Sadly, most of the time these mystery deaths are nearly 100% bacterial in nature and bad bacteria causes more fatal illness in chickens than all other reasons combined. Remember you CAN'T see the bad bacteria that harms your chickens. Its important to have the right compost and the correct bacteria balance in your coop. Be sure to use the correct products to keep your chickens healthy.
Bonus FREE tip! Put an alarm on your cell phone to remind you or your family to check on the chickens and lock your coop doors at night.
Your FIRST step is to look for openings in the wire of your coop as well as any holes dug into the floor of the run or coop. Repair all openings is your first concern. If predators got a chicken dinner last night, they will be back again tomorrow. Also, begin by looking for tracks in the soil to determine what kind of predators got into your coop.
Before you ever suffer the dramatic loss of losing a chicken be sure to build your coop right the first time. And if you let your chickens out, do so under supervision. Many chickens are snatched by predators in broad daylight.
Then there is the "mystery death" where your chickens simply falls over dead and it can happen day or night. Most people think that the hen was egg bound, perhaps another chicken killed it or even that their newly dead chicken fell off of the roost and broke her neck.
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The Most Common Reasons Your Chicken Could Die
If you have ever lost a chicken to death you may wonder why or perhaps the reason is clearly obvious based on what you found in the coop.
The most obvious reason for losing chickens to death are as follows; your own pet dog, unsupervised children that are too young to be responsible on their own with chickens, a surprise predator that snatched your chicken in the night, and of course bad bacteria in the coop that caused a bacterial disease.
One other simple oversight is to forget to lock your coop doors at night, Be SURE to put an alarm on your phone each night as a reminder to close your coop doors if you let your chickens out at all.
Accidents do happen and can include a leg injury from someone stepping on a hen, your chicken can get caught in the coop wire is a hazard as well as other hens picking on each other. These are a few reasons, however sad, that your chickens can die.
If you lose your chicken to a predator and awake in the morning to find feathers in your coop, in most cases there is a way to tell what kind of predator killed your chicken. Predators can strike day or night!
Generally, if your chickens were found to be dead with just the missing head and no injury to the body its likely that the predator could have been a raccoon.
If your chickens body was ravaged and mangled the predator could have been a dog, coyote, wolf, or bobcat.
Some folks are under the impression that if they catch "that raccoon" that got their chickens all is well. Newsflash! there are hundreds of raccoons where that "one" came from and you need to take extreme measures to prevent anymore break ins.