Sudden death of 1/2 my flock

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by crowe, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. crowe

    crowe New Egg

    Dec 26, 2011
    Hi there,

    We went to the flock today to get the eggs, they are ~10 months old and we found 8 dead.

    All were healthy as of yesterday. No entry from a predator found as the coop is tight, and with the snow outside there would be tracks. Also, they are relatively undamaged.

    Only new thing was we added 4 bags grain on Saturday to their bin. Called the local Co op and they reported no other incidents.

    Any advice or thoughts on this greatly appreciated.

  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    Could it be they got into some mice poison somewhere?
    I am so sorry for your loss.
  3. ilovethetabmeister

    ilovethetabmeister New Egg

    Nov 4, 2010
    Do they have access to dog food? They can sometimes reach through their fencing and peck if it is close by. I lost 3 hens over the last few months to a certain brand of dog food we'd occasionally buy that the chickens were getting into.

    Even if the co-op says it isn't their food's problem, usually your gut instincts are right. Perhaps something was spilled on the bags of food you purchased, even rat poison. (since rats are a common problem when feed is concerned) You may be able to take some of the food to a lab for testing (maybe a local university would do it for free, idk) at any rate, I'd remove it if you think it's the problem.
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Yes, if possible, get the feed tested!! Nothing against your Co-op but I have ordered cleaned corn from mine before to put in game feeders and have gotten treated corn - that which is to be had a reddish/pink coating on the kernels. Some kind of pesticide? Fertilizer? Can't think that would be good for chickens! So, grain elevators do make mistakes. Biggest thing is finding out exactly what happened. Good luck to you.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  5. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    weasel /stoat they only need a tiny hole to get in roughly 3/4" X 3/4"
  6. crowe

    crowe New Egg

    Dec 26, 2011
    Hi all,

    I believe I have found the culprit. There were small tracks on the south side of the coop. And there was a hole in the main door about 2" in diameter that I did not ever think would be an issue. There is so much snow here as well it may have also broke part of the fencing to the connected pen.

    I believe it to be a weasel that got to my hens. Just found out a neighbour lost a lot of his flock to one recently as well.

    Thanks for your comments, great to have this resource


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