My blog is now permanently located at: www.MySuburbanHomestead.com
I'm a stay-at-home mom learning about all manners of the self-sufficient lifestyle: vegetable and fruit gardening, pest control (especially slugs) keeping livestock (chickens, goats, ducks, rabbits), parenting, inexpensive and responsible living.
When I brought down the chickens' bucket of weeds this morning, I discovered another murdered bird. It is really very hard to tell what happened. It looks like it is one of our new birds (thankfully not one of our old birds). So there is one of two scenarios:
a). The old birds have been picking on my new birds. They have areas that they are missing feathers due to the old rooster they were living humping them so much. I didn't think this would be a big deal, but my old birds really do not like that. I thought it was just wounds that chickens will peck at, but they peck at new birds in the flock as well as any large areas of missing feathers. Any time a chicken is bleeding or has a wound the chickens will peck it to death and eat it, most likely so they can deter the smell of fresh blood from predators.
I should remember that I have a hard time introducing new birds in a flock. Many people do it with ease, but I find it to be a violent pain in the ass. Birds are mean to each other, especially if they don't know each other.
But there are signs of struggle in the cage as well as outside.
b). The other scenario: a predator pulled its head through the fencing. The head is gone and the wings are pulled through. There are blood and feathers outside of the cage as well as in. It is possible that a combination of the two happened: the other chickens picked on it, cornered it, and one of the coyotes or something did the rest. I don't know.