Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#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?

Top
#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.

Top
#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?

Top
#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.

Top
#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

Top
#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.

Top
#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!

Top
#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?

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

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
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

Top
#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

Top
#15976 - 09/10/07 10:02 AM Re: Mystery Attack
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
My Buckeye hen & 7 Buckeye pullets will collectively stalk & converge on a mouse. I wouldn't have believed their efficiency had I not observed it for myself. When they get a hold of it, they tear it apart in seconds. They fight over the mouse scraps between themselves. I only find the mice heads.

I have chipminks which my cat has all but eliminated from the surrounding area, and they will not harm chickens. I imagine large fowl would attack and kill a chipmunk if they could catch and hold it.

Top
#15977 - 09/10/07 10:53 AM Re: Mystery Attack
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Hello,

a note on chipmunks: I also think they wonīt harm a grown chicken, but they do indeed eat chicks and eggs.

Hereīs some further reading:
Quote:
The chipmunk is an omnivore. It prefers seeds, nuts, and acorns, as well as fruits or berries; but it also eats slugs, insects, spiders, nestling birds, eggs, and occasionally mice or small snakes...
from:
http://wonderclub.com/Wildlife/mammals/easternchipmunk.htm

Best greetings,

Joachim

Top
#15978 - 09/10/07 07:15 PM Re: Mystery Attack
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
Joachim: Not trying to disagree or quarrel with you, but prior to obtaining my cat who eliminated them through torture, I have had chicks out in small pens during the day where Eastern Chipmunks were running amok and never had a problem. I would have never even thought such a thing! I think by "nestlings," this quote might mean little helpless birds in a nest, blind, completely dependent and featherless.

My problem with the chipmunks were their burrows & tunnels. I once toyed with the idea of putting a huge snake down their holes so it would eat them. I do not doubt a chipmunk would eat an egg but never had a problem with that either. However, there were snapping turtles that were taking grown birds according to a post to a link on another thread here; I never thought I'd hear that one! How about it folks, anyone out there had an Eastern Chipmunk get a chick? I guess you'd have to actually witness it to know it. A Chipmunk is a rodent but it isn't exactly a rat! No offense, Joachim, just asking the question. Chris

Top
#15979 - 09/10/07 10:25 PM Re: Mystery Attack
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Good Morning Chris,

no problem!;-) Yep, I agree, I think with nestlings they mean rather small/young and helpless chicks, maybe even fallen out of their nest. Our Brahmas eat those, too;-)

Would also be interested in firsthand experience, thanks for asking that question!

As for the eggs, well, we have several "predators" who regularly take and eat our eggs. Sounds weird, as if we feed our eggs to these animals on purpose.LOL! But itīs not, itīs just that our ducks prefere to lay and breed in our cockerels-garden. In this garden we have an old barn to seperate 2 gardens, in this old barn I placed the sleeping box of our boys. In this old barn we have a marten reside since a few years by now, I have seen him several times running over the sleeping box through the roof truss. We also have hedgehogs wintering in this old barn right across the sleeping box of our boys, our dogs face up to them in the night when weīre outside with them. My wife has seen chipmunks running up the trees across the barn, also. All those "predators" take the eggs from our ducks, even our neighbour regularly finds some duck-eggs with little teeth-imprints on the border to our garden, some must carry the eggs away before eating them. I havenīt been lucky enough to actually witness them eating our duck-eggs, but I think they do it nevertheless. But of course it could also be the Eichelhäher (Garrulus glandarius) or the Crow that takes the eggs, we have both feathered friends in our trees in this garden, I can see them breed up there. Plus, we have a pair of Peregrine Falcons in the highest tree that stands right beside the barn, I enjoy watching them hunt. They even come down to our huge feeder poles sometimes to eat what the Brahmas have left, especially if itīs cooked eggs we were feeding;-) Nevertheless all these predators leave our grown birds in peace, I call this "Burgfrieden" (sorry, no translation found, hereīs a link what I mean in German: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgfrieden ).

I know a chipmunk is not a rat, the rats have moved out when we moved in with our dogs and cats;-)

Same here, not wanting to disagree or offend, only wanting to share our observations, and maybe say a word on behalf of the predators, they also only want to live.

Best greetings,

Joachim

Top
#15980 - 09/11/07 06:37 PM Re: Mystery Attack
Zuzy Offline
Chicken

Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 107
Loc: Massachusetts
Peregrine falcons? You're so lucky!

The biggest problem I have with chipmunks at the moment is them getting into two different cages and pooping in the food. Nasty little buggers. Plus they drive me crazy overall, but that's just a personal opinion. Heh. We've had less of a problem after we started live trapping them. I just never thought that they'd eat anything other than the food, but it does make perfect sense that they'd eat eggs. Eggs are about the most perfect food out there for any animal. Luckily they can only get into cages where roosters are housed, or where the hens are older and aren't laying anymore.

I must say I don't mind predators around. They're quite beautiful and exciting to see. When they're not killing my birds. I've got great big eastern coyotes around, red foxes, ermine, fisher cats, domestic dogs, raccoons (the worst of all), and birds of prey ranging from little sharp shinned hawks to redtails and northern goshawks. There are even said to be black bears and bobcats in the area. Needless to say I've spent a lot of time securing my coops against all those beasties, but those drated rodents always get in. Oh well. At least it sounds like they're not much more than annoying pests.

Those Buckeyes sound like velociraptors. O_O The only thing I've seen my chickens rip apart are bugs and raspberries.

Top
#15981 - 09/12/07 07:12 AM Re: Mystery Attack
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
Yeah, those dreaded Chipmunks! They are cute as heck, and I wish them well, but my black-oil sunflower seed is like gold, and I hate to see them stuffing their cheeks with it. The Fayoumi and Golden-Penciled Hamburghs used to chase them away, but have given up this loosing battle. I think Buckeyes should be in my next chicken order. Chris, where did you get your Buckeyes, and if it's local, do you know if they mail them?

Top
#15982 - 09/12/07 12:06 PM Re: Mystery Attack
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Hello Amy,

if you want I can look up some old articles, I have read (Finsterbush I think) from game breeds attacking, successfully killing and actually eating snakes!;-)

Best greetings,

Joachim

Top
#15983 - 09/13/07 05:22 AM Re: Mystery Attack
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
That would be great, Joachim. Thanks.

Chris, your game hen who raised two chicks - was she loose with the rest of the birds or sectioned off?

Any thoughts/observations from you guys how or if a game hen raising chicks can co-exist with the rest of the flock?

Top
#15984 - 09/13/07 02:12 PM Re: Mystery Attack
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Hello Amy,

here it is, it wasnīt far away;-) I marked the parts of interest with red color in the small pic, the link leads you to the large pic which is zoomable and better readable:


(HQ: http://www.krassesrudel.at/forumbilder/thecoop/1928cafinsterbush04.gif )
source: The Malay Fowl by C. A. Finsterbusch in "Histories of Game Strains"

Iīve also read that Asil are capable of eating snakes I think, but I donīt find THIS part of my printouts right now, sorry!LOL!

Best greetings,

Joachim

Top
#15985 - 09/13/07 02:34 PM Re: Mystery Attack
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
Hey Amy: my Buckeye original stock came from Duane Urch in Minnesota. I'm at work but when I get home today, I'll private you a good list of Buckeye Breeders and esp those closest to you.

I kept the chicks and the Old English Game Bantam hen separate in a pen until they were about 9 weeks old. Their pen was within the large chicken run so they could always see the other birds (& the others could see the chicks). When I first turned them out in the run, mama hen would attack the other birds even when there was no aggression shown toward the chicks. Now the chicks are more or less weaned (the chicks don't seem to know that though) and the other chickens are all against them. There is no blood, just running. Also, the OEG bantam hen always roosted by herself in a bush. I just let her because she was so tiny compared with the other birds. The chicks have followed her to the bush and are roosting with her. As they have grown though, the bush is barely supporting them. I've moved them at night and they still jump down and run to mama hen's bush. This cannot last for much longer though. CHRIS

Top
#15986 - 11/09/07 11:57 PM Re: Mystery Attack
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Hello Folks,

just recieved a cool clip and Iīd like to share it:

Betty eats a snake: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=M94Zt3ZMdjk

Best greetings,

Joachim

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >


Moderator:  Admin @ The Coop, Moderator2