4 Week old Chickens - 2 dead since morning

mosa99

Hatching
Jun 12, 2020
6
1
5
Hi

We are having terrible luck with this batch of chickens. We got about 80 meat chickens, and have lost close to 20 now. Just this morning my wife left for work, and said she had a quick look, refilled feed and water, and then about 3-4 hours later, two more are dead. We did just put them outside in a covered/penned chicken tractor 1 day ago (so they have been out for two nights), but with 3x heat lamps on the go.

We had previously been dosing them with Corid as we were desperate to stop the daily deaths of chickens. They seem lively and happy and then we find them dead. One I watched die and it seemed listless and unable to keep it's eyes open.

I'll run through the questions I should answer below.

1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
Meat bird, I believe a white rock variety, 4 weeks, the two that just died seem to be similar size with the others

2) What is the behavior, exactly.
Two dead, one the kids moved, one I found, no great sign of distress, no trauma, no head thrown back.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
Sudden, they seem fine, happy peeps

4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
No, they seem fine, happy, eating and drinking

5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
None

6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
No, at a loss for what is going on.

7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
Yes, they all seem to be drinking/eating.

8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
The poop seems regular - possibly a bit runny.

9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
We did try a week of corrid but stopped it in the past few days.

10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
I would like some ideas of what is on the go

11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
See attached picture of the two dead plus the rest of the flock

12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
They were on wood shavings, but now have been moved to grass
 

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mosa99

Hatching
Jun 12, 2020
6
1
5
We are buying our feed from the local coop store - 16% protein.

Water temperature we generally fill from a garden hose, so I would say on the colder/cooler side.
 

JacinLarkwell

Free Ranging
Mar 19, 2020
11,199
20,003
681
South-Eastern Montana
I think they need more protein. I don't raise meat birds so I'm not certain certain on that. But our meat turkeys get like 24% protein.

Is it really hot there? They might be drinking so much when it gets refilled that it shocks their systems and lowers their core temperature
 

birdlover2

Crowing
Jan 28, 2019
592
2,935
327
Ohio
Hi

We are having terrible luck with this batch of chickens. We got about 80 meat chickens, and have lost close to 20 now. Just this morning my wife left for work, and said she had a quick look, refilled feed and water, and then about 3-4 hours later, two more are dead. We did just put them outside in a covered/penned chicken tractor 1 day ago (so they have been out for two nights), but with 3x heat lamps on the go.

We had previously been dosing them with Corid as we were desperate to stop the daily deaths of chickens. They seem lively and happy and then we find them dead. One I watched die and it seemed listless and unable to keep it's eyes open.

I'll run through the questions I should answer below.

1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
Meat bird, I believe a white rock variety, 4 weeks, the two that just died seem to be similar size with the others

2) What is the behavior, exactly.
Two dead, one the kids moved, one I found, no great sign of distress, no trauma, no head thrown back.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
Sudden, they seem fine, happy peeps

4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
No, they seem fine, happy, eating and drinking

5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
None

6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
No, at a loss for what is going on.

7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
Yes, they all seem to be drinking/eating.

8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
The poop seems regular - possibly a bit runny.

9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
We did try a week of corrid but stopped it in the past few days.

10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
I would like some ideas of what is on the go

11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
See attached picture of the two dead plus the rest of the flock

12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
They were on wood shavings, but now have been moved to grass
How hot is it where you live? It's been really hot the last few days where I am and other places in the U.S. Another person's chicks died from the heat. Could that be the cause? Also, if it appears to be a mystery illness, you should probably take them to the vet. Where did you get them from? Was it a reputable breeder? It could be Sudden Chicken Death Syndrome, but seeing as all of them seem to be dying that may be unlikely.
 

mosa99

Hatching
Jun 12, 2020
6
1
5
I'm buying the reccomended feed from the coop,(and what we fed our last two batches) it's only 17C / 62F today.

We bought them through the coop from a professional breeder. We have asked the coop and they say they have had no other reports of high % deaths, etc.

My wife watched one die in her hands, and that seemed like a heart attack.

this is our 3rd batch, and we are doing things basically exactly the same as before, and in those two previous batches we lost only 3 out of 110.
 

birdlover2

Crowing
Jan 28, 2019
592
2,935
327
Ohio
I'm buying the reccomended feed from the coop,(and what we fed our last two batches) it's only 17C / 62F today.

We bought them through the coop from a professional breeder. We have asked the coop and they say they have had no other reports of high % deaths, etc.

My wife watched one die in her hands, and that seemed like a heart attack.

this is our 3rd batch, and we are doing things basically exactly the same as before, and in those two previous batches we lost only 3 out of 110.
Wow...well it seems this batch may have some genetic disorders or something. Definately a form of Sudden Chicken Death Syndrome, but it shouldn't be killing off all your chickens...was this the same breeder you got the other two batches from? Meat birds tend to have more stress on their hearts than other chickens, but seeing as you've raised two batches before that doesn't make sense either
 

mosa99

Hatching
Jun 12, 2020
6
1
5
Yes, same breeder, same everything really - in a cooler time of the year, so if anything I expected less stress. I even had bought the extra heat lamp yesterday just to ensure they were comfortable outside.

I can't see any sign of them huddled up laying on top of each other.
 

birdlover2

Crowing
Jan 28, 2019
592
2,935
327
Ohio
Yes, same breeder, same everything really - in a cooler time of the year, so if anything I expected less stress. I even had bought the extra heat lamp yesterday just to ensure they were comfortable outside.

I can't see any sign of them huddled up laying on top of each other.
This is very strange...I think I'd take them to the vet and get them checked out. Maybe take the dead ones in for a chicken atopsy, if you can afford it anyways.
 

mosa99

Hatching
Jun 12, 2020
6
1
5
This is very strange...I think I'd take them to the vet and get them checked out. Maybe take the dead ones in for a chicken atopsy, if you can afford it anyways.

We looked into that - and the autopsy would be over 200$ - which is crazy. Basically we are wiping out any chance to make any money on this batch.
 

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