2 chickens dead 2 weeks help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jflynn253, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. jflynn253

    jflynn253 In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2016
    Ok here is my problem. I have or should I say had 19 healthy (or I thought) chickens. Within the last 2 weeks I lost 2 leghorns. The first one I thought it was due to heatstroke as it was during the latest heatwave here in Jersey. The last one happened yesterday (I found it this morning) and it wasn't hot at all.

    Here is the scenario. I keep them in their pen/coop during the week and free range on the weekend.

    The first one died in the coop and I did not find her until after 24 hours as I did not check up on them that day. I did not check the eggs that day and the neighbor put them away from free ranging that Saturday.

    Today about a week later I go and release the chickens as I am trying to get more free range for them during the week and I find another hen dead under the ramp going into the coop out in one of my 2 runs. Once again yesterday I did not check on my girls. When I do not check on my girls I know they have plenty of water because I have an automatic water collection system that gets water from the roof of the coop and have chicken nipples for them to drink from. I also have a store bought water holder inside the coop. I also have 3 automatic feeders with over 100# of food in them. 2 PVC tubs outside the coop with 50# of food. These tubes are homemade auto feeders. I also have a store bought auto feeder inside the coop that has 50# in it.

    When I find this chicken I see that her insides appear to have been eaten out as you can see them from looking at her butt. This happened quick, within 24 hours because she was healthy running around the day before and she was inside the coop when I check the night before. When I talked to the wife about the other chicken that was found dead a week ago she said that she remembers that there were already maggots or something in her butt when I found her dead. She questioned how long that hen was dead because they don't form that quickly (my wife was a vet tech and now an ER nurse). I reassured her that the hen was not dead for longer than 24 hours.

    After I found the first hen I cleaned the inside of the coop because I wanted to make sure that whatever was in that coop did not spread as I know it can be dangerous and quick. Now it has made chicken 2 in 2 weeks. I am at a lose as I have only been a chicken fun farmer for a little over a year.

    If anyone has any thoughts on this topic please help me out because I have no clue. I do not want to lose my flock of now 17 that are left.
  2. Abriana

    Abriana Spicy Sugar Cookie

    Apr 26, 2017
    Fools Gold
    Take care of any maggots that you have, maybe it was a predator? If you use chicken wire, change to hardware cloth. Predators rip through chicken wire with ease. I don't think i can help any more than that! I'm sorry for your loss!
  3. andreanar

    andreanar Crowing

    May 16, 2014
    Finger Lakes, NY
    First, I'm sorry about your lost birds. You need to go investigate. Look for any weird looking, or bloody poop. Check your birds for bugs, feel them-do they feel thin? Look at their vents. Spend some time watching them, do any of them look or act off? Check your perimeter for any holes that a predator could sneak thru. It could be anything from worms, cocci, bugs, predator. Not enough info to make a guess tho. Good luck
  4. Bantam lover132

    Bantam lover132 In the Brooder

    Jul 24, 2017
    I would recommend settings up cameras.
  5. Kat Tuttle

    Kat Tuttle Hatching

    Aug 5, 2017
    The same thing has happened to me. Lost one chicken over a week ago, and just found another tucked in corner dead. She seemed fine yesterday. Her under belly is covered with maggots? Death smell. Any advice is appreciated. My husband has seen evidence of rats, but the maggot thing and smell is really odd? She hasn't been dead long, as rigamortis hasn't set in. Will need to do a deep clean of the area.
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It sounds like the leghorns might have either suffered from vent pecking by the other chickens which can result in pulling out intestines and cannibalism, or that they suffered from a vent prolapse which may have invited vent pecking. I would look at vents for any evidence, and make sure they are getting enough protein (total 16-20%,) have 4 square feet of room per chicken, and getting outside to free range daily to aleve boredom. There have been some incidents where auto feeders and waterers have not functioned properly, and they may need to be checked for function daily. Just some thoughts to think about, but a predator should not be ruled out. Very sorry for your loss.
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  7. Kat Tuttle

    Kat Tuttle Hatching

    Aug 5, 2017
  8. Kat Tuttle

    Kat Tuttle Hatching

    Aug 5, 2017
    Did some research and it looks to be "Fly Strike" Bot flies are attracted to the feces and lay eggs in it. The Larvae/Maggots then will begin eating the chicken. It kills quickly. Chickens with poopie butts like mine are extremely susceptible especially in hot months. I was also told to not feed table scraps by our feed store rep as it causes running stools which makes it worse.
  9. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I would agree that fly strike is certainly part of your problem if you have a recently dead hen crawling with maggots. The one that had it's innards exposed may have been prolapsed and then targeted by the other chickens....it just takes one curious chicken that sees red flesh and pecks at it to escalate the problem to cannibalism, particularly if they are confined to a small area or low in protein.
    You are going to need to check their vent area regularly for poop and wash any that need it if you have a problem with flies and maggots. Improving their diet, perhaps by fermenting their feed, may help to improve the consistency of their poop and reduce soiling.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: