2 roosters dead

BriaS

In the Brooder
Aug 4, 2019
27
10
24
Harwood, MD
i Just went to check on my chickens and two of them are dead. I’m not really sure how or what happened. They were fine last night but I didn’t check on them this morning like I usually do. They had plenty water but the food had run out sometime between last night and this morning. We have some bigger birds that hang around I think they’re buzzards and a while ago I was concerned that they might mess with the chickens but I haven’t noticed them near the coop. It’s been really hot but they had enough shade and I actually found them under the nesting boxes in the coop. They were close to the netting so maybe something got close enough to kill them? Does anyone have any ideas? They were just 14 weeks old.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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i Just went to check on my chickens and two of them are dead. I’m not really sure how or what happened. They were fine last night but I didn’t check on them this morning like I usually do. They had plenty water but the food had run out sometime between last night and this morning. We have some bigger birds that hang around I think they’re buzzards and a while ago I was concerned that they might mess with the chickens but I haven’t noticed them near the coop. It’s been really hot but they had enough shade and I actually found them under the nesting boxes in the coop. They were close to the netting so maybe something got close enough to kill them? Does anyone have any ideas? They were just 14 weeks old.
I'm sorry for your loss:hugs

Have you checked to see if they had any injuries or wounds?
It's very hard to know what happened unless there is an examination/necropsy performed. If you still have the bodies, you can send them to your state lab for testing to make sure your not dealing with a disease.
https://mda.maryland.gov/animalHealth/Pages/poultry.aspx

Are your younger birds with an older flock? I would also check your coop/run for any signs that a predator got in.
 

BriaS

In the Brooder
Aug 4, 2019
27
10
24
Harwood, MD
Sorry to hear you lost your 2 cockerels. :hugs
Have you carefully examined the bodies to look for injuries?
How hot is it where you are?
How are the remaining birds behaving?
It’s been in the 90s for the past few weeks. I haven’t checked the bodies yet but I will be soon. I only have one cockerel left and he free ranges most of the day. I’m not sure if I should let him in the hen coop for the night or not. I know I’ll likely need to get another one since he’s used to being with the other two. He’s acting fine though nothing out of the ordinary.
 

BriaS

In the Brooder
Aug 4, 2019
27
10
24
Harwood, MD
I’ll be checking the perimeters of the coop soon but I don’t think anything could have actually gotten in. I have older hens and I’m not sure if it’s s good idea to put the cockerel in their coop. I had them separated because the cockerels were kinda mean.
 

gtaus

Free Ranging
Mar 29, 2019
2,887
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Northern Minnesota
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Do you keep water in the coop? I have both feed and water in my coop just in case something comes up and I have to leave my girls locked up in the coop for a day, or two. Considering you mentioned that it has been hot where you live, and that the cockerels were found under the nest boxes in the coop, I wonder if they got dehydrated? Do you have good ventilation in your coop? Some things to think about if you don't find any attack injuries on your birds. Glad to hear your other birds are doing fine.
 

BriaS

In the Brooder
Aug 4, 2019
27
10
24
Harwood, MD
Do you keep water in the coop? I have both feed and water in my coop just in case something comes up and I have to leave my girls locked up in the coop for a day, or two. Considering you mentioned that it has been hot where you live, and that the cockerels were found under the nest boxes in the coop, I wonder if they got dehydrated? Do you have good ventilation in your coop? Some things to think about if you don't find any attack injuries on your birds. Glad to hear your other birds are doing fine.
That is a possibility. I keep water in there and change it twice a day but there has been times where it’s empty before I get a chance to refill it. The ventilation is fine I think. It’s mostly hardware cloth.
 

gtaus

Free Ranging
Mar 29, 2019
2,887
10,769
597
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
That is a possibility. I keep water in there and change it twice a day but there has been times where it’s empty before I get a chance to refill it. The ventilation is fine I think. It’s mostly hardware cloth.

I am old school, and perhaps sometimes overly concerned, but my rule of thumb is to never let my animals run out of water. Considering your heat, and the fact that they are drinking their water dry, I would certainly consider other options for water.

It's great that you change their water twice a day, but my approach was to put in a metal 3 gallon waterer which I only have to refill about once every 10 days. I do check it twice a day, and clean it out if needed, but my 10 chicks take about 10 days to drink it down. I also have a feed pan with water in it out in the chicken run. That I dump and clean out more often, but I always make sure there is water in that too.

Water is fundamental to all animals, and it's the first thing I would consider if you don't find any other obvious signs of attack. Especially since you are having a heat wave. Best wishes.
 

Melbeforeyou

Chirping
May 20, 2019
75
166
69
Alabama
Well It has been hot here too, and i have to check on my birds several times a day, cause i am just very paranoid. The birds were pretty young, maybe a snake got in there and killed them? There would not be any external injuries if that's the case. How big is the netting? A chicken snake could of very well got in there and killed them and left the bodies. I have had that happen to me on occasion. Just a thought of course, if that's not the case then i would probably say they overheated or got dehydrated. Sometimes shade is not always enough. I found that on the really really hot days, i'll mist my chickens or use a shower hose on them to cool them off. I have even gone as far as putting them in cool water up to their bellies to help cool them off and just splash them over some. I am home all day so i got the time to do this, some do not. But it is a suggestion. Chickens are sensitive on their feet so maybe putting a pan of water that is not that deep will help them because i have watched my chickens just stand in a pan of water to cool themselves.
 

AuntieWeasel

Songster
Jun 23, 2019
104
168
116
Sussex
As others have said before, checking for injuries is important. Though if they'd been fighting each other, or a predator got to them, the injuries would be distressingly obvious at a glance. If there's not a mark on 'em, I'm at a loss.

I mean, one chicken dropping dead is not unusual, but two...
 

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