A lot has happened since we last talked. Ive had several Family issues that have caused me to be on the road a lot. I leave before daylight and get home after dark. My poor chickens hardly ever see me during the day. All were doing so well and I had justed"weaned" the youngest to free ranging during the day and cooped during the night.
Friday a week ago was my monthly drive down to help my Parents , to help with my Dad. I rushed home from work to feed everyone and make sure they were penned for the weekend. Everything was good and secure.
I returned late Sunday evening to find that 2 of my youngest Silkies were running loose, and when I checked their pen I found one baby dead in their house and another baby out behind the pen just laying on the ground on its back dead. These were 4 month olds and plenty big enough that they could not have gotten through the chain link fence on their own ...so Im still wondering how they got out and what killed them. I took the last two babies and put them back into the large brooder run.
Monday morning I left everyone in their pens,since it was still dark, and went to work. When I came home I found Mae (West) my beautiful Serama Hen dead in her cage . more...
...Baby Serama "Puppy", who had been very healthy and staying very close to her Mama "Sweet Tater", was now acting very strange. She was all huddled up and wouldnt follow her mama. This photo was taken just a couple of days before and she was perfectly fine. I removed her and put her into a brooder aquarium under warming lights. She died that night.
I failed to mention that the temperature had dropped almost 20 degrees and it had been raining for 4 days, since thursday before.
Tuesday came with no rain , so I decided to go to work a little later so I could check the pens and let everyone free range in the sun. Ever one was so happy to leave their pens...
Tues afternoon...found Brullee (pictured) , Marble (both Serama hens) and Vera my 5 month old Millefluer Cochin all dead and one of the baby Silkies (still in the brooder pen)that I had rescued two days before.
All were just laying on their backs in different places round the yard, as if they had just fallen over and died. No trauma , no apparent illness, no nothing.
I still have "Copperjack", "Carrot", "Speckles", and "LittleMan", all Serama Roos. Only one breeder hen to all those roos...(sigh)...Im right back where I started!!!!
After 3 years of trying to get going with Seramas and get show stock started I have only one little girl to show now for all my efforts. "Calico"
I still have my Lavender Splash Cochin Hen and two black over blue Roos.
Two pair of Modern games
A pair of BCMarans
Two Buff Orpington Hens
3 mixed breed LF hens
3 Silkie Hens and 1 roo
1 Huge LF Dark Brahma Roo "Wambli"
1 Dark Brahma Bantam Hen
So I still have chickens but Im nervous about what will happen next!!
Oh Eufaula, I'm so sorry. What a heartbreaker. All I can think is toxin. Was there anything new in their lives? Different feed, or a new bag? Fertilizer or yard chemicals? I'm sorry I have no more helpful ideas, it's just so sad. You worked so hard, and they're just gone.
Wish I could help.
Good morning Guys! No they were recieving the same feed from the same bags. they were roaming and cooped up in the same areas too! The only fifference was the temp and the rain. I am going to assume the little guys just couldnt hack the sudden change in the temps.
I just cant for the life of me think of any other thing. These babies were running around here all Summer long and have been fine until last weekend!
Wonder if I will have trouble. Same temp scenario here :(. I don't have Seramas, but there are two young Silkies (which are probably mixes from their combs) I'll check on. They are in a coop with some standard Cochins, so may be warm enough...:)
40's this am, will be 80s later on.
How tragic! I never would have thought that they could be killed by a mere weather change when they were so healthy. Is it possible that some neighboring farm had been spraying? Probably not at this time of year...anyway I hope the plague has ended. I'm so sorry!
what concerns me is the babies being out... are you sure no one is coming by and doing something to them?? Someone that may know your comings and goings???
I am so sorry this has happened. It breaks my heart to hear
I assume you checked them over for marks (bites etc. ) that could have killed them. If nothing, then either they got into something that they ate----weeds or flower head gone to seed that turned poisenous (sp?), an unfriendly neighbor, or person.
I don't think lower temperatue would do it. My daughter raises hens for eggs and have a rooster that always roam free. This is WY and temp have already dipped to freezing with no harm to the animals.
