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Strange things going on in the flock

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by victoria7668, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. victoria7668

    victoria7668 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2014
    Eastyorkshire-England
    I don't know if anybody would be able to shed any light or has experienced anything like what seems to be going on with my flock lately but here goes...

    I have 9 Chickens a polish bantam, a Peking bantam , a gold brahma hen and her brother, a light Sussex, a bluebell, a silkie, a cream legbar and a Calder ranger, the polish and her brother (who unfortunately I had to re home due to my neighbour and his relentless crowing) the legbar and the Peking and the brahmas grew up together from small chicks followed by silkie, Sussex , Calder ranger and bluebell joined the flock later in that order all were introduced slowly with minimal trouble and have lived together happily until recently.

    Firstly and for a reason known only to her the Sussex half killed the legbar in the coop one night (she is now separate) and living safely with some chicks. Since then the Sussex has become a bully only 3 of the bigger girls are laying and on several occasions I have found empty egg shells soft that are squashed. I have watched all of them carefully for egg yolk peritonitis but all are still laying, eating and drinking and not showing any signs of illness.

    Secondly, the other day the polish started to become a little withdrawn and skittish ( she is normally very friendly) and ran off into the plants in the garden and began to put up a terrible din (she is on point of lay and I thought she was going to start there and then) no egg arrived and the Sussex and the Calder ranger kept going into the plants to take a peck at her and would not leave her alone.

    Again I though of EYP, she is still eating and drinking but noticeably now sets herself aside from the rest of the flock. Tonight I found her under the coop when everybody else had gone to bed. I am at a loss as to what is going on. I did think maybe it was because we had re homed her brother and she was a bit lost. Also in the run I have found a small white egg looking all the world like a chick has hatched. It had the blunt end chipped off in a perfect circle with a single first hole at the other end, it had dried up veins on the inside and the last bit of yolk sac stuck to it.

    The problem is 1 only got this new coop and run 2 days ago nowbody has been outside of the run and no one was sitting on any eggs, my only broody hen was the silkie but that was weeks ago and we placated her with a false egg, besides the empty shell was much smaller. I had seen the polish roo mate the Sussex before he went but that is all. There are no overhanging trees for it to have come from a wild birds nest and no other nests anywhere else.

    The coops are not overcrowded they have ample free range room in the garden, all have access to constant food and water in several places, all have been wormed, treated for potential mites/lice and foot checked so I am left scratching my head.

    Any ideas would be welcome
     
  2. victoria7668

    victoria7668 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2014
    Eastyorkshire-England
    Also I have found no sign of a live , dead or even an bits of a chick?????!!!
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Sorry you are having all these troubles. Chickens can be brutal with each other. If they are hot, cold, bored, cramped, sick or just in a bad mood. And once they start, it can be hard to break them of it. Who ever is the bully of this flock needs to be separated out or use pinless peepers on them. Usually birds take cue from the bully...so when she starts in, the others follow. I have used pinless peeper on a mean hen with great success. these will stop a bully in her path....

    [​IMG]

    As for the one sleeping outside the coop. She is being bullied out there. So you will need to get her in the coop yourself until you get this aggression under control and feels comfortable going in by herself. No bird should be forced to sleep alone outside and subjected to predator attacks.

    Give them things to do to break up the boredom....whole veggies they have to peck at, seed blocks, flake of hay or staw, mirrors, ramps, swinging branches, hanging veggies on a rope...anything to work the boredom out of them.

    Good luck with your flock. You need to do some looking into who is causing all this trouble and work with this aggressive bird.
     
  4. victoria7668

    victoria7668 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2014
    Eastyorkshire-England
    Thankyou for that, yes I know who is the bully, it's the Sussex who beat up the legbar, I'll try a bumper bridle that seems like the same thing, don't suppose you have any ideas on the egg mystery lol
     
  5. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    X2 on Two Crows. Pinless peepers work great. Make sure your birds have lots of protein.

    Boredom busters such as hanging treats, dirt, leaves, roosts, mirrors, etc all help with pecking problems too.
     
  6. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC![​IMG] We're glad to have you.

    You've received some good advice already.
     
  7. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    I'm sorry about all of your troubles. [​IMG]TwoCrows gave you good advice. Good luck!
     
  8. LIChickens

    LIChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 8, 2014
    Long Island, NY
    Welcome to BYC!

    You will find a lot of good information here. Keep on asking questions and you will get many good answers.

    You may also want to read the FAQ below.
     
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Ohio
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Wonder if you found the remains of some sort of wild bird egg, ie if you have pigeons anywhere near they lay small kinda white eggs that pretty much look like bantam or silkie eggs, they will set on eggs pretty much any time of year.
     
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    Pigeons also make lousy nests - they have a couple sticks together and of course the eggs and chicks fall down. We are always finding some. I don't know how pigeons manage to increase their number as such.

    I think you may have an egg eater in your midst or some predator that is enjoying eggs. Soft shell eggs are especially appealing and sometimes that is how egg eating chickens begin.

    Are your hens getting layer feed and oyster shell available to those who want it?
     

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