Chicken Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted maybe a month or so ago about how I lost a pullet for no reason that I could tell. I was disturbed about it but I thought it was a one-off, maybe scared to death by a loose dog I spotted that day, and wouldn't happen again. Now I'm not so sure. I lost two of her "sisters" (actually different moms, same dad) from the same hatch in the past few days and I don't know what is going on.... Here's what happened.

I introduced five pullets to my main flock quite a while ago with really no problems. The bigger hens chased them a bit but nothing too big. No feathers lost or blood drawn and they seemed to be eating. Still a couple weeks later the hens decided to chase the pullets away from the feed. So I put them in a crate for the day to eat all they pleased and let them out again. In the meanwhile I have been feeding these chickens a TON, more than twice the amount I fed them in the dead of winter, and putting it in different locations in their run just to give the pullets the best chance possible. It seemed to be working... until Saturday.

Saturday was a CRAZY day. It was the only day since I put the pullets in there that I did not go out in the morning to check on everyone and feed them. By the time I fed them it was 5PM and one of the pullets was dead and stiff in the run. I was pissed. Were the hens chasing them away from food again?! Had it starved? It's gullet was empty... So I rounded up the three remaining pullets and crated and fed them. They were a little on the lean side but nothing too scary. They were all eating, drinking, acting alert, breathing fine... I decided to keep them in the crate (which is within the run, in the shade, and protected from rain as well.) This morning the biggest and fattest one turned up dead. That's three pullets down from five - this time I KNOW they had plenty of food and no one to chase them away from it. The two live ones had gullets that were stuffed. Interestingly the dead one's gullet was empty. What is going on here?! All three of them were eating when I put them in there - I made damn sure of it.

I think it's prudent to note that no one else has showed any sign of illness and certainly hasn't died. I have 15 Serama chicks of varying ages who are all growing and normal living in another run and none of them have died... And all my adult birds are.... well, to put it bluntly, really fat from all the extra food I've been giving them. They've gotten to the point they don't even eat all the food I put in there.... takes them a day and a half. I just don't get this. :( I am watching the two surviving pullets like a hawk but I don't think it's doing much good... they seem as active and happy as they always have. So confused.

What should I be doing and looking for? How can I prevent this from happening again?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,193 Posts
Sorry for your loss. Since you've not been checking them every morning, I don't feel like I have any hope of solving your problem. I thought perhaps the food was bad, but the ones that die have empty crops. Could be your old hens are starving them out. Just don't have any better ideas for you. Good luck! I feel like pieces of the puzzle are missing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh I check them every morning. It was that one morning the second one died (so I obviously felt bad on that one - like I'd missed something because I wasn't out there) but usually that's the first thing I do after getting up and getting dressed - I go out and feed them and I go out several times to collect eggs and check on everyone. I'm at a loss because their behavior wasn't weird, they didn't look weird. I have been watching them since and they are eating with the other hens. I just don't know anymore. I'm frustrated. Currently the big hens aren't allowing them into the coop at night so MAYBE they're being scared to death by something? I don't know. I feel like I am grasping at straws here.
 

·
Junior Member
Joined
·
977 Posts
Got to be something that those 5 have, right?
With it only being those ones dying. Wish I could help you. Sorry for your loss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think I got it figured out. Those five were not sleeping in the coop, they were sleeping in the run, and I think something's been lurking around scaring them. I just find it suspicious that the only time they die is when my dog is not present (which she has full run back there all day.) Besides they have gone through a growth spurt and the older hens don't appear to be harassing them any more than each other. Anyway.... last night was super stressful. We had a HELL of a thunderstorm, worst one I think I have ever been through here. I went outside at midnight to make sure everyone was under cover and safe. For the first time ever the two remaining pullets were in the coop which saved me from having to figure how to put them in there without too much fuss. The bad news is my elderly Serama couple Titus and Henny Penny were gone. I had them in a rabbit hutch and the whole side of it was ripped right off, their food and water bowl were flipped out, the nest box was on the ground next to it and the whole damn thing was up-side-down. I have no idea what did this... but just in case they lived through the attack I searched the yard and trees to no avail, coming in pretty depressed. At 4 AM it was still down pouring when lightning struck something really close. Again I went outside to make sure everyone was OK only to find Henny Penny and Titus were on TOP of the run I am currently almost done building for them. They were the wettest coldest animals I have ever seen! I hurried them into the shed so they could dry off. It's been almost four hours and they're still soggy! I cooked them breakfast - scrambled eggs, 12 grain bread, and a piece of tomato. They were super happy for the room service so I think they're going to be OK but they had me up and worried sick for most of the night. :(

