Terrible Massacre.... Why? Graphic details with possible graphic pics.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cutlass1972, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. cutlass1972

    cutlass1972 Songster

    May 26, 2009
    I will preface this by informing you that about a week ago we introduced 21 new hens into our flock of 14. We raised the new hens in a big brrode until they where old enough then we moved them into a chicken tractor I built just for a hospital / separation / brooding coop. they where 18 weeks old and over due to become part of the flock. I locked the tractor one day after I let them out and that night went and gathered them up one by one and out them in the main coop, after a couple of days of thsi they figured it out and began going into the coop to be locked up at night.
    Everything seemed great!

    Yesterday morning I went to let the chickens out of the coop to free range just like every other morning. I notice that not enough birds come out so I begin investigating. I found 6 of the new brood dead in the coop and in nest boxes. There was blood spattered all over the walls and all the way up to the ceiling (8' tall). none of them where eaten, just their heads pecked horribly.

    I have my suspicions as to which hen did this. I have a rather large GLW that has seemed like she is asserting her authority with a good deal more force recently, including brutally ripping out feathers behind the comb of some of my older birds, and even after the submit (squaking with eyes clamped shut, head held almost to the ground and NOT running) she feels the need to do a couple of those big full back arch and come down like an axe on top of their poor head, then she starts to walk away and decides that wasn't good enough and goes back for a couple more blows. This hen is the one that picked on all of my girs vents and backs all last winter when I was forced to coop them all up because of a hawk.

    This particular hen has been excessivly evasive ever since we turned them loose yesterday morning, we tried to catch her to see if she had blood on her beak or head and she will not let us get anywhere near her, it is like she knows she messed up.

    I took pics of everything, if anyone thinks that this will help me solve my problem?

    So what do we think? Did I have a predator sneak into my coop somehow or did a hen REALLY kill all those pullets? I have too many hens per SQ FT of floor space, but I knew this, I free range during the day so the coop is only a place to roost. I have a run I am constructing so I can leave the coop door open all the time and just lock the run every night, I suspect if I had this done already I wouldn't be missing 6 pullets right now.
  2. vatterpa

    vatterpa Songster

    May 4, 2010
    Indiana, PA
    Wow, killer hen! I'm so sorry for your loss. If it were me, I'd vote freezer camp. At the least seperation.
  3. watersoflethe

    watersoflethe Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Corona/Mira Loma CA
    omg i'm so sorry for your loss..
    i have no idea about the predator thing .. but so sorry [​IMG]
  4. LadyinRed

    LadyinRed Songster

    Sep 22, 2009
    It is a possibility that the hen did that seeing as I know that a chicken can peck more than hard enough to draw blood and small animals like rats can not fling blood up high like a chicken can.

    Personally, if I had the problem hen she would find out about where all the unneeded roosters go. Freezer camp. But putting her in a separate pen would probably solve the problem also. At least till she has time to become the new girl.

    Sorry for your loss and good luck with that MEAN thing!
  5. sreihart

    sreihart Songster

    Quote:Yeah, I agree with that one. If you can't trust her, it's time to send her to the freezer. [​IMG]
  6. riderbecky

    riderbecky Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Ottawa Valley
    When everyone heads in for the night, I'd grab her then and put her in the separate boody coop you have. If the problem continues, you know she's not responsible but if she is the responsible party, I think you already know how to solve that problem.

    Good luck to you. [​IMG]
  7. cutlass1972

    cutlass1972 Songster

    May 26, 2009
    I think I am going to kull her either way. She is mean as could be, I cringe every time I see her attack another hen. Whether she is the culprit or not, I just dont like her.

    I know someone else will step up and become the dominate hen but maybe they will not be as mean about it.
  8. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I'm so sorry for you losses. So frustrating to raise up babies and then have something unfortunate happen to them. It's even more frustrating when you may be housing the culprit. I have a GLW hen with the same attitude problem. She has been a bully and a brute for years, but I was never too concerned about her behavior until now. I have 15 babies getting ready for integration and I am absolutely certain the bully is going to do damage to the newbies. I am so sure of it that the decision has been made to put Dinner (yup, that's her name) in the pot. If I had any doubts about it before now, your story has just strengthened my resolve.

    Thanks for sharing your story with us, and again I am sorry.
  9. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Quote:I agree.

    So sorry you had to go out and find that. [​IMG] I know what it's like to lose babies you put so much work into raising.
  10. When I am adding to my flock I first remove the one or two girls that I know will be extra tough on newbies. I keep them inside for at least a week, and then reintroduce them to the newly established flock. Always works for me, though that doesn't really help you at this point... Could you try removing your bully to see if she really is the culprit? Perhaps upon reintroduction she'll have a little attitude adjustment.

    Sorry for your losses.

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