We are baffled.
Im sorry for your loss
to me it sounds like a hawk may have gotten your poor birdie. I've only ever lost 1 chicken to a hawk- it had eaten the upper bits just as you described. They attack quickly and quietly. As far as your other girl, maybe she was having an underlying laying issue and the stress of everything was just too much for her? Good luck figuring out your predator mystery. I have lots of nasties wanting to cozy up to the chicken buffet- its a full time job trying to keep them safe!

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