I don't know what ruined the cage they were in... but I know it wasn't them! I also have a weird suspicion it was not the numerous wildlife options we have here because there doesn't appear to be a scratch on them. Still thinking it's that damn loose dog. Suspiciously my dog came in last night with a wound on her neck that looks like a dog bite... I swear if I catch that damn mongrel in my yard there's going to be a super unhappy phone call to the dog officer. I keep my dog and chickens in my own yard, I shouldn't have to worry about someone else's dog coming in and causing problems! UGH. I HATE it when city people move in here and think that leash laws suddenly don't apply because they're in the country! We're not that far in the country! Eeesh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Shoot the damn thing. If it is on ur property and it is destroying ur property and killing ur livestock u have thecright to kill it. At least in my area we do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There's a few issues with that.... one is I can't catch sight of the goddamn thing. I can hear it barking at all points of my property but by the time I get out there it has fled. Second thing is I live in a populous neighborhood with houses on all sides... shooting at something that isn't at your feet could end in shooting a person or pet you weren't trying to. Also I don't own a gun and as annoyed as I am I don't think I would have it in me to kill off a dog. That being said I am going to be super vigilent. If I do catch it in my yard I am reporting it immediately. Before I had the chickens the neighbor next to us let their viscous dog loose every day. I had to take a breaking stick with me to fetch the mail, just in case it decided to bite! The thing was always barring its teeth at me and chasing me in my own yard but I didn't say anything.... didn't want to start anything with the neighbor. Since then they reported my dog for attacking their viscous dog while it was *in our yard harassing our chained dog.* UH..... Excuse me!? Thank God that thing got old and dropped dead. I don't know who this lurker is or who he belongs to but I am DONE with putting up with other people's BS for the sake of peace - especially when no one's done the same for us. We're the freaks at the end of the street that don't talk to anyone so they just make up rumors and believe it. When we put up a ham radio tower in they convinced everyone we were drug runners... I mean seriously, what is this? Highschool? I cannot wait to move farther into the country - crossing our fingers we'll be out by this time next year! I was never meant to live in a neighborhood... Too many people with too many issues....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Get a live cage trap and catch him and get someone to pick him up. It would take too long for a humane society or shelter worker to drive to ur property and get the dog with a catch pole. By then the dog would get away. Just catch it ur self. If a cage trap is too expensive get a leghold trap. Easy to use just watch a few videos how to set it up. And dont worry it doesnt hurt the animal. I stuck my hand into a leghold before to deminstrate to my uncle that it wouldnt hurt his dog if she got caught. It just stings a little but barly.
 

·
Junior Member
Joined
·
977 Posts
Glad you found your couple and the pulleys are good. Sounds like a bear to me. We had that happen by a bear. Ripped the whole side of the coop off. Killed every bird. Hope this doesn't happen again . Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We do have bears here but I think if it was a bear it would have gone after more. Since posting this I didn't hear or see the dog.... he just disappeared, until last night.... I don't know where he was (somewhere near but not on my property.) In any event he barked ALL NIGHT LONG. To add insult to injury my rooster has gone off his rocker and is beating on my hens... got one of the two remaining pullet's eye which is now infected and gross (I'm soaking it and hoping for the best but EESH, what a string of bad luck.) The rooster is going to be dinner now. I'm not supposed to have him to begin with and he was living on borrowed time anyway, not anymore. :mad:

Fortunately with all that past I am thinking things are looking up.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top