Perplexing fatal injury

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mamapeeps, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. mamapeeps

    mamapeeps New Egg

    Jan 27, 2007
    Hi. Haven't posted here in years. I got some new chicks last spring that have just started coming in to lay over the past month. I wet out this morning and one of the girls had some flecks of blood aroud areas on her face. I looked her over and it didn't seem very severe... I went on with my feeding and watering and planned to check again later. At that time, there were no eggs in the house. I had to run an errand and when I returned, went to check on her, only to find a different pullet lieing dead in the corner of my fortified run. I pulled her out of the run, only to find a HUGH open skin area surrounding her vent. Now the vent was not prolapsed and the birds innards were not pulled out or anything, it was as if the skin (and any fat that should be deposited there)was all pulled back from 3- 3 1/2 inches in every direction surrounding her vent.

    I thought this pen and run were quite secure... so I don't kow what could have gotten in. Any ideas?
  2. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    is there any way a raccoon could have reached through & grabbed her? Have you seen any sign of rats around your coop/run? I am so sorry for your loss.
  3. mamapeeps

    mamapeeps New Egg

    Jan 27, 2007
    the pen is solidly constructed of quarter-inch hardware cloth, so nothing could reach in. the run has a "chicken door sized" opening in the middle of one side of the pen that butts up to the coop's chicken door. The walls of the pen and the coop are pretty much flush with each other, except for one spot where there is a less than an inch gap... but to get into the pen, a critter would have to move about a foot and a half sandwiched between coop wall and hardware cloth to gain access to the run's opening. The ground is frozen under the run, so nothing dug in....I fed treats at noon... and all the birds were active... I did not necessarily see all their fluffy butts though... so an injury could have already been there, but gone un-noticed. Also, an egg was laid in the coop between noon and 3. (no blood spots)

    Also my Tom-Tom Patrol (3 mature turkey toms) patrols the area around the pen and run effectively keeping animals away during the day.

    I have seen mouse dropping signs. Never have seen evidence of rats... which doesn't mean I don't have them. Interestingly, today I loaded a bag of feed into my original coop (a shed building I used to house my old, bigger flock in before coons found away to enter through the eaves and wiped them out...( much to DH's dismay I refuse to put more birds in there ) But at noon, I dropped the feed into the metal can making a big boom... it made me think, "that'll scare whatever is living under here out, for sure!"
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  4. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    It sounds an awfully like you might have a rat getting in. They can squeeze through incredibly small holes and the birds injuries sound like what might occur.
  5. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    I have no idea what happened to her but I'm very sorry you lost her.
  6. mamapeeps

    mamapeeps New Egg

    Jan 27, 2007
    thanks, I'm sorry I lost her too... I really thought that their new home would be safe for them...

    I'll have to go on a rat attack...
  7. strawberryfields

    strawberryfields Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 9, 2010
    Can rats really cause injuries such as this???
  8. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dunno mama, but it sounds like cannibalism to me. Little something gets started and soom there is blood and the whole thing gets outta hand. Could you have not noticed that one when you were first out there? Maybe she was hiding or turned her backside away so you couldn`t see it. The blood flecks on one face is an indication, but you have to decide if that is at all possible........Pop
  9. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Quote:Rats kills birds absolutely no doubt. Pet rats (gerbil sized) has killed parrots living in the same household with them. Those teeth can chew through metal so you can imagine a bird has little to no chance.

    I would be concerned about the one that had blood on her face...she may be an attacker. If for some reason she pecked the other girl and drew was on then...they will peck one to death if there is an injury and they see red.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  10. Randy

    Randy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Sounds like cannibalism to me too. If you can identify the one that had the blood on it's face you need to get it out of there because it won't stop and may teach others to start. I had this happen one time and lost several birds before I figured out what was going on.

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