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My canibal flock. :-(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MamaMarcy, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. MamaMarcy

    MamaMarcy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With several eggs hatching and the babies in the brooder outgrowing it and the "dorm" I have set up for teenaged birds not prepared, I moved my feathered teens to the big coop last night. There's 2 coops with a shared run, housing standard chickens, bantams, and muscovies. I nestled them into the bigger of the coops with a heat lamp, food, and water. The big hens were coming in without incident, so I left it as is since the teens didn't seem interested in going into the run. DUMB ME. I just found one of the 6 teens ( a buckeye who I suspect was a roo) laying on the run floor, plucked, and gutted. [​IMG] It was so horiffic I can't go into details. It was just one of the worst things I have ever seen and I've seen a lot. [​IMG]

    The teens are now safe, their coop door locked. The cannibals can't get them.
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Gutted? Like sliced up the belly?

    that's doesn't sound like a chicken attack

    I'd be checking to see what organs if any are missing and looking for rat prints...
     
  3. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 13, 2010
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    Yes, you should check for other predators...though of course adult chickens will attack strange youngsters. I don't add new chicks to the flock unless they're almost grown, or their mothers raised them with the flock.

    Sorry you had to see that! [​IMG]
     
  4. Nightfeather

    Nightfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the flock has a big problem with the pecking ordor you need to find the top mean hens kill them fast so they won"t teach it to the rest of the flock.
     
  5. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Don't think that's necessary.

    chickens don't kill that way - other critters do, or take advantage of the dead chicken.

    I've seen scalping, I've seen tail feathers removed.

    never a gutted chicken. not from chickens.
     
  6. Nightfeather

    Nightfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you might have a rat in your coop you need to get a barn cat to start killing of the rats and other stuff that might be killing your chickens.
     
  7. MamaMarcy

    MamaMarcy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't even know if I can type what I found. I really don't know if I can. It was way too horrible.

    Rodents are very likely, we live in the woods. We have to keep rodent poison in the motorhome & under the house (mice). Cats outside are not an option because they are just bobcat & coyote bait. (cats go very fast around here)

    Did I mention there's also muscovy ducks in the coop?

    I feel so bad because I truly didn't think the juveniles would go into the run after observing them during the day. I should have locked them in the coop from the get-go. I can only assume he went out and got attacked by the other bigger birds (or another predator). He was fully feathered but I suppose he could have died of the cold? Then gotten eaten? I watched most of the hens go into the coop with the juveniles and saw no signs of agression. I've never had our hens seem agressive. We have 2 roosters, a bantam cochin who is very docile and his offspring who is 1/2 barred rock & young (slightly bigger than bantam dad) but also very docile.


    (warning: terribly graphic & sickening:)

    ......
    I found the juvenile laying dead on the run floor. Half it's feathers were gone (and nowhere to be found). It's exterior was completely intact, eyes included, except for a hole where it's cochlea should have been...with it's innards completely gone up to the chest cavity. [​IMG] It was basically a hollow, mostly bald chicken. Feet, wings, head, eyes, all left alone... Just hollowed out thru it's butt. [​IMG] I can only hope it was dead before that happened. [​IMG]
     
  8. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Fair Oaks, California
    i am so sorry! One really has to have a strong stomach if they have a farm. Thank you for posting the gory details as that will help everyone provide you with the best information. i am not an expert, but don't think a chicken would do that. They may peckity peck at a new-comer, and if that new-comer dies they may peck at the remains. But from what you describe it sounds more like a rat. i think any larger predator would have taken out more of your birds. Rats will kill and eat young chickens and ducks. It hasn't happened to me but has to friends. i just hate hate hate rats. They are so hard to kill, especially when you need to be careful and can't put bait out due to your other animals. The best way i have found to deal with them is exclusion - hardware cloth around and buried down and out a foot from pens, and then patience and a pellet gun. i hope you find the culprit.
     
  9. MamaMarcy

    MamaMarcy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 28, 2011
    Snohomish, WA
    we've also seen nutria and weasles on the property...
     
  10. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Nutria aren't a problem, maybe the weasels, especially if you have seen them.

    A well fed fox or cat could do that but the question is where are these things getting in and out.

    Nutria are omnivores but their meat like chickens is insects.
     

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