Someone help!! Never had this happen......:(


In the Brooder
Apr 13, 2017
Citra, Florida
Helpppp!!! I have NO idea what happened, but we have a large hoop coop with 6 eight week old Pekin ducks, 4 eight week old chickens, 6 six week old Leghorns, and 5 four week old assorted other chickens. There is PLENTY of room for them all, as we have put in boxes and perches for roosting, etc. They all go out to play and eat grass and bugs in the evenings.
This morning, I found one of my eight week old Red Rangers, completely torn apart under both wings. It was like a chicken anatomy class, you could see ALL of its organs. No holes or blood anywhere else, no feathers anywhere around or missing from the chicken, looks like something just lifted its wings and removed the skin from both sides. Of COURSE, me being the only one at home, I had to put it down with a .22. First time I've ever had to do something like that, but I couldn't just let it sit there and die a horribly slow and painful death!!
Our coop is very predator proofed. Wire bottom, wire all the way around, chicken wire reinforced at the bottom half, and tarps covering over the roosting area.
Could my Pekins have done this?!?!? None of them are even old enough to be interested in breeding yet? And this is not a breeding injury, this was just help help, can anyone help me figure out the mystery of what happened?
Mr. Peeps (hubby) thinks the Pekins attacked it out of boredom and overcrowding, then once it was bleeding, all the chickens jumped in and pecked at it repeatedly. Please let me know your thoughts!!!! I don't know how to make a new thread, so I'm sorry for stealing this one....still learning to navigate around least I'm in the right category?!?
I am heartbroken. The ducks and chickens are like my children. I love each and every one, and do everything to keep them healthy. :(

If one started pecking at it, they all certainly might join in. You'll probably have to sit and observe behavior for awhile to figure out who's the offender. Some birds are just buttheads. Maybe move some to a separate coop. Hope you find the bully!
If one started pecking at it, they all certainly might join in. You'll probably have to sit and observe behavior for awhile to figure out who's the offender. Some birds are just buttheads. Maybe move some to a separate coop. Hope you find the bully!

Thank you rook....I will do that this weekend....the chickens were definitely pecking at it, just can't figure out who did the actual initial injury! They're all still so young! Not even crowing/laying yet, I mean, they're only 2 months!
From what I've read here, you are keeping the birds in an enclosed run. How big is this run? The recommended minimum size, for an enclosed area, is 10ft per bird. And that, IMO, is on the small size. If chickens are crowded, they will attack each other.
Thank you JackE....they would definitely be crowded with the huge Pekins in there with them. And, the four chickens (three now :( ) That have gotten to be good sized. The rest, 11, are still babies. Maybe 4-6 weeks old, so they'd have enough room. Thinking I will boot the ducks out tonight, see how they do sleeping outdoors, will have to make a quick temporary shelter? I hope the Pekins will be safe from predators...only thing I've seen is one fat teenaged raccoon who eats our cat food. The cats seem terrified of the ducks, but will they sneak up when one is sleeping??? Ugh!!

The tentative plan is, build a bigger coop for the outdoor chickens, give the smaller coop to 11 Bantams who are still babies, but overcrowded in the brooder now, and put the ducks in a fence enclosed pool area, pool is unused and partially full of rainwater, probably lots of frogs and stuff for them to eat. The coop we have right now is 8 ft long by 5 ft tall, 5 ft wide....with different levels and boxes and perches for the chickens. From what you say it's WAY too small....

Still scared of predators. I'll need a place for them to go in at night.....

Thank you so much for your response!!
Yeah, they can get crabby if they feel crowded. 10 sq ft per bird is recommended space for a enclosed run. In the coop itself, they are generally supposed to have 4 sq ft of floor space per bird. I have a couple of cats, and they won't mess with a full grown chicken, so I would think they would leave a duck alone. The raccoon could be a problem though.
Used dog kennels work pretty well in a pinch. Easy to move and setup. Fairly safe from predators. In my experience, ducks just sleep on the ground or on the ramp to the pool.
Good news and Worse news.
Good news is, I do not appear to have any bully chickens or killer Pekins. Bad news is, lost two more chickens last night. HAS to be a raccoon, and we built the coop to be predator proof. There is hardware wire, and then that is wrapped with chicken wire all the way around. There is a wire bottom so that nothing can dig under.
You could see where a tiny hand had just ripped the chicken through the chicken wire hole and eaten what it could before leaving the rest there to die.
Another one, we lost while we were sitting out WITH them for their supervised playtime in the evening!!! No clue where it went...but the raccoon that's been hanging around is very bold. Comes right up to me to eat cat food off my porch. And it's young, not fully grown yet.
Problem is, now it obviously has a taste for chicken. I have NO IDEA how to keep them safe at this point. And we have to do something immediately!!! Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!!

So so so so SAD that my chickens are getting killed like this. :(
I want to bring them all back in the house, but there's NO way that would work. Sigh.

Thanks in advance,
What would happen at my house is, the raccoon would be trapped and killed. Period. (Well, that is if my dog didn't get to it first - he killed two of them on two nights last weekend). I would also get rid of the chicken wire and replace it with 1/2" hardware cloth. After all, you have discovered that it's not working so you need to rethink it. Oh yeah, and bring the cat food in at night. Chances are, coons aren't the only things it's attracting.

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