Need Chicken Advice

BroodyCluck

Songster
6 Years
Apr 26, 2014
119
141
136
Cleveland, Texas
I have seen my Buff Arlington catch field mice and show it off to the other chickens and play chase with them and then all of them instantly attack it and eat it together. I have been concerned that it may cause them disease. Is there some sort of treatment I should give them because while I may stop it when I see it, there is no controlling it when I can not watch them 24/7. I have fought these critters since I have moved here 2 years ago to no avail they are coming after the feed but I keep the bags in a container with a lid. Then 2 months ago, in the middle of the night, I went to check on why my dogs were barking so much. A possum had entered the chicken pen where the chickens sleep at night. I had the possum shot because I knew there was no way to keep him out of that pen it would just come back to kill them later. Then being the middle of the night I felt I had no choice but to leave the possum there and get it to dispose of in the morning. In the morning it was gone. I reasoned that it must not have been dead after all. Then I saw two days later the Buff Orpington had the remainder of the possum carcass in his mouth dragging it around while all the other chickens chased after him pecking on the possum. There was not much left of it but some of the bones (not all) and some skin. I removed it then. Is this normal for chickens? Or could it be the Buff Orpington breed?
With all of this that has happened, I have not been eating the eggs or giving them away like I was, I just dispose of them. Would a vaccine cover any type of infection that could have occurred from this? This has been about a month ago.
Then I have a hen that has been down not very active just sitting on the ground and looking like she is brooding but not on eggs. I don't know the breed of the hen, she is just solid white and lays a small beige egg. I have two like that and the other one is somewhat down in activity as well but still has some periods of activity while the one I am concerned about almost does nothing but sit as if in a trance unless I come to pick her up she does run. I saw her just before dark go to the food bowl and I hope she ate and drank water. And I have had her in an enclosure she can not get out of with a nest box incase she is needing to nest and a tarp on top of the enclosure to protect from the rain and keep her in there and I did see her getting upset just before dark wanting to go in for the night with the other chickens when they went to the pen. I haven't seen eggs from either of these two chickens in about a month. And I find it odd that only these two white chickens who are just alike are not seeming completely well. Do chickens ever go broody without eggs there? Or does it sound as if they are sick? I feed them scratch and in a big dish I feed them laying mesh crumbles. Then more afternoons than not, they get to free range in the grassy lawn for bugs and such.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
597
448
South Georgia
It's perfectly normal for chickens to eat mice, or indeed, anything they can catch. I've seen pictures of chickens halfway through swallowing a snake whole. I wouldn't worry about eating the eggs.

It's hard to say what is going on with your white birds. Yes, they will go broody without eggs. Are these two by any chance a lot bigger than the rest of your chickens?
 

BroodyCluck

Songster
6 Years
Apr 26, 2014
119
141
136
Cleveland, Texas
Oh thanks for replying. I knew they would eat snakes but never knew they would eat mice. I did not raise these white hens from chicks I got them just before they laid their first eggs back in December. So they are just a little older than the others who hatched by incubator and born about last September. My other chickens are large breeds Buff Orpington, Sussex and Plymouth Rock Barred. The white hens are not small, just smaller than these others who are just huge chickens. But like I said, I haven't seen eggs from the white chickens in a few weeks so you think they could go broody and just sit on the ground with no eggs? It has not changed any today, the one white hen constantly stays on the ground but she is in an enclosure like I mentioned and can't get with the others and the other white hen does walk around some and then rests a lot too unlike she used to be, very active.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
597
448
South Georgia
yuckyuck.gif


Or, don't die while in your chicken yard because they will eat you.
 

swindlechick

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 25, 2014
39
5
31
Chickens are omnivores which means they eat just about anything. We have to remember that they weren't always put in a pen and given feed. They used to have to get their own food like most other animals. They need protein, and while this usually comes in the form of worms and crickets, they will get what they can where they can. They are cannibalistic also. If they see blood on anything, even on another chicken, it becomes food. There used to be little pink glasses that could be clipped on their combs that would neutralized the red color and keep them from attacking one another if someone got hurt. This is where the term "rose-colored glasses" comes from.
 

sepaditty1

Songster
11 Years
Mar 29, 2008
771
77
198
South Carolina
I would guess that your white hens are broody. Sounds just like what mine did. I put eggs under them.
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Eating mice and dead possum is good for your hens. Let them enjoy it. Then enjoy your delicious eggs!

You could always get a cat to take care of the mice...
 

BroodyCluck

Songster
6 Years
Apr 26, 2014
119
141
136
Cleveland, Texas
I have trouble eating the eggs without thinking about things I know about the chickens diet. However, I had the opportunity of seeing an egg farm where the hens are all caged up. Nothing could be nastier than this. I decided raising them would be much cleaner. However, I just can not get past the eating of mice. Snakes, worms, bugs and dirt are all fine.
 

MANNA-PRO

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