Someone Please Help Me, Canibal Chickens!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by PineBurrowPeeps, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. Ok so I'm not the type to freak out usually in the midst of animal problems, I'm usually really level headed BUT right now I just want to cry.
    I already have been worried about my best hen who has either sour crop or a crop impaction (that's another post entirely) but this morning my DH went outside to let the chickens out and noticed one of our meat bird hens (we only have a few left so they are mixed in with the layer flock currently) was laying motionless in the coop. He immeadiately came to get me, afraid to touch her himself as I'm known as "the animal person"... So out I go jogging along to get out there and sure enough find her laying on her belly, head down, eyes shut, and breating very slow. I stroke her back and talk to her and she doesn't move, in fact she felt pretty ridgid to the touch so I scoop her up in my arms, she was very much alive at that point and squacked and put up a fuss at being handled. My poor husband is already late to work at this point but I plunk the poor girl down on the hood of his truck to get a better look at her since it was the closest flat surface.
    I looked her over at the front and didn't notice anything amiss. I figured that maybe she was starting to have a heart attack, as I heard could happen quickly and without warning in Cornish X's. At this point my husband walks around the other side of the truck to tell one of our kids to go back inside and when he turns around he takes one look at this hen, clamps his hand over his mouth and says "LOOK at her Butt!!!"
    I quickly walk around the truck to see what he's seeing and see that half of her rear has been chewed off and that it's all black necroptic tissue. My initial reaction was that we had to put this poor girl down immediately to end her suffering.
    Within 10 minutes my husband and I had sent her off to chicken heaven, a little ticked that we lost a chicken dinner and very upset at what would have done this.
    I didn't give much more thought to any of it today, I had had a very busy day.
    This evening my son and I went out to put the chickens away and as we're rounding them from the run into the coop (my birds will sit out all night, not the brightest girls) I notice in shock that two more of my meat hens are dripping blood from their bottoms, nearly all the feathers are pulled out and as I'm absorbing what I'm seeing one of my layer girls walks right up and starts pecking the daylights out of her bum. I immeadiately seperate the two bloody meaties from the rest and put all of the others away.
    This is a serious problem now. I don't know what to do or how to handle this.
    Looking back I put a post in chicken behavior several weeks ago talking about how they had been picking on my lone turkey, pulling out all of his butt feathers and making him all bloody. I have since removed him, much to his dismay to the outside of the run during the day and he's healed up nicely. I thought they were going after him because he was so much taller that his vent was right in their faces and they simply couldn't resist. But now obviously that isn't the case.
    I plan to go outside tomorrow and really watch them while out which I haven't done in a while.
    I understand that once chickens see blood or red they are drawn to peck it. But someone is starting the whole thing and I've got to find out who.
    One of the hurt girls will need to be put down in the morning and I may just do both since they were intended for food anyway.
    I'm also not sure if it's safe to eat the meat on these two now since they have open wounds. I'm guessing not?

    Gosh I hope someone can help me. I just want to [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  2. mylilchix

    mylilchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    My best advice is to seperate them. We've been raising CRx and I've had to put them in a seperate area because my older laying hens were pecking the heck out of the CRxs' left thighs. I actually have 2 in the house on the mend because they were attacked so badly. The 2 are healing nicely, and my other 9 are doing great since they're on their own. Good luck!!
  3. mmajw

    mmajw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2008
    I know that my Cornish X skin is very red and maybe that is what your layers were drawn to is the red skin that made them begin to peck. I would not put layers and meaties together as they have different needs.

    As to the question if you should eat them or not I dont see why you couldnt, but I am not an expert with meaty injuries.

    Good luck with them
  4. Quote:I really had no idea they would do this. I think the ones I have left will need to be dispatched sooner than I thought then.
    I just really hope it's just them and that I don't have a particular hen with a taste for rump roast.
  5. mylilchix

    mylilchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    I didn't think they'd do that either when I mixed mine. My layers have always been best buddies I didn't think they'd attack any other chickens.

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