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What Killed My Chicken?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Ilovefarming, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. Ilovefarming

    Ilovefarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 12, 2014
    Hey,
    This afternoon when I went to let my chickens out I noticed that my hen Sunny was not with the flock. I figured she was laying an egg, as always. But when she didn't come out after a long time, I went inside the coop to check on her, she was laying in the nesting box, dead. I think she had been dead a while, because it smelled TERRIBLE and there were ants in the nest box with her. Her neck was broken, and the feathers on her neck were almost all the way picked off. There were no cuts and nothing had been eating her. So.... have any idea what killed my hen? I will add that there is a long pole that stretches across the rows of nesting boxes, attatching them together. My pullets and cockerels roost there at night. She could of tried to flap up there and broken her neck? Or a snake? I'm not sure if I should of let my chickens sleep in that coop tonight.... hope there is not any snakes in there! ): There was only one egg in the nest box, and it was not cracked or broken.

    Thanks.

    Ilovefarming
     
  2. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry to hear about your chicken. Is there any opening big enough for a predator to get in? A snake would probably go for the eggs.
     
  3. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    Not a snake. Not a broken neck from flying into the nest box. With the missing feathers it was a predator, but no way to know what kind with just that info.
    Did you check for tracks?
     
  4. Ilovefarming

    Ilovefarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Will a snake tear off feathers from the neck?
     
  5. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    No, that's how I know it wasn't a snake. A snake will eat eggs, sometimes a small chick, but almost never an adult chicken, even a bantam. They constrict their prey, but they never pull any feathers.
    A lot of things come to mind, but usually they would all rip the chicken open, not just pull feathers.The only thing I've ever had to do that was a kitten once.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Ilovefarming

    Ilovefarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is not the least bit of evedince anywhere... still looking for clues! :( Miss my little Sunny.
     
  7. Ilovefarming

    Ilovefarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There was one small crack in the side door that opens to the poop trays. That is all. It is probably one inch wide, maybe an inch and a half.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Look for small wounds in the skin of the neck......I'm guessing weasel, mink.....something along those lines.
    They bite the neck and drink the blood, the smaller species can fit thru a one inch opening.

    Where are you located?
    Putting your location can help folks give more viable suggestions/answers.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. DuckieLover2014

    DuckieLover2014 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh,
    I'm so sorry to here of this. Sounds as if something got to her in there. Was there blood anywhere from where something may of attacked her then was scared off?
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Ilovefarming

    Ilovefarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There was no broken skin, just a a broken neck and missing feathers on the neck. No blood, just the neck looked a little butchered. No cuts or broken skin.
     

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