Killer Chickens

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I had NO idea.

    That such poultry bloodlust could happen HERE... in OUR coop!

    Went out this morning to do my birthday chicken dance with the four teenage chicks, and after I opened the coop door to let them all out, I saw it.

    A lifeless body. :faint:

    I'm sure the poor creature had no idea what hit it -- it was a mouse.

    The hens wouldn't look me in the eye. They KNEW I suspected them. Guilt was in their feathers, their bloodstained beaks. So tragic.

    Then I picked up the carcass and tossed it down the back hill and went about my business of refilling the water bucket and feeder and herding the hens to their run.

    On my way back to the coop to unplug the heat lamp (for Minerva's convalescence), I stopped DEAD in my tracks.

    There was ANOTHER DEAD MOUSE!!!!!! :sick:

    Those girls were BUSY this morning!

    I think I'd better post a warning on the coop door... maybe even our front door: BEWARE ATTACK CHICKENS ON DUTY! :surprise:

    (Who needs kittehs when ya gots chickehs?)
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Uh-oh.... it wasn't Mickey and Minnie took a wrong turn, was it?!?! :wildone:

  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Naaah, they were their country cousins, Mortimer and Mildred. RIP. ;)
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I bet they were BOTH male mouses......

    and they were

    (wait for it)
    (wwwwaaaait for it)
    henpecked to death!

    OMG I kill me.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    LOL Star!
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Yer prolly right, there, Star!

    Goes to show yew, whether it's of Mice or Men, no one is immune to the wrath of a woman! Those rodents took their lives in their own paws when they dared trespass on my chicks' coop. I keep warnin' my cats to keep their distance too! They creep up to the run and them chicks come runnin' with their beaks ready to peck their little green eyes out!

    We had a weasel here last Spring before we got Herbert... It came slinking out of our shed with a huge wood rat in its jaws. The thing weighed as much as the weasel did. But I pity the poor varmint that tries to break into that chicken coop! They won't know what hit 'em!
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is Tony.

    Speaking of funny chickens...I have a few stories.

    We raise fighting chickens and the hens are loose on the yard for the most part. There was some ears of corn on the yard near the woods where the chickens live and a squirrel came down and noticed the corn. He went over to the ear of corn and started to eat it. A hen noticed him and eased slowly over to where he was sitting. Suddenly the squirrel noticed the hen and he jumped at the hen and then the hen squawked and jumped back at the squirrel and they did this little dance for a few minutes but eventually the hen won out.

    It was cute.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    That's too funny, Tony! One of our hens went after one of the cats the same way the other day. She flew up in the air with her neck feathers ruffled out and talons in front ready to strike! The cats have learned to keep their distance :D
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A hen on the rampage can be a fearsome sight. The cats are wise to be cautious.

    Our chooks are bantams, a fairly feral lot. A neighbour of ours bred them up over many years then moved house. We got a lot of his excess poultry and they lived wild in our wilderness backyard, roosting in the trees at night. We had a coupe of roosters as well, although only one main top male.
    That rooster was something I had to constantly watch. Never bend over with your back to a rooster. He had spurs as long as your thumb and one day, he got me. KNocked me over.

    Now, I couldn't let him win, so I had to take off after him, wielding a broom. Trouble is, I have trouble walking let alone running, and I kept falling over. I finally cornered the pest in a corner of the chookhouse and let him have it.

    Otherwise, I don't have trouble with the chooks. The hens have never attacked me, not even the broodies. However, a bantam hen with chicks to look after can get really aggressive with any creature she sees as a threat. I've seen a bantam hen trying to leap into the air to get at a magpie that was swooping her.

    We get some big spiders here, sometimes some nasty ones as well. Funnelweb spiders are a huge nasty but I think hens are unaffected by their venom. We have some really big (but moderately harmless) spiders here called huntsman spiders. They can flatten themselves out and slide into very narrow crevices. I was getting some chicken feed out of the large storage bin when I got startled by one of these large hairy spiders. I knocked it to the ground and called the chooks. Thespider was unimpressed and also very aggressive, he raised himself up into attack mode (looking a lot like a funnelweb spider in full aggressive attack mode - maybe the local funnelweb spiders have been giving lessons) and this spider went for the hen, just as she was going for the spider.

    It was bizarre - at one point, the spider got a grip just above the hen's beak and wouldn't let go no matter how she shook her head. Finally she got it loose and tried to peck at it again, but it reared up again. So she backed away. That spider survived the encounter and I suspect that hen has never tried to eat spiders again.

    Chooks will, as a flock, attack any strange creature that invades their space. This includes any chicks of a too-different species. Sometimes it will include any chicks not of their own (so you need to separate out a broody hen and clutch). I had a peacock egg under one of my bantams, it successfully hatched but the other chooks killed it before I could get it to safety.

    YOu don't need to have a rooster, to have a hen go broody. And you don't need to put chicken eggs under a chicken. However, water birds are difficult to hatch because the eggs need moisture on them especially later in the incubation. Also be ready to remove the chicks form the parent bird if the parent is too "smart". Sometimes you can be lucky. Some hen types are less risky - the silkies are generally so docile that they will mother anything. I've even had a silky mother an orphan chick when she wasn't even broody; I tricked her for a few hours in a quiet dark box while the kids kept the chick warm and cuddled, then I slipped the chick into the box with the silky, and it was miraculous. We had really thought we would lose the chick, when we had already just lost the mother to a very large python (3 metres plus).

    Incidentally, that python is a regular visitor to our chookhouse, he's hunting for rats & mice. Amazingly, the chooks leave him alone. Maybe because he waits until they're asleep?

  11. Pam R

    Pam R New Member

    In the local chicken group I belong to, I'd heard that someone had chickens that were excellent mouse hunters. So I guess it's entirely possible.

    Many people do not know that chickens are omnivores and do much better when they get some sort of animal protein. Had the mouse corpse been left there, they probably would have cleaned it up.

    Mine get fresh ground pollock every day, 1/8 oz/bird/day, enough to provide the animal protein missing from their layer ration, but not enough to make them or their eggs fishy. On the bitter cold days, this is substituted with the ground waste/fat from the slaughtered steer. It gives them extra energy to keep warm.

    Pam R.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Well GCV -

    I have no doubts that gamecocks are vicious and fight to the death but I swear I had NO idea chickens were such carnivores.

    I'm guessing with that "slightly" hostile CA environment you'd need something that can kill a wood rat....
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member


    And, ick.
  14. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    You guys crack me up!