One Down

Well, this morning I went out to the tractor and found one of the Freedom Rangers had died. It looked like he’d been . . . well . . . squished. I’ve seen them pile up on top of each other for naps and fairly trample each other at the feeders from time to time, but this was one of the bigger birds, and I have a hard time visualizing how he could have gotten so buried he was unable to wiggle himself free. What a depressing way to go! And pretty weird too. Is this a mutant (ok, hybrid) chicken-ism? A thing heritage birds wouldn’t do? Maybe, but I couldn’t help noticing that two others were standing over him, chirping loudly like “Hey! Wake up!”  I feel like if they were total mutants they wouldn’t have even noticed one of their friends was acting funny.

Anyway, they better not do that again. They have loads of room in the tractor so there’s no excuse to squish each other like that.

p.s. Perhaps this is kind of morbid, but I took the opportunity to weigh the carcass and he came in at 1 lb 8.8 oz. Not bad for just under 4 weeks!

10 thoughts on “One Down

  1. Hi Sara, sorry to hear about your bird! :( I did read once that they will crowd into the corners and so we put 45 degree boards in all the corners of our brooder to make it more “roundish” shaped. It gives them room to wiggle free. Might be worth a try?

    • Hi Sue, that’s a good idea. This guy wasn’t really in a corner, but he was pressed up against the base of the tractor, so it’s true – he probably got stuck between a bunch of other birds and the board there. Blocking the corners might not have helped this fellow but it might prevent future squishings.

    • Turkeys are worse? Boo! Those are next. We’ll have to factor that in to our order I guess. They’re so expensive to buy, too! Where do you get yours?

  2. Mysterious indeed. I have heard that chickens will trample each other like that in moments of panic, which hardly seems anywhere close to the situation in your case. Perhaps it appears to have been trampled, but it was not well and you did not know, and it died naturally. The others huddled closely to accompany it in transition. They did not actually suffocate it. Just a theory.

  3. In every batch of chicks and in the one batch of turkeys we had, when I was a kid, there is always at least one death seemingly resulting from trampling. I also wonder if when it happens that they are already weak/sick and it is an inevitable event.

    • I am (sort of) relieved to hear that this has happened to others. I also just started noticing some early feet/leg issues in the birds. The one that died was pretty big, maybe he started having leg issues which prevented him from being able to get free of the scrum.

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