Thanks for replying.
Originally Posted by FireTigeris
Whats the weather like there? (It's hot and wet here, perfect for pest to move in or heat stress)****We have been having both seasonal and extreme heat, weird weather here. I've thought of that. I did loose a couple over the past heat wave but I didn't count those because I did figure that was heat stress. Even though they have pleanty of shade and water.
Have you triple checked the food for mold? (ewwwww mold)****My feed is dry and kept in a silo.
Did you see bruising? (can indicate fights or low ranking birds receiving bulling)****No bruising has been noted. I've checked under the feathers around the belly, back and around the neck. I've thought of weasles but no bite marks have been noted either.
Do they all die at night? (pest)****Most have died over night but I don't keep them locked in a night. I have a very large secure area that has both sheltered roosts and areas of shade with roosts. They have access to both of my coops. They have been found usually in the morning in all three areas. I have thought of mites though. I have a sparrow problem and they carry the Northern Fowl Mite. Dam flying mice! So anemia is a possible cause. I've noticed some of my older hens seem to have paler combs.
Was there any strange smell (like old people smell) from the crop or the peritoneal cavity? (organ failure)**** I know that smell you are referring to and no odor at all has been noticed.
Did they have grit in the gizzard? (vision problem, other underlying issues)***The gizzard have the usual grit and food, nothing unusual.
Was their weight good? (underlying heath issue or malnutrition)****A few seemed a little thin but most have been a very healthy weight. That is what is really confusing me. They seem so healthy.
Feathers in good condition? (underlying heath issue or malnutrition)****Some have had feathers missing around their tail, That is another reason I'm thinking maybe mites. Other than that the feathers are nice and normal.
Stretched out or scrunched up, still perched at death? (breathing issue/ distress at death- or calm at death)****They all appear like they just layed down and fell asleep. All on the ground in both coops. Laying stretched out but not like they suffered.
Far as possible away from flock or with the flock? (can indicate illness or low rank bulling)****Some have died inside under the nests, under the roosts, right in the middle of the coops with the rest of flock, not off in a corner. The ones outside are the same. I've found them by the entrance to the coop, in dusting holes and right out in the middle of the pen. I can't find a pattern.
Originally Posted by dawg53
Did you slice open their intestines and look for worms?**** I have opened the lower intestine and I have not seen any worms. I haven't opened each hen that has passed. But the ones I have opened have no apparent parasites.
I'm leaning towards anemia via mites. Even though I can't see them. I thought I've been vigilant with coop cleaning and giving them pleanty of DE for dusting. But I do think those dam sparrows may carry mites and maybe other illnesses. I am going to spray permethrin this weekend when I clean out the coops and spray the pen also.
Thank you again for trying to help me. It is very much appreciated.