It is sad to have something like that happen. Especially difficult when you don't know why it happened. You can't fix what you don't know. I hope you will figure it out.
The possibility of someone coming when Im gone is very possible. I never have any trouble when Im home or at work becouse my Daughter is with me for a while. but last weekend she and I both were gone.
Yes I have pondered and tried to think on what and how the silkies got out , or scared them enough for them to scatter the way they obviously did. I did however observe a tee-tiny chihuahua (grown) in my driveway as I came home Sunday evening. Small enough to get under the gate of the pen???? Who knows, he may have thought the chickens were play toys and just chased and played them to death. I just dont know! No marks or blood on them. Just the strange way of finding them all laying on their backs , even the baby Serama in the brooder.
No spraying , I would know cause Im very sensitive to chemicals. Im just hoping no one tried feeding them something. None of the survivors are sick or showing any strange behavior. Hopefully the disasters are over . But there will be someone here to watch out for them from now on!!
As far as the weather temps, I know certain animals are more sensitive than others, but that many? I lost a rabbit for no reason once when a hard cold front came in. A lady that raises rabbits says those fronts often kill rabbits for some reason.
That certainly seems odd though.
Were they all free ranging when they were found dead?
Sorry to hear about you chickens Eufaula. I hope we help you get it figured out.
I would suspect the little dog. My own dog got one of my own chickens and didn't leave an obvious mark...When I gutted it and put it in the freezer that is when I noticed that there were internal injuries. It looked like the liver (or gizzard - not sure which) was split open and then it bled to death inside the stomach cavity. My dog is a retriever so I think there should have been something outwardly that would have shown but there was nothing obvious. There was a few small punctures after I de-feathered, but nothing outwardly that would have told me what happened when all the feathers were still there. My roos make more a mess of the girls than my dog did. This chicken was the only one out at the time and both my dogs got out and chased it around until they caught it and killed it. He just let go after it was dead. He then ran down to the pond and drank some water like nothing ever happened. So I think he thought it was a play thing and just moved on after there was no more commotion.
Oh my , so many losses and it keeps happening over and over...would much rather have an idea what is occurring. I could handle a disease or a predator, I can figure what steps to take, but this Mystery is just too much.
the thought that some human is releasing my babies , that is the one thing that bothers me . How did they get out of their pens??? and how did the gates get shut back. I guess I'll have to start padlocking everything and carrying a key ring!
Im just ranting now... Im going to stick with the first impression and say it was the rain and temperature, until I know better. " sigh"
I have never been able to work combination locks; it takes me two or three tries to get them to open - always! Now I'm beginning to have the same problem with zippers...
I certainly hope you can solve the mystery.
[quote="Eufaula"] Im going to stick with the first impression and say it was the rain and temperature, until I know better. " sigh" [/quote]
Rain can't open pens. It has to be a person who opens the pens and releases the hens, then give them poision since no marks on them. Do you have anyone complaining about the hens. How about footprints.
Use a padlock and place the key with y our car keys so you won't loose them.
My gut feeling was predator too.. Very likely it could have been a dog! They don't die from wounds as much as trauma. A a cat would take them away more than likely. If it was weather, they would have been crouched together or in a corner somewhere trying to get warm.
Either way, it is tragic and sad.. I don't think it was neglect, so don't beat yourself up about not being there. Poor dear.. I know it's so hard. I have a Serama roo that is getting up there in age, and don't have one of his sons.. All the eggs I'm getting now are infertile, so I may have lost my chance.. :(
Is there any way the chickens could have gotten out of the pen on their own? If not there must have been a person involved. Perhaps a child wanted to visit them and then a dog took over? I hate unsolved mysteries!
After all the shock, I decided I needed to do another evaluation of the events and how I found them. I cant write with out deleting , it gets worse everytime I try to remember. All I know is that the little dog and another small dog belong to the neighbors. They run free all the time and I have caught them in my yared several times. The neighbors also have a teen boy that likes to "visit" when Im not home to look at the chickens. I think that is the root to my problems. I believe he went into the pen and the dogs got in too! This doesnt explain my hens though or the tiny Serama that died. I dont know but I have to go forward. Locks on pens and canstant vigilance I guess.
