One dead chicken and one missing breast feathers (warning - pictures)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by WingingIt, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. WingingIt

    WingingIt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    I hope this is the right section to post this is, didn't see one that was a better fit.

    I wasn't home today for most of the day. When I let the girls out this morning everyone came out just like normal. Noone dawdling behind or acting lethargic or anything.

    I came home to a dead chicken. They are 27 week old RSLs and have been laying for almost two months now. I am putting up pictures of the dead bird first. She has a wound that actually exposes the bottom of her breastbone and the meat there. I moved the skin in one of the pictures so you could get a better idea of the wound but the first pictures are how I found her. She was on her side, covered in ants and stiff by the time I got home, so I'm not sure if the wound is what killed her or if the other chickens might have done some of after she died?

    I then went checking the rest and found one girl who's missing feathers along her breastbone. Putting up pictures of her head, breastbone, the feathers in front of her vent (seem to be missing some feathers there and dirty), her feet (bad picture, but no signs of mites that I could see) and her vent, too. They aren't the best pictures, but there was noone here to help me so I did the best I could.

    Any and all ideas and suggestions greatly welcomed.

    Thanks!


    Dead chicken first:

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    Live chicken missing feathers next:

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  2. nerfy

    nerfy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How many chickens do you have? It looks like cannibalism, but as you said, the others could have done that after she died. Looking closer at the pics, it looks like this has been going on a bit as it looks like some of the wounds tried to scab over along the edges.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
  3. Nif

    Nif Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is a strange looking wound, is it a fresh wound? I'd be inclined to think cannibalism too.
     
  4. NateinFL

    NateinFL Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it looks like a hawk attacked the flock. It probably had the one turned over and started plucking but the chicken got away. The dead chicken wasnt so lucky.
     
  5. That looks like a Possum attack. Hawks go for the neck and breast, the Possum go for the rear end.
     
  6. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    Looks like possums to me as well.
     
  7. Nif

    Nif Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a hawk attack last week, and my big cochin roo was left headless and neckless. Hawks do not get scared away very easily...and my cochin rooster was pretty huge. They cannot carry off a chicken, but they can carry off a head and neck.
    Opossums are usually nocturnal. Raccoons will drag away a chicken, wouldn't a 'possum do the same?
     
  8. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    Possums normally don't drag things off. They eat where they're at.
     
  9. Nif

    Nif Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But would a possum come in the middle of the day?

    And it doesn't look like he ate much...the chicken could have died and then the other chickens picked at it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
  10. NateinFL

    NateinFL Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Possum or an immature hawk that didnt really know what it was doing, could have just ate whatever meat it could get off of it. Depending on the species of hawk, it will leave plucked feathers everywhere. Possums would probably ingest the feathers. I doubt cannabalism outside of the coop, unless they were starving which I doubt they were.
     

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