post attack trauma?

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
96
111
103
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
YESTERDAY:
I don't know exactly what happened, I had 4 Sapphire gems 12 weeks old. I went in to the garage this morning to let the girls out of their coop and found 1 laying dead and the other 3 standing nearby. They have a 2 story coop with the roost area up top and an attached run at the bottom. we keep it in the garage with an access door that opens into a covered larger run. I keep that access closed at night so nothing from the outside can get into their coop. Anyway I usually keep water and the food they have left during the day. Last night I just left the water as they were in the roost area when I got home. would a break in routine cause them to peck each other? The deceased chicken had blood on her head mostly on one side, and one had a very small blood spot on her comb area, another chicken had a blood spot on her toe, and the last one had a bloody area on her leg. I put an antibiotic salve on all the injuries. I could not see any signs that there had been any attack (feathers all over or straw thrown about) and there was no piles of poop up in the roost area like I normally find in the morning. One of their waterers was off the wall and on top of the dead chicken, the other waterer was half off the wall and all of the chickens were wet. Those were the only indications of struggle. My girls have always huddled together/ roosted right up on each other even though there is plenty of space to spread out / they foraged in a group and stayed pretty close to each other since I got them at 1 week old. I have never seen any aggression between them or bullying from any of them. Any thought as to what could have happened? I didn't see any signs of anything that may have gotten into the coop area, but I am going to close off all my ventilation gaps with hardware cloth today. I guess I felt that they were a bit safer since their coop was housed in the garage.

TODAY:
My girls slept up in their coop last night without a problem, but tonight they were very agitated, vocalizing and pacing and they wouldn't go up into the roost area, and stay there. I finally had to put them in the storage box I used for a brooder and brought them into the house, once I got them into the box and started carrying them into the house they settled right down and went to sleep. Any thoughts?
 

CluckerFamily

Enabler
5 Years
Feb 14, 2016
10,397
61,025
1,131
Wisconsin
I am so sorry for your loss.
Could you attach a picture of the coop?
Do you have chicken wire as the walls?
Any chance of a weasel? They can fit nicely through the chicken wire holes.
A trail camera may help you see what is lurking.
 

hayley3

Crowing
14 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,072
1,956
446
Southern Indiana
YESTERDAY:
I don't know exactly what happened, I had 4 Sapphire gems 12 weeks old. I went in to the garage this morning to let the girls out of their coop and found 1 laying dead and the other 3 standing nearby. They have a 2 story coop with the roost area up top and an attached run at the bottom. we keep it in the garage with an access door that opens into a covered larger run. I keep that access closed at night so nothing from the outside can get into their coop. Anyway I usually keep water and the food they have left during the day. Last night I just left the water as they were in the roost area when I got home. would a break in routine cause them to peck each other? The deceased chicken had blood on her head mostly on one side, and one had a very small blood spot on her comb area, another chicken had a blood spot on her toe, and the last one had a bloody area on her leg. I put an antibiotic salve on all the injuries. I could not see any signs that there had been any attack (feathers all over or straw thrown about) and there was no piles of poop up in the roost area like I normally find in the morning. One of their waterers was off the wall and on top of the dead chicken, the other waterer was half off the wall and all of the chickens were wet. Those were the only indications of struggle. My girls have always huddled together/ roosted right up on each other even though there is plenty of space to spread out / they foraged in a group and stayed pretty close to each other since I got them at 1 week old. I have never seen any aggression between them or bullying from any of them. Any thought as to what could have happened? I didn't see any signs of anything that may have gotten into the coop area, but I am going to close off all my ventilation gaps with hardware cloth today. I guess I felt that they were a bit safer since their coop was housed in the garage.

TODAY:
My girls slept up in their coop last night without a problem, but tonight they were very agitated, vocalizing and pacing and they wouldn't go up into the roost area, and stay there. I finally had to put them in the storage box I used for a brooder and brought them into the house, once I got them into the box and started carrying them into the house they settled right down and went to sleep. Any thoughts?
What kind of waterer hangs on the wall? Picture? Could the weight of the waterer have killed her? Could a rat have got in there and scared them and they knocked off the waterer?
You will never know what happened sadly...I put a baby audio monitor in with my chickens which at least alerts me something is going on.
 
Last edited:

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
96
111
103
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
I
What kind of waterer hangs on the wall? Picture? Could the weight of the waterer have killed her? Could a rat have got in there and scared them and they knocked off the waterer?
You will never know what happened sadly...I put an baby audio monitor in with my chickens which at least alerts me something is going on.
It was just a 1 quart waterer. I am looking into a motion sensor with an automatic light and camera that alerts my phone. But for tonight my girls are in a large storage box in the spare bedroom.
 

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
96
111
103
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
I am so sorry for your loss.
Could you attach a picture of the coop?
Do you have chicken wire as the walls?
Any chance of a weasel? They can fit nicely through the chicken wire holes.
A trail camera may help you see what is lurking.
1606101557386.png
This is the coop design, mine is housed in the garage it has heavy duty hardware clothe all around the run area. I did lift the roof for ventilation... that is now covered with hardware cloth also. I am concerned that they are now afraid and won't go back into it. I have no other place to house them and we get really cold (below zero ) temps in the winter. I am looking into a security camera with an automatic light and alerts to my phone to keep an eye on them. but tonight they were so upset I put them in a storage container and brought them into the house. They settled right down to sleep.
 

hayley3

Crowing
14 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,072
1,956
446
Southern Indiana
View attachment 2421840 This is the coop design, mine is housed in the garage it has heavy duty hardware clothe all around the run area. I did lift the roof for ventilation... that is now covered with hardware cloth also. I am concerned that they are now afraid and won't go back into it. I have no other place to house them and we get really cold (below zero ) temps in the winter. I am looking into a security camera with an automatic light and alerts to my phone to keep an eye on them. but tonight they were so upset I put them in a storage container and brought them into the house. They settled right down to sleep.
You have that coop in your garage?
 

CluckerFamily

Enabler
5 Years
Feb 14, 2016
10,397
61,025
1,131
Wisconsin
Did you open the garage door and the opening or closing scared them?
A sensor light may cause them more stress especially when the light comes on randomly.
 

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
96
111
103
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
Did you open the garage door and the opening or closing scared them?
A sensor light may cause them more stress especially when the light comes on randomly.
No, this happened sometime after I got home , checked on them last around 12-12:30 am, and went to let out into their run at 7:30... that's when I found her. They are quite used to the garage doors opening and closing, and my husband using his power tools and saws. when He goes out to work they run into the garage to watch him... I have to shoo them out and close the door :) so they don't get hurt... it's the same when he goes to mow the grass outside their fenced area... they run to the fence to watch him
 

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