starting to get really ticked off....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lollipopguild, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. lollipopguild

    lollipopguild Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 13, 2014
    Ugh. I've about had it. It's been nothing but bad luck with these chickens. I started off with 15. They did great.....for about 4 months. Then the winter hit us hard last year. My coop door got frozen open under 2" ice. By time I was able to free it up, my flock was wiped out by a predator. Caught an opossum and picked up 6 more and 2 were gone that night. I decided to get 30 more pullets. So far so good. 16 weeks old and boom, another predator attack. It was during the 4th.of July week and our busiest time at work. I wasn't getting home until 4-5am. The predator scared them out of the coop and I couldn't gather them roosting on 2 acres. My buddy gives me 16 more POL hens. I got a new run for them. Everything is going great. Boom. A predator breaks into the coop. Half are gone. Undeterred I get 50 more pullets and 4 turkeys. I lose a couple in the beginning. No biggie. They get older and one turkey snaps it's leg. I toss it to dogs. Another turkey and a couple pullets found dead for unknown reasons. A couple pullets run away. Next thing I know I'm down 30 pullets and 2 turkeys. Go out to the coop tonight and another turkey and pullet dead. 2 pullets dead last night. Reasons? I dunno. No sickness. No injuries. My only guess is smothering, but they are 12-16 weeks. Just's so frustrating. I've had over 100 birds and I'm down to 20ish. And only 1 "flock" has reached laying age.

    Here's how I found my turkey tonight. It was fine this morning.
  2. AussieChics

    AussieChics Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2014
    Adelaide Australia
    It looks rather crowded in there
  3. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2012
    Yeah, I can't quite work out what I'm looking at. To be that crowded I would hope it because it's bedtime and they are cuddled up but if it's bedtime where are the perches? They are way big enough to be roosting at night. On roosts they are less likely to smother one another.

    How big is the coop and run holding all these birds?

    After 100 birds I would stop spending on new birds and spend some money on fortifying the coop from predators instead. Think it's going to work out cheaper in the long run.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
    5 people like this.
  4. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 28, 2008
    x2. Can you get better pictures of your setup? From what I can see they look crowded. You say you originally started with 15 but then went up to 50? That's a huge increase. How big is your coop?

    Given how many you have lost to predators it is time to fortify your coop.
  5. N F C

    N F C home again! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  7. lollipopguild

    lollipopguild Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 13, 2014

    Not even close. The coop is pretty locked down. Problems happened when I wasn't able to get when I usually do around midnight. For some reason the turkeys and pullets roosted in the run (pic below), but huddle in the coop. I tried putting them on the roost at night but they jump down after a few seconds.

    Here's the original pic. As you can see, they just pile together.



    Me and my son standing right in the center of the coop.

    Here's the run some were found dead in. Pictured are 16 full grown buckeyes.
  8. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2014
    Do you have a pop door that enters i to the run? If so is it the only door you can't get to until late? I would replace the chicken wire with 1/2 inch hardware mesh with an apron.
  9. lollipopguild

    lollipopguild Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 13, 2014

    I only use the run for brooding or bringing in new birds. I free range everyone else. Nothing has ever gotten into the run; only the coop due to 1) door freezing open and 2) predator getting into coop before I got home to close it. Another bad note, the predators started coming when 5 of my dogs were stolen. Now that I have dogs again, I haven't seen any critters wandering about.Unfortunately, I never know what time I'm getting off work. It could be 11pm. It could be 5am. Besides those two circumstances, but like I said, the predator problem has been resolved minus the rare daytime killing. Most of my birds are dying from what I can only assume is smothering. All are great during the day, all are great when I close up the coop at midnightish, and the next day 1 or 2 are dead. I just don't understand it. They all get along pretty well minus the normal pecking here and there. I don't understand why they don't roost in the coop but did in the run and decide to pile on each other at this age. I don't understand why some are just dead in the middle of nothing; not against a wall or anything.
  10. lollipopguild

    lollipopguild Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 13, 2014
    And what really irks this. I have what I call a barn rooster. When I bought 30 pullets, this "pullet" was the only survivor. He refuses to sleep inside and roosts outside. No problems with him, though. Put birds in a "safe" coop;dead. Let them roost and forage for food outside in 10 degree weather; thriving.

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