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#15966 - 08/21/07 03:25 PM Mystery Attack
Zuzy Offline
Chicken

Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 107
Loc: Massachusetts
I am so tired of sick chickens! *collapses*

This afternoon I went out to my older group of chickens to clip a rooster's beak, only to find that this rooster had a very bloody comb. He's a Japanese bantam and his comb is very big, and the whole side of it was coated in dark blood. He lives alone right now, so he didn't get into a fight, and there's nothing for him to tear it on, as far as I know. Well this disturbed me, but what disturbed me more was finding that one of my older roosters, who lives next door with a family of four hens and two chicks, had very bloody feet and may even be missing a part of a toe. There was blood all over the perches, but no where else, and none of the others chickens were affected.

I know rodents can get into these cages, and we've trapped probably two dozen so far, but they just keep coming. Will voles or mice attack chickens? I'm at my wits end with sick chickens, what with a current case of bumblefoot, a hen with a mystery illness, and a rooster with inflammed feet, and now something is attacking my healthy bunch and I don't know what.

The Japanese rooster sleeps on the floor of his cage so he seems more vulnerable, but the older boy perches most of two feet up in the air, and would have been harder to get at. What would have attacked these two birds but left the others alone? There are two other bachelor roosters in nearby cages, but so far are unharmed. Would rodents attack fully grown birds?

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#15967 - 08/21/07 06:29 PM Re: Mystery Attack
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
A rat would attack them; probably not mice but rats.

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#15968 - 08/23/07 08:47 PM Re: Mystery Attack
NW Chix Offline
Chicken

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 93
Loc: Washington
Maybe I'm missing something here, but you have two roosters next door to each other, one with a bloody comb and the other with bloody feet. Is it possible they are going at each other somehow? What separates them?

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#15969 - 09/05/07 05:51 PM Re: Mystery Attack
Zuzy Offline
Chicken

Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 107
Loc: Massachusetts
They can't see each other. They're completely separated by plywood. They don't even respond to each other's calls or crows.

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#15970 - 09/06/07 05:23 AM Re: Mystery Attack
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
If they are in cages, could they possibly have gotten tangled or stuck somehow? I have a Cayuga duck that got its foot stuck in a pen as a baby. He's fine now, not even a limp; but I was surprised that his foot got wedged into this small space.

It seems like quite a coincidence if that happened to both your roosters on the same night, though. If that's not a possibility, then I agree with cgmccary, maybe it's a rat. But any hole big enough for a rat would surely be big enough for a chicken to get his comb or foot stuck in.

I hope you figure it out and you and your birds can take it easy for a while!

Amy

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#15971 - 09/07/07 08:20 PM Re: Mystery Attack
Zuzy Offline
Chicken

Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 107
Loc: Massachusetts
I won't say it's not possible, but the one rooster really doesn't have much of a place to get stuck. The other may have hurt himself if he freaked out about a mouse in his cage, as he's quite afraid of them.

Would a chipmunk attack a chicken? I've been having problems with them now that most of the mice are gone.

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#15972 - 09/08/07 07:12 AM Re: Mystery Attack
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
Unfortunately I have chipmunks that "sneak" in the run multiple times a day to stuff their cheeks. ( I need smaller mesh towards the bottom when I purchase more fencing! ) I would be very surprised if a chipmunk or mouse were to show aggression toward a chicken. I just can't imagine that unless rabies were a factor. I suppose rats would be a different story, have you trapped or seen any of those? Weasels? As you mentioned, I wounder if particular birds are just "freaked out" by the rodents and injure themselves? Sounds like you may need to get yourself some Buckeyes - the mousers of the chicken world!

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#15973 - 09/09/07 08:30 AM Re: Mystery Attack
Zuzy Offline
Chicken

Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 107
Loc: Massachusetts
We do have weasels around. They killed three of my hens a couple of years ago, and I just can't imagine that if it was a weasel why it didn't kill them. I've never seen a rat around. I would guess it's probably just the birds hurting themselves. At least it hasn't happened again.

Now I'm curious. What do the Buckeyes do to the mice?

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#15974 - 09/09/07 08:58 AM Re: Mystery Attack
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Kill and eat! Most large fowl will do this, and some bantams, also. Trouble is, that most mice are active at night, when our birds are roosting, but those that venture out in daylight, can be eliminated! CJR

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#15975 - 09/10/07 08:50 AM Re: Mystery Attack
Zuzy Offline
Chicken

Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 107
Loc: Massachusetts
Wow! I never knew that. I found some dead mice near my chicken runs, and they didn't seem to be killed by an animal or bird of prey. Maybe my big chickens got them. O_o

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