8 Dead now and I am sure there will be a ninth today. At a loss....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by disneygirl, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. disneygirl

    disneygirl In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    I posted yesterday about 5 I lost. I have Buff Ops, RReds, White Leghorns, Barred Rocks, and Americaunas. I seem to be loosing the white ones the most. Yesterday 3 more died and one was on its way. I though maybe since I free ranged them for the last two? weeks perhaps they ate too much long grass or fresh cut hay. They are all almost 4 months old and were in fine spunky health until about 4 days ago. They have no access to any chemicals, our coop is away on it's own. Surronded by clover, grass weeds ect.. We had a seperate flock of 50 in the same location with no problems.. Two hens remained from that flock and one was lost this week to what I have no idea.
    We baby our chickens they have a secure coop, big enough a family could live in. Cement floor/dirt floor outside.
    Fresh cold water daily, starter grower feed (same we have been using) temps 70's to 87' at the highest but the coop inside stays in the 70-75's. Stools look fine, some loose but nothing i havnt seen in the last 4 months. They look fine, eyes good, crop good, no visible bugs. But I have been coming in daily to find some dead or close.

    I looked up Cocci and mereks and see no symptoms that would make me think this was it. I did find some eggs that the oldest hen must have laid in a high nesting box Im too short to notice and they had been cracked open and eaten and what was left had maggots/flys/and black gook not a pretty picture. I cleaned that out yesterday could that have been it??? Also, we have thistles outside the coop the chickens loved to roam under and I see they do eat the leaves. Are there toxic weeds to chickens?

    My chickens are just dropping dead and I cannot figure out why. Has anyone had anything similar happen? I am no longer letting them free range until I can get a handle on what the heck is going on. Diet is starter and water for now.

    The rotten eggs/maggots and thistles/letting them free range at four months before grass/clover was cut and access to fresh cut hay are the only things different from our last flock. Any ideas?

    Thank you in advance for any advice. [​IMG][​IMG]
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  3. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Songster

    May 25, 2009
    I wish I could help - maybe someone here will have an answer for you soon.
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I'd recommend you call your county extension agent and try to get a necropsy done, or state agricultural department.
  5. Lofty Dreams

    Lofty Dreams Songster

    Apr 9, 2010
    Some Random Things I Typed up from The Chicken Healh Handbook by Gail Damerow for a project.

    Avian Influenza (AI)
    • Sudden death
    • Lack of energy and Appetite-
    • Decreased egg production/ Soft-shelled/ Misshapen eggs-
    • Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb and wattles
    • Purple discoloration of the wattles, comb and legs
    • Nasal discharge
    • Coughing and Sneezing
    • Incoordination
    • Diarrhea

    Exotic Newcastle Disease (END)
    • Sudden death
    • Coughing, sneezing, gasping for air
    • Nasal discharge
    • Diarrhea
    • Depression, drooping wings, twisting of head and neck.
    • Circling, Complete paralysis, muscular tremors
    • Swelling of the tissues around the eyes and in the neck

    A cold in its lungs
    • Loss of Appetite
    • Coughing, sneezing, gasping for air
    • Nasal discharge
    • Watery eyes
    • Decreased egg production/ Ridged- shelled/ Misshapen egg

    Cholera Acute
    • Sudden Death
    • Fever
    • Loss of Appetite
    • Nasal discharge And Watery eyes
    • Depression and Ruffled Feathers
    • Diarrhea and Mucus Discharge
    • Head drawn back and pale and is the bird is breathing harder
    • Decreased egg production/ Ridged-shelled/ Misshapen eggs

