Can poor diet lead to death over a few weeks?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by catdaddy66, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    I have had 2 birds in my older flock die in the last 3 weeks. One had a large amount of nasal mucus and looked underweight and ragged as if feathers had dropped off (they had). Today another hen was found dead, though the last 2-3 weeks the birds have looked ok. My wife and cousin recently told me that the flock was not eating or laying much. I would not be surprised by this info as they were recently moved to another coop and it is expected that these behaviors decrease due to the stress of the move, except that they really never did stop eating or laying during the first 5-6 weeks in the new coop.

    I have had to teach my cousin, who is feeding my flocks (his "rent" as he lives on my property) how to feed and what to feed. He initially found scratch and BOSS to be their favorite rations (of course) and for a while fed them this exclusively. I had to educate him on proper chicken nutrition and now he mixes layer ration with the other. Better, but still the birds pick out the good stuff and leave the ration. Could the deaths be due to imbalance from the poor diet?
     
  2. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What's the need to fill him in on chicken nutrition? Considering he's free loading why not just tell him what to do and let that end it? I don't think if I were in your situation I would let him kill my chickens and then say, 'I didn't know'. He doesn't need to know, just what to do.[​IMG]
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I am always concerned when someone else is caring for my animals. Not saying this is the case, but some do not feed on a regular basis/schedule. The diet you have described should not have caused their deaths if they were getting enough feed on a reglar basis. If more birds are exhibiing throat/nasal mucus, sneezing or head shaking your flock may have a respiratory infection. Good luck on resolving this situation.
     
  4. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    While not an expert. It doesn't sound like nutrition is killing them. Frankly they could stay alive on any feed practically as long as there was enough of it. They might be skinny they might not lay but it is pretty hard to kill a living thing that is as opportunistic as a chicken.

    Of course you want them to have proper nutrition, but it sounds like some kind of sickness. Poor nutrition can lead to low immune systems but respiratory infections can be picked up from the air and wild bird populations.

    Was the new coop new or was it someone else's used coop cause that can certainly carry disease too.

    You might want to pop over to the care section and get a handle on the mucus because if I'm remembering my books right that is not good at all and you may have to treat or cull.

    Good luck to you.
     
  5. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    Quote:I heard once that chickens don't get sick, they catch diseases. I haven't seen any more with the mucus issue after the first one. The coop is brand new, built with my hands to my plans. These are the first ones to inhabit the coop. I agree that the nutrition is the least likely cause, because the time frame this occurred in is less than 8 weeks and they ate (eat) every day. I will study up on it and may even go to the local ag. extension nearby. Thanks for your comments, kizanne!

    Sourland, I know where you are coming from. But other than the goofy nutrition choices he attempted, he is a very attentive guy that is on top of what he is to do. Also, he didn't grudgingly say "I guess so..." about the work: he came to me about what he could do to help! He is a big help to me whenever I need something. I will certainly reread the care section again, and my BYC bible. You know, for dummies!
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    You might want to find out from your ag extension service if there is a nearby lab which can do a necropsy and obtain a diagnosis if any more die. Again, good luck on resolving this.
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    There's really not enough info given here to help you on this mystery.

    Do they have plenty of water? Is your coop heated or not heated? Are your birds in a damp or dry run/environment? What are the ages of your older flock? Do you feed daily or do they have continuous feeders? Have you examined your other birds closely to see if you can feel their keel bones, etc.?
     

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