Lost my little Rooster yesterday right before my eyes.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by henmama6, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. yesterday I was feeding my chickens. I had 2 roosters and 4 hens. They frequently fought over food. The rooster Little Roo would bite the hens necks and chase them from the food. They have plenty of space and clean area , well fed etc. Anyway as I said I was feeding them chopped up cucumber and they started fighting again. The Little Roo started it with a hen and Next thing I knew my Little Roo was running around the pen squawking and having a hard time holding his head up. He started flopping and before i could undo the wire to get to him (I ran inside for hubbies assistance) When we came out together (Instantly ) he had flopped for the last time and was dead . He had flopped from one end of the pen to the other a 7 foot by 7 foot area. What happened ? Had the one chicken Big Roo bit him in the back of the neck and broken his spine? He was normal and healthy up to this last fight over food. They are well fed I use cracked corn mixed with pelletts for layers and if I don't let them peck at the grass i hand pick 4 to 6 big handfuls of Clover for them daily. They had plenty of water and food available. They like the sour clover I pick for them plus the regular clover. My yard is full of clover. Anyway this last treat was a bowl of diced up cucumber from the garden. Little Roo would start and chase the hens away from the food source and he would bite the hens on the back of the neck. Usually the Big Roo would go after Little Ro after Little Ro acted aggressive to one of hte hens. I didn't see the actual biting of the rooster as I was not looking at him when it happened although I was standing right outside their cage. I was yelling a them for fighting again. Daily and constant behavior. They are only 4 month old so they are prob just beginning to be active as adult behaviors. Teens ? This one rooster was the self proclaimed leader. He was aggressive even with me at Bed time mostly. He would pace the run until the others were inside in bed and I shut the door at night. He watched out for all the others and If I petted one and they squawked he was ever allert to his hens. Hate see him go but am wondering if this kind of killing is normal and happens a lot with young roosters. The big rooster would always retaliate to the little aggressive one if he picked on the hens. So I think he was the one that bit him and killed him. Please let me know if that is the likely reason he did this flopping death march. He could not stand and head drooped until he died within 4 minutes after the neck bite. BTW the flock were so subdued after they saw their brother laying dead in their pen. I took him out immediately and they were and are still so subdued today. The large rooster was acting weird after the death of his brother roo too. Anyway the main thing is what did the neck bite do to the rooster? Did it snap his spine? or did it in some way puncture a lung? There was no blood or anything. If I had not seen it I would be wondering how or why he died. It was very sad to say the least. All the chickens were treated as pets and were held and petted a lot. Some times daily . They were treated with a short time on my lap and on the swing. Something they loved to do . Especially this one the agggressive Little Ro as I called him. I would tame his aggressive behavior by giving him a special time on my lap on the swing. I will miss him but I am glad that the fighting seems to have ended with his end. Has anybody else seen a chicken kill another chicken with one bite to the back of the neck? I am concerned that there was not another reason for this death other than the Death by Bite that i think happened.
     
  2. mortie

    mortie Songster

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    Did you inspect him to see if his neck was broken? Was he standing and running and flapping or was he flopping around without having his feet under him?
     
  3. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Songster

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    Let me 1st say, So Sorry for the loss of your roo....
    I am not a vet by any means, but my guess is it could have been stress...heart attack.[​IMG]
    I had an old hen die before my eyes and she flopped for a couple minutes and when I lifted her up, she kept flopping for another minute or so, then just died in my arms. She was older though, and the day was over 100 degrees. Your roo was young, but I think stress could have got the better of him. Sorry again.
     
  4. I picked him up and his neck was limp and hanging. i could not tell if it was broken or anything. I have not buried him yet. He is in a litter box with a lid on it. Hubby thought he felt a heart beating. I don't think so he was cold a few hours later but I have not ventured out to dig a hole yet. He was trying to run and his head was drooping and he just kept trying to run like that and he ended up flopping around till he was dead. This was all instantly after the last fight and he started it but the Big Roo went after him for starting the fight.
     
  5. mortie

    mortie Songster

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    Ah....if he was dead when you picked him up, his neck would have been limp and hanging like that. Chickens have surprisingly long necks and they do just dangle if you pick up a freshly deceased one. Sorry for your loss :(
     
  6. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Songster

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    If it was from the attack of the other roo, I would be concerned with the welfare of the other chickens. We have 12 roos and 50+ hens all of various ages and separated in 4 separate runs. If your roo is only 4months old and that aggressive, I would rethink keeping him.
     
  7. Thanks I was considering on getting rid of him but I was hoping he would stop being aggressive. Either that or I was going to have to build two pens and two runs to keep him away from the others anyway. I really only wanted hens in the first place. I think I only have one other Rooster now. Big Roo. He is not aggressive at this time. Will have to wait and see how he acts. I learned that if I don't keep him separate he will fertilize the eggs so i still need another place to put him and probably soon. The surviving Big Roo actually laid down in the run last night an odd behavior . Seems like he was waiting for Little Roo to return. I told him to go in and go to bed and I would shut the door. Oddly enough he did as I told him instantly. Usually he was the first Rooster to go into the coop after the hens and Little Ro kept vigil until he waited for me to shut the door on the coop. I am amazed at the nature, etc of a animal with such a small brain. Anyway the day was rather cool here and breezy. Past few days prior to the day he died had been extra hot and I gave them a treat with the hose on mist to water the ground in the run and let them find worms etc. I did this the past two days before yesterday and they liked th coolness the water brought . I kept it on long enough to mud the dirt floor and kept it misted to cool down the temp too. They did not like the hose directly but they seemed to like the water at a slight mist . I did this because it was soo very hot and I had noticed they played in the rain the few times it drizzled here.
     
  8. the one that died was the aggressive one. The other Rooster Big Roo only retaliated to the Little Roo when he was aggressive to the hens. I think the Big Roo is the one that did the fatal bite to Little Roo. Cause he was the one that took after Little Roo after Little Roo attacked a Hen over the food. Big Roo is not aggressive unless he is antagonized and the antagonist is dead. So I am hoping my problems are over. I am hoping it was the neck bite and not a parasite? I had a rabbit die from a parasite. or that is what the vet said. he could not hold his head up we took himn to vet and got meds. although it was not enough we should have followed up with more meds. They only gave a few days worth thinking it would not work. Anyway Rabbit ran crazy and flopped too and ran into a wall several times and squirted blood allover and died . This was about 6 yrs ago so not associated with chickens death. Anyway I was concerned that it was not the neck bite that killed him. It appeared to be the neck bite that did kill him just wondering if others had witnessed such a thing?
     
  9. yea thats what hubby said about his neck hanging. He said it might be heart. Daughter just had a mother cat do same thing. Just drop dead 4 days after they had her fixed. Vets said it was probably her heart. Not infection or anything to do with the surgery? I question that thought even though my Daughter has accepted it.
     
  10. I guess I will just have to watch the others to make sure they are not sick with worms , parasites etc. All appear to be healthy and active. and peaceful at last. Will watch to see if anymore fights etc break out.
     

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