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1 Healthy Chicken Gone and now another, help me save my flock!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by OneCrazyCowgirl, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. OneCrazyCowgirl

    OneCrazyCowgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    A few weeks ago I found a dead healthy hen. There was no reason for her death so I was looking for some abnormal behaviors in the chickens.
    I have found nothing really strange. Normal behaviors, fine droppings, no sign of bugs. I just assumed the chicken died of old age or something but they are only 2 years old. I kind of forgot about the death until this morning. I let the chickens out and threw some mealworms, counted the chickens and noticed one was missing. I found myself inside to coop to fine one white leghorn hen sitting in a next box. Her head was arched and the feathers at the top of the arch were spiking up. Her comb was flopped over so I lifted it to see if she was asleep or something. But her eyes were wide open. Her pupils were small and she looked dead. I jumped and closed the door out of fear. I calmed down and opened it again. She kinda twitched and moved her head a little bit but stayed in place. I figured she was just lazy to rise so I left and came back to check on her 10 minutes later. When I walked in she was in the same place, with the comb flopped over her eye. I lifted it, to find her eyes closed and her body stiff. She didn't move and I came to the conclusion she had passed. She was another one of my healtiest. Do you have any idea what may be the problem? I'm honestly scared I'm gonna loose my whole flock including my chicks that are in the coop next door.
  2. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2012
    Hurricane, WV
    Sorry for your losses, and I can understand your concerns ... but with them being two weeks apart, and seeing no other signs of illness or disease? The deaths may be unrelated.

    However, if they are related? The lapse may lead you more quickly to the common cause.

    Sudden death w/o symptoms are most often caused by:
    aortic rupture; acute lack of water; fowl cholera; overheated; fatty liver hemorrhagic syndrome.

    Diseases which produce high mortality rates are:
    fowl cholera; erysipelas; exotic Newcastle disease; acute coccidiosis; aflatoxin; botulism; poison; fatty liver hemorrhagic syndrome.

    I realize this is a fairly long list, but you can begin narrowing it down by treating immediately those things which you can, so as to reduce the potential for additional losses, and -- as odd as this may sound -- skipping past those explanations for which there is no known treatment.

    Immediately, you can replace their water with an astringent solution of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) at the rate of four teaspoons to each gallon (but not in galvanized metal containers). The tannin from the apple helps to reduce the viscosity of mucus, which will help your birds to more easily expel it, and 'cuts through' any coating w/in the mouth, throat and intestines, helping them to more easily absorb nutrients/vitamins and any medication(s) they may require. This also boosts their immune systems, and is a treatment for respiratory diseases, and the toxins that botulism produces (which is one of the most poisonous things known to mankind), and will help them if they've been exposed other poisons, or suffer from some other manner of toxicity. The acidity, which should be 5~6 pH, also creates a hostile environment for internal parasites. And, it won't harm a single feather on any of your birds.

    Before morning, make certain nothing you've been feeding recently has been recalled.
    Check your feed for spoilage/infestation -- don't feed 'em anything that mice/rats have had access to, or that shows any signs of mold (another potential source of really nasty toxins/infections), mildew or fungi.

    And, first thing in the morning, check all accessible areas for decaying matter, and the maggots that feed upon it. Botulism bacteria are always present, but high levels results in high mortality rates. Some breeds are more likely than others to feed upon the stuff they shouldn't, and there appears to be differences to their levels of resistance to the toxins, although this theory is based upon nothing more than my own personal experience (with no indication that I'm right ~'-)

    Begin researching the possibilities, and continue looking for any other symptoms ...
  3. chicken guy

    chicken guy Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 21, 2012
    if it was my flock i would sit and wacht for odd actions and if i see 1 immideitly isolae from the othres
  4. OneCrazyCowgirl

    OneCrazyCowgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank yall, I will do some research and keep an eye on them.
  5. reinvestment

    reinvestment Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 8, 2013
    Call a vet!!! Soon
  6. reinvestment

    reinvestment Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 8, 2013
    DE or diatamacous earth (found at graineries) mixed in the mash or grain will kill any internal parasites or will kill infestations in your food bins. I take it myself for the same reason and put it in the house around grains etc.. You can also spread it in the bedding so mites etc. won't be a problem. Mites will kill a bird and the symptoms are usually sitting alone, all puffed up.
  7. reinvestment

    reinvestment Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 8, 2013
    DE (diatamacous earth) found at graineries(very cheap in 50# bags -50c lb) will kill parasites/worms etc(microscopic).found in all animals -even humans, that are harmful to them. I keep it in my grain and I take it myself. It will help keep them healthy. What you've experienced tho' I have no idea what could have caused it. Call a vet. The cost is priceless when you save a complete flock and it could be something in your soil like coccidiosis.

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