Mysterious wound on back causing loss of feathers and death....???????

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chikachickens, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. chikachickens

    chikachickens Hatching

    Mar 10, 2009
    First of all, Thanks for everyone's help.

    We have had a hard first year with our first flock of barred rock and r.i. reds, having lost over half of them to predators and mysteries illness, but the members of this site have been wonderful in helping us make sense of our mistakes and avoid a few catastrophes.

    We lost another chicken (all about 1 1/2-2 year old) last week and are afraid we are loosing one now to the same pest/disease/predator?

    In the R.I.R. we lost last week, we found her in shock standing motionless with head inches from the ground. She was covered in ants. She had somehow lost a significant number of feathers on the back of her neck just above her shoulder blades. Her feathers looked healthy elsewhere.

    In that spot she had a large hole that opened into her body cavity (what the ants were chowing on).

    Today we found a second RIR had lost many of her feathers in the same location last night, she is not bleeding but her skin looks bruised and there are two markings (small scabes) that look like they could be small bite marks.

    Since we lost a chicken mysteriously two months ago (found her dead one morning) we have been cleaning their house and providing a diverse food, from feed to fruits and greens, as well as daily free ranging. Since that time, however, we have had a severe drop in egg production (to the point where I think they must be laying somewhere else but can not find where). And at one point we were finding broken eggs in their nests (though It did not look like they were eating them because the egg shells were pulverized-- and did not looked pecked open). When they do lay there shells are firm and the eggs look great.

    Here are some photos of the wounds on the chicken from a few days ago

  2. The Chickens' Maid

    The Chickens' Maid Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Oh my! Do your hens free-range? Sorry I can't help with the unknown predator, but I think I can help with protecting the rest of your flock. How many birds do you have? How far is their coop from your house? How predator-proof is the coop? What kind of coop do you have? It may help if you posted where you're from to help find the predator.

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