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PLEASE Help! Have Lost 2 Barred Rock Hens in Last 3 days....

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello! We're still slightly new to the wonderful world of raising poultry. We love our girls. We have a rainbow flock, because I could never make up my mind of what breed I wanted. Currently we have Amerecauna's, New Hampshire Red, Wyanedotte's, and we had some barred rocks.. We have older hens 3 of them to be exact, who are our survivors from a previous attack or a neighbor dog almost 2 and half years ago now... so they're pets to us.. We will let them live out their natural lives... The barred rocks were approximately two and a half years old. Almost a year ago, we found one of the barred rocks just dead in the chicken coop. We were then down to three. Then one of the hens started acting REALLY weird... she wouldn't come out of the coop at all... she would sit on the eggs ALL day long... but peck and eat them... and was insanely mean to us, and the other chickens... she became super lethargic and we had to put her down, because the other chickens weren't laying. Then just this last week one of the barred rocks started walking around SUPER slow and puffed up.. wouldn't eat and wouldn't drink... we just kept our eye on her... the next day my husband found her dead in the chicken coop. Then just today I couldn't find our last surviving barred rock, then I found her in the chicken coop... I went to grab her, she went to get away and she fell over and couldn't walk.. She got up to walk again and just fell over.... So I had to put her down too.... We've lost three chickens... What gives?? Are my other chickens at risk? Was it their age?? Are barred rocks prone to this??? PLEASE HELP! Thank you!!!!!

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kherth View Post
 

Hello! We're still slightly new to the wonderful world of raising poultry. We love our girls. We have a rainbow flock, because I could never make up my mind of what breed I wanted. Currently we have Amerecauna's, New Hampshire Red, Wyanedotte's, and we had some barred rocks.. We have older hens 3 of them to be exact, who are our survivors from a previous attack or a neighbor dog almost 2 and half years ago now... so they're pets to us.. We will let them live out their natural lives... The barred rocks were approximately two and a half years old. Almost a year ago, we found one of the barred rocks just dead in the chicken coop. We were then down to three. Then one of the hens started acting REALLY weird... she wouldn't come out of the coop at all... she would sit on the eggs ALL day long... but peck and eat them... and was insanely mean to us, and the other chickens... she became super lethargic and we had to put her down, because the other chickens weren't laying. Then just this last week one of the barred rocks started walking around SUPER slow and puffed up.. wouldn't eat and wouldn't drink... we just kept our eye on her... the next day my husband found her dead in the chicken coop. Then just today I couldn't find our last surviving barred rock, then I found her in the chicken coop... I went to grab her, she went to get away and she fell over and couldn't walk.. She got up to walk again and just fell over.... So I had to put her down too.... We've lost three chickens... What gives?? Are my other chickens at risk? Was it their age?? Are barred rocks prone to this??? PLEASE HELP! Thank you!!!!!

It sounds like a disease is spreading.  It is always a good idea to separate sick birds from the rest until it is known if the sickness is infectious or not. Your other chickens are at risk.  Two and a half is not old for a chicken; I've had a number of chickens live seven to ten years. A vet is your best bet to do tests on the bird that died today.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Oh no :(... That makes me sick to my stomach... What should I do in the meantime? Or is it too late since they've been exposed to it? We just got another new chicken coop... Should we close off the old one?... Is there a way to completely clean out the old one so it isn't spreading?.... Oh man.

post #4 of 9

I didn't see specifically how old they were but they can live 10 years or more.

When one loses more than one bird in short order, it's time for lab work. Anyone that suggests what might have been the problem is just guessing and guessing is not the way to protect your birds.

The problem could be any of at least 30 things with those symptoms.

What state are you in? Every state has a poultry lab for necropsies. Be ready to send off a bird if another dies. In fact, if another exhibits the same symptoms, that's the time to send the live bird to the lab for euthanasia and testing. The fresher the specimen, the more conclusive the tests will be.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

They were only 2 and a half years old. They seemed to be completely healthy beforehand. We have them on medicated food. I worm them monthly, we have them on a rich diet of foods and scraps of only food that they can eat.. I make sure they get a protein rich diet. And I use dietemacious earth as well. I live in Wyoming. I have a phone call into our local veterinary clinic... Thank you guys so much... Should we even be eating their eggs?

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kherth View Post

They were only 2 and a half years old. They seemed to be completely healthy beforehand. We have them on medicated food. I worm them monthly, we have them on a rich diet of foods and scraps of only food that they can eat.. I make sure they get a protein rich diet. And I use dietemacious earth as well. I live in Wyoming. I have a phone call into our local veterinary clinic... Thank you guys so much... Should we even be eating their eggs?

Unsure about the eggs., but I certainly would start cleaning and sterilizing. Good luck.
post #7 of 9

Why are they on medicated food. That only comes as a starter feed and is unnecessary for adult birds. It is only a thiamine blocker that prevents coccidia to uptake thiamine, thereby starving them. Whatever the problem is, isn't likely to be a problem in the eggs.

Monthly worming and medicated food could likely be your problem.

In Wyoming, worming may never be necessary. In the last 50 years, I've only wormed one rooster one time.

Regular worming (yearly or semiannually) is only necessary in warm humid climates.

I don't mean to be flippant but I don't even know people living in the swamps of Louisiana or Nicaragua that worm monthly.

Even if monthly worming doesn't weaken the bird, it will cause resistance in the worms.

https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/130501j.aspx


Edited by ChickenCanoe - 10/6/15 at 3:43pm

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your input. Perhaps it isnt medicated food. Its just normal layer hens pellets. And we use feather fixer when they molt. However, as everyone learns I am too. And I don't appreciate the smart tone. My vet is coming out to look at them tomorrow and make the diagnoses. We love our girls and roo.
post #9 of 9

Hi. I'm so sorry you are having problems. Any time you have a bird mysteriously die, or you need to cull, it's always good practice to throw them in the freezer for possible necropsy. Like you said, one bird, a fluke? Then two more, time to find out why. Most states will perform one at no charge to keep track of zoonotic diseases and epidemics. You can google your state veterinary lab if you'd like. 

I will likely be little or no help, but to try to answer your questions, yes, your other chickens are at risk. No it wasn't their age and no BR's aren't prone to that. If it's a communicable disease, your other hens are already exposed, so I personally would just close your flock for at least 60 days. Nobody in or out. I would isolate a symptomatic bird. Actually, I'd cull it, freeze it and ship it to the lab. not knowing is hard.  Could be 1000 things.

I wish you the best and please keep us updated.

Walk gently on this earth. Do no harm. Laugh a lot at yourself. Be kind even when it's  hard.
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Walk gently on this earth. Do no harm. Laugh a lot at yourself. Be kind even when it's  hard.
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