    Answer yes or know might help

    Poisness Plants

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)
    American Coffee Berry Tree see Kentucky Coffee Tree
    Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis L.)
    Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis L.)
    Bull Nettle (Solanum carolinense L.)
    Bracken or Brake Fern (Pteridium aquilinum L.)
    Burning Bush see Fireweed
    Buttercup (Ranunculus spp.)
    Carelessweed see Pigweed
    Castor Bean (Ricinus communis L.)
    Clover, Alsike & Other Clovers (Trifolium hybridum L. & other species)
    Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium L.)
    Creeping Charlie see Ground Ivy
    Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii)
    Curly Dock (Rumex crispus L.)
    Daffodil (Narcissus spp.)
    Delphinium (Delphinium spp.)
    Devil's Trumpet see Jimson Weed
    Dogbane (Apocynum spp.)
    Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria (L.) Bernh.)
    Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis L.)
    English Ivy (Hedera helix L.)
    Ergot (Claviceps purpurea (Fr.) Tul.)
    Fern, Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum L.)
    Fireweed (Kochia scoparia L.)
    Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea L.)
    Ground Ivy (Glecoma hederacea L.)
    Poison (Conium maculatum L.)
    Water (Cicuta maculata L.)
    Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.)
    Horse Chestnut, Buckeyes (Aesculus hippocastanum L.)
    Horse Nettle (Solanum carolinense L.)
    Horsetails (Equisetum arvense L. & other species)
    Hyacinth (Hyacinth orientalis)
    Hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.)
    English (Hedera helix L.)
    Ground (Glecoma hederacea L.)
    Poison (Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze)
    Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema spp.)
    Jamestown Weed see Jimson Weed
    Japanese Yew (Taxus cuspidata Sieb. & Zucc.)
    Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum L.)
    Jimson Weed (Datura stramonium L.)
    Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioica (L.) K. Koch)
    Kentucky Mahagony Tree see Kentucky Coffee Tree
    Klamath Weed see St. Johnswort
    Lamb's Quarters (Chenopodium album L.)
    Lantana (Lantana camara L.)
    Larkspur (Delphinium spp.)
    Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis)
    Lupine (Lupinus spp.)
    Mad Apple see Jimson Weed
    Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum L.)
    Milkweed, Common (Asclepias syriaca L.)
    Mint, Purple (Perilla frutescens)
    Nicker Tree see Kentucky Coffee Tree
    Nightshade (Solanum spp.)
    Oleander (Nerium oleander L.)
    Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra Willd.)
    Philodendron (Philodendron spp.)
    Pigweed (Amaranthus spp.)
    Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum L.)
    Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze)
    Poke (Phytolacca americana L.)
    Purple Mint (Perilla frutescens)
    Redroot see Pigweed
    Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.)
    Rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum L.)
    Squirrelcorn (Dicentra canadensis (Goldie) Walp.) see Dutchman's Breeches
    Staggerweed (Dicentra spp.) see Dutchman's Breeches
    St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum L.)
    Stink Weed see Jimson Weed
    Stump Tree see Kentucky Coffee Tree
    Sudan Grass (Sorghum vulgare var. sudanense Hitchc.)
    Summer Cypress see Fireweed
    Thorn Apple see Jimson Weed
    Tulip (Tulipa spp.)
    Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata L.)
    White Snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum Hout.)
    Wild Onion (Allium spp.)
    Yellow Sage see Lantana
    (data from the Veterinary Medicine Library, University of Illinois, 2/5/2001)
    found on http://www.poultryhelp.com/toxic1.html
    chickens eat alfelfa but i give it to them as a treat very little

    Hope It Helps out with this and shorry about the list.
  6. MotherJean

    MotherJean Songster

    I agree with Dawg53. You've had far too many deaths to guess about it. You can call your State Veterinarian directly. He/she can direct you on where the nearest location is for lab testing and necropsy on a bird or two. Chances are there will be no cost since you sustained heavy losses and I'm sure the State Vet would want to know what disease is present there, too. Here's the link to State Vets and their contact info: http://www.usaha.org/StateAnimalHealthOfficials.pdf

    : If you do have your bird(s) tested, would you please let us know what you find. This is how we all learn. Thanks.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  7. disneygirl

    disneygirl In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    Thank you all. I have a call into the state. I will post as soon as I know what happened. Going to spend all day re-cleaning and making a new place for the rest of our babies to stay while we figure this out.[​IMG]
  8. Sillystunt

    Sillystunt Master of the Silly

    Jul 11, 2008
    Winter Haven, FL
  9. disneygirl

    disneygirl In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010

    Thank you again to all who helped me on here. I wanted to share what went wrong in my coop. I lost 10 chickens to what I now believe was Botulism. I began to come in to find 1 or two dead daily during about a seven day time frame. No signs of trauma, no sign of anything out of the ordinary at all. All five different breeds of same age affected. Hens and roosters. My perfect rooster included. [​IMG]

    After two days I noticed more flies than normal and looked in a high up nesting box where an older hen from our last flock had apparently laid about 6 eggs over time that I did not notice. No one ever laid that high up before and I did not notice they were there. The chickens had gotten into them and there was remaining rotten remminents left behing. Probably the worst matter decay I have ever seen, black gook, maggots, ect.... I did not notice a smell since it is usually kinda smelly there anyway.

    I cleaned the coop and mess after that and I did have two dead birds the day after I cleaned up the mess but I imagine they had already been up there the previous day.

    After the big clean I have had no problems and every one is looking spunky and eating well. I have let them free range again and have no problems. We did cut the tall grass and bailed the fresh hay we had out. I am not an expert and I did not ever have the state come out, or bring a bird in. Luckily I have not had another loss to get to vet or state in time.

    What a heartbreaking lesson. I know to collect eggs daily and always do. What I did not realize is my older hen who is probably trying to get away from all the "kids" resorted to the higest up nesting box (we built a wall of nesting boxes from floor to almost ceiling) and I did not see her eggs. I figured she had stopped laying as she is the last Mohican and pretty old. The flies should have been a big first clue.

    The chickens were eating the decayed matter and maggotts who were eating the same. This is what I think took out 6 of my wonderful chickens in less than 7 days. [​IMG]

    Terrible mistake on my part. I will always make sure to step up and check the high spots now, and if I see more than usual fly activity figure out why. [​IMG]
  10. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    So sorry for the loss of your birds but I am very happy they are doing well now... If i were you I would probably just block off the top row of nest boxes then you wont have to worry about it happening again...

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