chickens attacking chickens

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mill-owner

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chickens attacking chickens
« on: May 25, 2009, 07:18 »
 :unsure:
Help, I'm new to the site and desperate for advice. I've been keeping chickens for about a year in a run which I move around the garden. Yesterday, I found a dead chicken in the nest box which had it's back end attacked and assumed it had been got at by a rat as I had seen one in the garden.  So last night I put the girls to bed, locked the hen house and put a trap in the run with some bait. This morning I went out early to see if I had caught anything but the trap was empty. To my horror I opened the hen house to find another dead chicken again with the same injury. There is no way a rat could have got in and no evidence of external entry.
Do chickens kill each other?  The chicken I found this morning was the "boss lady" and was more inclined to have a go at the others than be attacked herself - although the last couple of days she had lost lots of feathers (mites?). Does anyone have any advice about:
a) What can I do now if  my chickens are attacking each other? (there are only two left)
b)protecting chickens from rats

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Vember

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Re: chickens attacking chickens
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2009, 08:49 »
Hi MillO 

Welcome to the Hen House :)

I'm sure you've checked but are you sure there are no holes that a rat or even a stoat could get into the coop?  Holes in the floor or even higher up?
Do you leave food in the coop overnight as this will attract rats :(

Have they been laying ok?  If a hen has any open wounds then other chickens will attack the red draws them like a magnet :(

Protecting them from rats wise I have a foot and a half of weldmesh netting attached to the bottom of my coop (up the side and some folded on to the floor making a skirt ) to stop them nibbling their way in and the coop is on concrete to stop them getting in from underneath :)

Sarah :)


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Doodle

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Re: chickens attacking chickens
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2009, 17:44 »
Thats horrible, could you bring the chickies in for the night put them in a box or a cat box and set a trap in the house? Would you notice if the other hens were blooming. Were they distressed? We had a rat under our hen house so we put it on stilts, it never got in but it had been taking food and digging under it. Hope the other 2 will be ok.

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mill-owner

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Re: chickens attacking chickens
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 07:44 »
Hello, thanks for your support.  I cleaned everything up, made sure they were no holes and set the trap in the run again last night. I generally remove food from the run at night but obviously there are crumbs.

Again this morning I went out to find carnage. Another dead chicken. I'm sure a rat can't get in so it leaves me with one chicken which could be the culprit - I don't feel like keeping her if that is the case.

I will go through the same process today - if she survives I guess it's her, if not ......
then I need some better security before getting more hens.  It is very distressing after over a year of keeping hens without (many) problems.

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Vember

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Re: chickens attacking chickens
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2009, 07:59 »
MillO  That's terrible, I'm so sorry you've lost another girl :(

I really hope it's not the remaining hen thats been doing it, but finding out either way isn't nice :(

Really sorry :(


Sarah :(



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mill-owner

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I need to change the subject title- Last chicken found dead this morning.  Something has killed them all and it can get through about 1.5cm chicken wire.  Does anyone have any ideas - Stoat, mink etc ?

I will put a trap inside the house tonight and lock it up again. I am going to get this thing and then see how I can prevent it happening again before getting any more chickens.

What do other people do with the dead bodies - I have 4 holes dotted around the garden (in the wild wooded areas that don't get disturbed)? 

In memory of Hazel, Harriet, Henrietta and Heirmarny Hen:(

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joyfull

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Re: chickens attacking chickens
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2009, 07:51 »
Oh so sorry to hear that  :(
As for whats getting them I have no idea but really hope you catch it.
Staffies are softer than you think.

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Sassy

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Re: chickens attacking chickens
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 09:00 »
So sorry about your losses. From your title I guess you may live by water. It is possible that it is mink.
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted!!

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lina

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Re: chickens attacking chickens
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 10:47 »
I'm really sorry - what a awful thing to happen. I hope you find out what it is. Are you in rural or urban area?

Lina x

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mickwood

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Re: chickens attacking chickens
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2009, 15:14 »
Could you set a camera up? Hope you get it.

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Doodle

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Re: chickens attacking chickens
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2009, 15:21 »
Sorry, that was my post above! Forgot to check who was logged in.

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Foxy

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Re: chickens attacking chickens
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2009, 16:38 »
It does sound like mink, they can cause absolute mayhem.
I would get a humane trap(as large as poss) and (it sounds horrible) but but one of your dead hens inside as bait. Rub the cage in shavings to remove your scent, and place inside the henhouse.

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chooknewbie

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Re: chickens attacking chickens
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2009, 20:39 »
how awful...so so sorry for your loss... I hope you catch the lil devil and then at least you will have an idea what to protect against.

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mill-owner

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Re: chickens attacking chickens
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2009, 17:26 »
Hello again, Two nights of baiting traps and no result -the thing that had my chickens must have been counting them. Might try a different bait tonight.

Yes Sassy I do live near water but I have had no losses during the last year so I guess something has moved into the area. I think I will leave it a while before replacing my girls and will probably  replace my mobile run for a fixed one with buried wire etc

Thanks everyone who has left messages it does help to know I can get advice from  people who have had more experience than myself in keeping hens.

Kind regards

Jacqui



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