A dog can scare them into quite a frenzy, I have seen mine get out of the pen without opening any doors! Remember, they are fearing for their life, they usually find a way out...
My neighbor was walking his dog and it got away from him.. a small dog.. started chasing my hens and the guy had NO CLUE the dog would kill them... He was laughing thinking it was cute! A normally intact fence really surprised me that there were so many ways out, (besides over)
So if a kid was over there, opened the gate, and the dog followed.. well, things could get ugly and out of control real fast.
Eufaula, Neighborhood dogs can be a real problem. First, is there a leash law? Even where I live (in very rural SC) there is, but it isn't enforced willingly. I have tried talking to those who ;et their dogs run, with little success. I complain their dogs are after my chickens, and the general attitude is "thump 'em". Meaning kill them. That's not what i want to do, but it gives you an idea of the attitude. The other day there was a beaglish dog in the garden (where the chickens sometimes hang) and Joe chased it away. I told him next time to try and catch it. I'm tired of all this, and any animal I can catch will go to Animal Control. I haven't decide yet which county...
Part of my annoyance probably stems from finding out that some of these "neighbors" have decided my land is open for hunting...
I'm so sorry, Eufala. I lost one of my two chickens yesterday. I have recently adopted two dogs, and they killed her when she got out. No blood, no obvious marks. I can't be mad at the dogs -- what else would happen when a puppy encounters a free-range chicken? But now that the nights are getting cold, I will worry about Miss Jane, who is alone. :(
Guess I get to join your sadness party. Looks like my best hen was killed by the rooster I was trying to breed her with. She was a gorgeous white hen. Looks like I don't know much about chickens. :( I'm a bad chicken mother, and grieving a little here. I almost want to give up.
I did not know that either,so I asume that if you are going to breed you need more than a few hens in with the rooster?I am going to be doing this breeding thing next spring,I have some blues and splash orpingtons that I want to breed so I`m guessing at lest four hens in with a rooster is that right?
I've often had single hens with a rooster with no issues.
I hope one of our experienced people will weigh in on this. I have several trios I was planning on caging together for long enough to get some pure eggs, but if that's gonna happen, they can mix it up...
did she have enough room to get away from him??? That could be a issue. Very sorry LFJ
I have probably 1 rooster to 2 to 3 hens all in 2 huge Bantam Araucana pens with no issues so far. 10 to 12 roosters per pen because I don't have the heart to put them down as sweet as they are. Have had no luck selling the ones (hens & roo's) I need to cull.
I also have a trio of Lg Fowl Silver Ameraucana with 4 chicks right now with no issues in a small pen but free range all day
One rooster, one hen in a 8X4X4 pen. She was such a sweet thing. I feel mean. I wasn't around to see what was going on. Took him about five days to kill her. He's the sweetest rooster to people. I've had him several years. When I bought him he wasn't well, and it took him awhile to get his health back. I think he's about five years old now. His name is Cotton, and he's a fine specimen of a silkie rooster, as far as I know.
I read online that this happens sometimes. Wish I had known of the danger beforehand. Some have said when the hen will not submit they will sometimes kill them. There were eight other caged roosters fairly nearby that also might have heightened his frenzy. I'm just guessing, but you know how roosters get, they want to fight when other roosters are around.
The other woman had used him for breeding and said she got excellent chicks from him.
Thanks for your kind words, but it will take me awhile for me to get over this. I had such high hopes.
Also, I will have to tell my little grandson. He helped me take her out there, and he'll be hurt too. Wish I could find another hen as beautiful as she was, I would just sneak her in there and he wouldn't know the difference, but little chance of that at the moment.
I had no idea when I started this that there could be so many problems trying to raise chickens. Taking care of a few chickens sounds simple right? NO. Seems like I've made about every mistakes that can be made, one way or the other. It's very emotional too, not to mention expensive. Hen scratch is now $11.25 in Texas.
Can you imagine that when I started this I thought I would get inexpensive eggs? Boy, that's a joke. I used to spend $8.00 a month on eggs. lol
I do enjoy my chickens though, and can't imagine life without them now. That donkey too is such a blessing to me. Can't describe it, but I know what I'm talking about. They have been a life saver for me, and you DGers too. Thanks again.
