Lost a chicken. My heart is broken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ashlea, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. Ashlea

    Ashlea Out Of The Brooder

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    I woke up this morning to find that one of my chickens was dead. My heart dropped. I couldn't bare to pick her up so I had to get my husband. We have a very solid coop and he said it looks as though the other two had pecked her neck. Any help and support is more then welcome, it's needed. She was a beautiful Buff Brahma and my top egg layer but most of all she was very sweet.
     
  2. Fletch83

    Fletch83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sorry to hear this [​IMG]
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    So sorry about losing the hen. It's traumatic, and you probably can't stop trying to figure out why. But don't assume the others killed her. It's highly unlikely. As for her neck looking like it had been pecked, chickens appear more beat up dead than when they're living.

    If you are afraid of disease, I would highly recommend you take her body to an ag lab that does necropsies. It's surprisingly inexpensive, and you will have peace of mind knowing what caused her to die.

    If you choose to do this it's very important to keep her body chilled until you can get her to the lab. I did this last year after a rooster died, and I'm so glad I did.
     
  4. Ashlea

    Ashlea Out Of The Brooder

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    The reason we think the other two hens had something to do with it is because the coop looked like it had been turned upside down. There was blood and feathers, it was terrible. I feel silly being so heart broken but these chickens are my pets and I do really adore them so do my kids. It was a sad sad morning.

    But now my question is, will the two I have be okay. I have heard you should have 3 or more.
     
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Any chance a weasel or rat could have gotten in? Only takes a very small opening. How big of a coop do your birds have?

    As far as the other two being ok with just the two of them, they'll be fine. Though when one passes you'll have one lonely bird left. However, if you can find absolutely no other explanation for this death then the other two pecking her to death then I would not rush to try to integrate any new birds with them at this point.
     
  6. eggsontheway

    eggsontheway New Egg

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    I am so sorry. It is very normal to be sad when you care about this hens. I understand. A couple of weeks ago my husband went our and found one of our Buffs laying lifeless. She has been pecked to the point that we thought she lost her eye and was dead. My husband brought her in the house and we have been nursing her back to health. Every time we try to reintroduce her, the other hens start to peck at her again.
    So now we have a another problem, she is so use to us and being spoiled, that she thinks she is one of us and not a chicken. So I worry that she will never be accepted back into the flock (if she ever was).

    Again, I am really sorry for your loss. It is hard to lose them. I lost a couple of serama chicks last month. They were a week old. One morning they just died, still not sure what I did wrong. I cried like a baby when I lost them.

    Just know you are not alone. We all get attached to this little critters. But remember, they are still animals that are a part of a natural system that you do not control. Things happen. All you can do it love them and treat them with respect.
     
  7. Ashlea

    Ashlea Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2014
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    We have just recently moved our coop and under further inspection I did notice a small dip something could have gotten through. We have had a couple rats here and there, we are in the country. Would a rat go after a chicken?
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Whenever a chicken is found mangled and bloody, it's natural for chicken owners to jump to the conclusion that the other chickens were responsible. Upon thorough investigation, it's found almost never to have been the chickens that killed or injured the victim.

    Rats can be as large as cats and just as dangerous. Weasels are found in almost every environment in which you might raise chickens. So are raccoons and foxes and possums. You have to fortify your coop and run so nothing can fly in, pry its way in or dig under and in. Even owls need only a very small opening to fly in.

    To the poster above with the injured hen, I would reintroduce her and carefully monitor the behavior of the others. Pecking is natural when re-introducing a hen who's been away. It shouldn't go on for more than a few minutes. Watch to see if the reintroduced hen stands up for herself and fights back or if she squats submissively and allows them to beat her up. If that happens, it's not going to work to put her back in with the rest. As for them actually killing her, it's still very unlikely.

    Some of us have a flock with a sub-flock or two where we keep the misfits. Chickens are far more complicated than people think.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Rats will absolutely go after a chicken, especially as docile a bird as a Brahma. And if a rat can fit, so can a weasel--they're viscous little things. Agree it likely wasn't your other hens, unless your Brahma was ill or had another issue going on. Chickens, primal things they are, are happily cannibalistic when one of their own dies and will peck the corpse....doesn't mean they caused the death in the first place.
     

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