2 Chickens dead and I don't know why... Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by horsepowerhaven, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    I have now lost my 2nd chicken for some unknown reason. Both chickens seemed perfectly healthy the day before and the day of their death--eating, drinking (as far as I could tell), running around my property, scratching, etc.

    The only thing strange was they both stopped laying eggs for 2-3 days right before they died. Now my 3rd chicken didn't lay an egg today and I'm very worried.

    I found both hens (a week apart) dead in the coop with their eyes shut. They both showed no signs of illness or injury.

    There are only 2 things I can think of--they died from heat (I'm in AZ and temps are getting up to 115). Their coop has shade but not a lot of access to the wind/breeze where I have it. I do free range my chickens but both died either on a day where I let the chickens out later than usual, or kept them in for most of the day.

    The other item is that both chickens were scratching around in my cat's litter box on my patio which has compressed pine pellets in it--that swell and break apart when they get wet. Perhaps they ate some?

    I've put a fan blowing on the coop now to help with the heat and I'm making sure to turn the chickens out before it gets too hot. Should I get a play pool for them to cool off in? The rooster stands in a bowl of water I leave out for them to drink out of, and they spend most of their day in the horse stalls under the auto waterers where the ground is damp.

    How can I tell if I have a disease or something that is killing my chickens? Any ideas or suggestions?

    I keep their coop dusted with DE and they don't have any mites or anything I can see. Both of the dead chickens did have bare spots on their backs from the Rooster--could this have killed them?

    Thank you!
     
  2. incubatingisfun

    incubatingisfun Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2009
    Alaska
    just a guess maybe internal laying but im NOT a 100% sure
     
  3. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Oregon
    At 115 degrees--that is way too hot for man or beast. [​IMG] I would imagine you have birds that tolerate heat better but I would definitely give them more help to keep cool. Add a block of ice in front of the fan, moisten towels and hang near them (don't block the little breeze there may be), get some misters and keep those on for them, put ice in their waterers, a few shallow pools of water in the shade is a good idea too. Offering frozen corn or mixed veggies, some watermelon may keep them hydrated and cool. You may even need to put some electrolytes in their water.

    Of course it could be something else. I always try to rule out worms and of course the heat could've been too much on top of that. I would work on keeping them cool and have a fecal tested for internal parasites if they haven't had it done recently.
     
  4. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    Thanks chickerdoodle, I really like your suggestions. I have a mister I could put out for them.

    How/where do you get a fecal test done? I've never wormed them--is this something I should be able to buy at the feed store? How often should worming be done?

    Thanks!
     
  5. jodief100

    jodief100 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2010
    N Kentucky/Cincinnati
    I was born and raised in Phoenix and raised chickens there for years. Lots and lots and lots of shade under trees and bushes if you can manage, get some breeze going with fans if needed, shallow pools of water cleaned regularly, some oatmeal in the feed, fresh fruits and veggies with lots of water in them. Watermelon rinds are great. Misters are good, I never had them but I haven't lived in AZ for close to 20 years now.

    If you still have the brids you can do necropsy. Eggbound will be easy to spot and worms might be. If it was the cat box you will see that too. With the heat and it being so dry I doubt it is worms but it is possible. My best guess is the heat. Lost plenty over the years to it.

    Keep them out of the cat box. If they did have worms that is where they got them.
     
  6. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    Thanks Jodief100. I don't have the bodies anymore and I don't think I could have stomached cutting them open to find out what happened.

    I now have a fence up so they cannot get to the cat litter box. I added pine shavings to their coop for dust bathing since they seemed to like the pine pellets for rolling around in so much, but they don't like them as well as the pine pellets. I guess I should put together a different box for them with pine shavings and some sand or something else for them to dust bathe in since they liked the litter box so much.

    Is fresh kitty litter dangerous for chickens as one ingredient in a dust bathing pan?

    They have tons of shade in and around the horse stalls, I only have 2 trees on the property.

    Thanks again!
     
  7. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Oregon
    Quote:Unfortunately fecal tests are done microscopically at a veterinarian's office or by a trained person. It's best to take to an avian specialist but they are few and far between. Sometimes they can be sent to a lab but only through a vet's office. Since you have never dewormed them I would check with a local veterinarian where you can have it done or if its necessary in your area. If they can not help, perhaps the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Association or Office of the State Veterinarian can. Jodee100 has a point, its pretty dry in AZ but I doubt that precludes any possibility of internal parasites as earthworms, insects and other pests carry them and are transmitted when they are eaten by chickens.
     
  8. bella1210

    bella1210 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    ct
    i would get a shallow pool may help and i put ice cubes in the chickens water. [​IMG]
     
  9. oliviad51

    oliviad51 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2009
    North Carolina
    You may want to get a bottle of Wazine (worming medicine) from Tractor Supply. I use this to prevent worms. It works really well, you just can't eat the eggs for 14 days. It says on the bottle how much to use and how often. Good Luck with your chickens.
     

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