Awww, LFJ we have all been there! Please do not think that you are a bad mom. We have all gone through these growing pains and losses. We have all experienced the love and laughter too! Dont give up sugar! We are here for ya, just as everyone has been here for me here lately. Iwas at the point of giving in and saying to heck with it, then I would go out and look into the eyes of my remaining chickies and my heart just wont let me give up. They are my little family and they see me as their MOm and I plan to just keep learning and growing and talking with others that do what we do. I am however going to reduce my flocks. I have to be level headed, which is very hard to do, and decide who to keep as pets and who to keep as layers. I love them all.
Since I do not eat that many eggs and I do not kill my chickens to eat... I had to ask my self a very serious question, "Why"! Well we all know the answer dont we!
Donna , that was a max only one to three or four hens, six hens is better . Actually two or three roos to a flock of twenty five hens is fine .The men will still be pleased . Ours were free range .Imoo the pen was way too small to keep them in together all the time . A hen needs to have a way to get away .
I love silkies . Your roo won't care if you get a new hen , he likes all of them
All I know is what my dear , long gone , m i l taught me when I first married and our chicks were for eggs and the freezer
Eufaula, Sorry to hear of your losses, I have been on a trip and have just now gotten back to checking postings. This is horrible, I feel so bad for you. So many gone so quickly, just plain tragic. And to think someone did this on purpose is just maddening and sad.
I always worry about our animals when we are gone. My nephew comes and checks on them and feeds them, but I still worry something could happen while we are away. Ours we all fine when we got home.
Hope you can keep the rest of yours safe. Sending you hugs.
I don't know about silkies or the other little ones either . I was speaking of the larger breeds that are grown for meat and eggs . The little ones may be different. Just seemed a chicken is a chicken .
This kinda scares me. I had a banty Barred Cochin hen and roo together for months, because she had been getting too much "attention" from the LF Roos. She was actually injured, and I put her and the little roo together after she had healed in solitary. They're now in a new group, and seem to be doing okay but I'll keep a much more careful eye on this. Thanks for the heads up :(
sorry, I obviously need help with this new computer...
Okay it seems that Ive been invaded by every kind of predator known to man! So Ive now resorted to locking up my last two Serama Hens with a young cockeral ,( going good so far). My precious little "Calico Millie" is in her pen with her companion. I have my Lavender Splash Hen in an enclosed run with two Modern game roos and their one little hen,(Hawk got my lemon Hen last week). My 4 Silkies have their own House and run too. The 5 LF Hens are out in the big Hen House with their BCMaran Roo. Now I have 2 bantam cochin roos, 3 Serama Roos, a Silkie/Cochin Roo and a Maran/Orpington 4month old ??? I almost forgot my BIG Baby, "Wambli" the Dark Brahma Roo all running free. They all have their special hiding places and roost in the trees or shrubs at night. Most of the Roos will be taken to "The Chickens On Parade Swap ,Sell and Education" Meetup in Conyers (Atlanta ) on Saturday. I have to find new homes for these guys as soon as possible.
I will have photos for all of you and hopefully some good news for a change!
Sorry guys,, Its been another rough week for me and my family. I got to the Swap and education Meetup last Saturday only to be called away because my Mom was taken to the hospital. What at first seemed like a heart attack turned out to be two pulmanary embolism that was blocking proper oxygen from reaching her heart and brain. She was recovering and Dr. said she just needed bed rest and blood thinners and she would be fine in a few days , enough so to come home and rest. It didnt go that well at all. Because of a serious case of mistaken emergency room records my Mom was mixedup with another seriously ill patient and she was accidentally given the wrong meds. My Mom became very disoriented and then near comatose. She tried to get out of bed before the effects got to the worse stage and she fell. No family was allowed to stay with her so we werent there to protect her, thinking hospital staff was doing their duty. Long story short Mom wound up with a serious blow and hematoma on the back of her skull and a fractured neck. Plus the fact she had enough wrong medication in her system to knock out a Bull moose. My Mom is 85 and very active, now she can barely move.
