2 our of 14 chickens dead in 1 week, not from predators

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cbrodsky, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky In the Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2008
    Hi -

    I have a flock that is mixed of 1 year old Rhode Island Reds (3) / Silkies (1) and added this spring, younger production reds (3) and ameraucanas (5) that are about 4-5 months old.

    About a week ago, a 1 year old silkie died. Today I found a dead production red. Both were just laying on the floor in the center of the coop - no predator evidence anywhere on them. The entire flock seems to behave normally, but they are not consuming much food at all. At first, I attributed this to having opened up more area to them with an electric net perimeter - that perhaps they were finding more food on their own - but it's not that much area - only a 40x40 net, and it goes around the existing coop and run. I also give them veg. kitchen scraps and weeds, but not enough to explain them not eating for such a long period. The older hens have also stopped laying, and the red's combs are now paler and not as bright red as they used to be. I can't smell any ammonia in the coop (I use deep litter) but I'm going to clean it out anyway as it has been a while.

    Any ideas? We've been doing fine for so long - I thought maybe they were getting crowded which is why we opened up more outdoor space with the electric net, and while they seem to enjoy it, they're not doing as well since that change.

    I have some Duramycin powder - should I give them some as a precautionary measure?

    Thanks for any advice,
    Colin
     
  2. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    Generally with sudden death it will be something like cocci or eating something toxic. Could also be worms. You will not necessarily see blood in droppings with cocci. Check each birds droppings for anything irregular, color or consistancy. Also check general apperarance of birds. Are they fluffed up? Moving slower? Eating less?
     
  3. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky In the Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2008
    Quote:They are definitely not eating their food much based on how slow the feeder level is dropping, but they go after treats aggressively and otherwise behaving completely normally. This is why I'm somewhat puzzled...

    -Colin
     
  4. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky In the Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2008
    I figured it out...

    When shoveling out their coop, I discovered massive red mite infestation under their poop board. I keep a board under their roost that sits on top of the nest box enclosures - and in that crevice, there was a huge colony of them. I also seem to have a big problem with a creamier colored mite/lice... off to Tractor Supply to see what I can find to deal with it!
     

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