4 Chickens dead

M Blance

In the Brooder
Nov 23, 2019
7
17
18
Napier New Zealand
Hi, I have had 2 Leghorns and 2 Orpingtons die over the last 3 months. At first I thought they were moulting, they had feather loss and looked scruffy and it was Autumn, they seemed to be eating although not as much as usual, were a little quieter than normal, I thought it was all due to the fact they were moulting. When each one became obviously not good and I could pick them up I took them out of the run and isolated, turns out they were wasting away, way too thin. I took the fist and last one to the vet as soon as I caught them, vet put the fist one down, but could not say what may have gone wrong, the last one had an autopsy, vet said she could find nothing obvious but was surprised that all the muscle was gone but not all the fat, the chicken poo was as it should be, not runny or discoloured, usually when sick they apparently use all their fat first but this was the only odd thing the vet could comment on. These girls were purchased a year ago at the age of 3 months all together. Can any one give me any advice, I have 25 more chickens that all look great at the moment.
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,738
11,971
712
Nevada County, CA
I'm so sorry for your losses. So sad...

I've not heard of anything like that! The vet couldn't find any cause? How weird. And scary.

Weight loss would make me think worms, but the vet would gave found that. A lack of protein might cause muscle depletion, but, again, the vet would spot that. Cancer or reproductive issue? Vet would see that, too. A mystery, for sure...

How old were they?
 

M Blance

In the Brooder
Nov 23, 2019
7
17
18
Napier New Zealand
I'm so sorry for your losses. So sad...

I've not heard of anything like that! The vet couldn't find any cause? How weird. And scary.

Weight loss would make me think worms, but the vet would gave found that. A lack of protein might cause muscle depletion, but, again, the vet would spot that. Cancer or reproductive issue? Vet would see that, too. A mystery, for sure...

How old were they?
 

M Blance

In the Brooder
Nov 23, 2019
7
17
18
Napier New Zealand
They were all 15 months old, was weird, had me worried about mareks disease, but honestly, they hid their illness till they were starved. Looked like they were moulting, that was the most obvious sign, were sprightly until it was too late to do anything. Vet confirmed, no worms, no mites, no tumors etc, was only surprised that they still had fat on them when they were so wasted away, could that relate to anything??
 

M Blance

In the Brooder
Nov 23, 2019
7
17
18
Napier New Zealand
I should add what i feed them in case that is an issue, mornings they get layer mash, midday a visit with a bit of wheat or greens from the garden, tea time a mix of cooked vege with a bit of dog roll and a mix of layer feed called happy hen, they also have feeders they can access all day with the layer mix. The water has a clove of garlic and a dash of cider vinegar.
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,738
11,971
712
Nevada County, CA
I have no idea. So weird. I'm thinking you need to ask a government lab if you have access to one in New Zealand and experience any more losses. Maybe they'll be able to figure it out.

I've never ever heard anything like that.
 

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