Needless to say My family and I have been all over the board with getting her proper care and now orthopedic therapy, all the while my sweet Dad is home with Alzhiemers and part of the family home with him 24/7.
So sorry for taking this forum to download my problems but you guys really count with me and I know youre all there for me. Prayers requested and love to you all. Hopefully I will be able to bring better news soon!
I never know what to say in situations like this. It's very awkward isn't it? So, just will say I am so sorry to hear this, you are in my prayers, and I hope your mother gets better soon. Doesn't surprise me at all to hear this about the hospital, which is why I do not like or trust doctors.
If there was somewhere in this world I could go to hide from everything I see going on, I would go. Problem is, it is worldwide, so might as well stay put where at least I know where I am, sort of anyway.
Hope your mom bounces back real quick. Sounds like she is an outstanding woman. The older I get the more I appreciate how the seniors deal with life.
Lately I've had problems with my neck as well, just waking up hurting, so I did some research and read about buckwheat pillows. Have had about three nights sleep on it so far. Too early to tell, but it does give some support that the fluff pillows cannot. A lady I know online fell and hurt her neck and is in constant pain, surgery she feels is too dangerous, so she's trying to tough it out. Her arms are numb and sometimes fail to respond. Spinal injuries are probably about the worst thing you can have.
Take care of yourself too Eufaula. Try not to stress too much. It'll all work out. God Bless.
I wanted to know if this serama is a good one, or if it is supposed to be fuller in the chest area? Such a pretty color I thought. Seems the serama lovers on here want them to look like Dolly Pardon, so not sure she would qualify a being exquisite. http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=592588
Eufaula, I'm so sorry. It never rains but it pours :(. I wish I could offer concrete help, but I know that's not likely.
You must be feeling so helpless and frustrated. I can only imagine how angry I would be at all that has happened. I would want to lash out at someone, but I guess that wouldn't help.
Please know my thoughts and best wishes go with you, and your Mom.
And should there be something i could do to help in some small way, please let me know.
oh geesh Eufaula. What a horrible thing to happen. I believe all hospitals are going to heck. They don't care anymore. They just want to cattle herd people through. The more they herd through the more money they make is what it seems to boil down to in my opinion. Ins. Co. are to blame. They set limits on what they will pay for each thing ex. I had blood work done. It was right at 500 dollars. My deductible wasn't met so I had the pay the bill in full which amounted to 85 dollars after the insurance cut out all they wanted to cut from the bill and that is all the hosp could charge me
I am so sorry about this and pray your mom makes a full recovery
Sounds like you should have a lawsuit to me. That is horrible! I'm so sorry this is happening to you.. I just about had to pick my chin off the keyboard I was so shocked! You poor thing.. :( I just feel terrible for you and your mom.
L_F_J that is a nice Serama. I wouldn't get just one if I could help it... She is probably too small to do much breeding, but she is really nice.
Hey Guys! Im back at work until Friday afternoon, then back down that 125 mile ride to my dads house. Mom is another 75 miles or so in Savannah hospital. She is getting better but the physical rehab is really tiring and painful for her. Daddy isnt good but very distressed when he realizes Mom isnt with him.
As for my Chickens...well thats now another painful story...Ive had to either sell or give them away. All but three pairs of Seramas, three laying hens and roo, and my 4 Silkies, oh yes and "Wambli" Dark Brahma. As soon as I find a buyer for them they will have to go also. Im thinking about maybe keeping Little Chicopea and Calico Millie and thats all. They are small enough to go with me in a puppy travel case when I go to take care of myparents.
So to all of you everything will be fine and your prayers are seeing results. thanks guys!
I'm bawling ,Sissy, over your mama and the babies . If I had had my puter up and running , I would have known sooner . If I was still home , I could have taken the chick and gotten it to Cat .
Company at door , gotta go . Did you send me a text ? Better an email or dmail . Love , Big Sissy
Oh Eufaula so sorry to hear about your mom.What an awful thing to happen.Praying that she will be up and around soon so your dad will can have her back home again.Iknow how I would feel if I had to sell or give away my babies so sad for you.