Chicken Death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by UrbanFlock, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. UrbanFlock

    UrbanFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 5, 2016
    Denver
    We're a year into owning chickens. We've had two deaths of 8 birds. One at Easter and the other last night. They both had the same symptoms. Sudden change showing significant signs of weakness and when I picked them up they had dropped a very noticeable amount of weight, seemingly in a very short time. Still eating, not drinking as much as normal, and too weak to stand. The first was a Copper Maran (9 mos old) this one, last night, was a lavender orpington (1 year). When I picked them up I didn't feel any hardness, indicating a lodged egg. Nothing coming out of any oriface. Just this massive drop in weight and weakness. None of the other birds are showing any signs of sickness and when the Maran died, they all survived and lived on just fine (no sickness). Any ideas? (sad)
     
  2. That Quail Lady

    That Quail Lady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 8, 2016
    Houston
    Well that's a hard one, mabey you should check out this site for some info cause it could be an illness .
    The only other thing I could tell you is nutrition.
    Always make sure they have vitamins E, A, K, and B12 in their feed, supplements etc. Not having enough of those vitamins can cause many problems and even death.

    I had a few pass once so I took one to the vet so she could diagnose why it had died just to make there was no illness, anyways she said it was because of a vitamin deficiency.

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
     
  3. UrbanFlock

    UrbanFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 5, 2016
    Denver
    Thanks for your input. The one that died last night was very lowly several months ago and we took her to the vet then. We waited almost a week before we took her in and she didn't get worse (or better) but this was just sudden, as was the maran. The vet took some kind of test and didn't detect any illness either. They did put her on an antibiotic. She recovered and was fine until the other day. We purchase very good feed and they free range all day in our yard (I guess it could be something in the yard? but would have to be a random "eat". We don't use fertilizer or other chemicals). Should we be adding a supplement to their feed? I would think the feed would contain all the proper nutrients so didn't consider that a problem.
    If another one goes like this, I think we'll have to have an autopsy done....
     
  4. purplesquirrel

    purplesquirrel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bristol, United Kingdom
    I'm sorry to hear of your loss,

    I can only think that it is something to do with your feed or an infection or virus of the intestines if it is being carried so quickly throughout your flock.
    I recommend you move your birds to another location temporarily and completely disinfect and scrub down the whole sleeping and perch area of your current location.
    I also recommend you temporary by feed from another location, and feed them a high level of fruit and vegetables especially apples and pineapple which are high in acid which makes the gut lining in the bird very inhospitable to parasitic intestinal worms.
    As well as this, I also suggest that you do not eat the eggs that is if they are still producing them for now, as if it is parasitic there is a chance they could be elements of parasites or indeed her sites themselves inside the egg. And this also would be a good idea if it is a virus or disease.

    If you can, it may even be a good idea to make divides between each of your birds so they do not have direct contact with each other and have separate food and water bowls. Basically quarantine.


    Are the combs and wattles of your birds still bright red or have they gone pale peach/orange colour?
    Are they still laying eggs?
    Do they still seem inquisitive and active? What is the average time between the first signs of illness and death of the other chickens, do you remember.?
    Are the areas where they like to hang out where there are many wild birds?
    Have you noticed any sick or old behaviour from the wild birds?
    Make sure the wild birds do not have access to the food and water of your chickens.

    Soak some non-white bread in water and cider vinegar (preferably organic). This is very good for your chickens and will make the intestines more acidic also.

    This is all I can think of for now, I'm sorry I cannot be any more help.
    I wish you the best of luck, I know how stressful it can be when your animals are ill and you do not know what to do.
    Kate.
     
  5. purplesquirrel

    purplesquirrel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bristol, United Kingdom

    It might also be a very good idea to get down on your hands and knees in the areas that the chickens forage, and investigate the soil and the plants close up.
    There may be a plant that they are eating which is killing them, there could be something in the soil that is contributing to their illness. Four example; broken glass, old rusty nails, string, broken plastic netting (for soft fruits), wild plants which contain arsenic etc.
    Take photos of the plants growing in the areas that they are foraging, and look them up on the Internet. Chickens do you not normally eat things that are bad for them but this is not always the case, and if one of them says the other eating something they very often get jealous and want to join in. Sometimes there can be hidden pieces of lead which make the ground poisonous, the maybe rats or other vermin who have died after eating poison put down by local farmers or possibly your neighbours,?
     
  6. UrbanFlock

    UrbanFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 5, 2016
    Denver
    Thanks, I so appreciate your responses. The time between the 2 deaths has been 3 months (Easter the first and last night the second). They did not appear to be sick at all until just a day before they actually died. The other birds are fine. After the first bird died, the others were fine. I'll check into the food, but would be surprised, as we feed them very good food. Is it possible that even though we're feeding them very good chicken feed they would not be getting the proper nutrition?? No wild birds, no other sick animals. Fresh water every day. Food protected in the run.
    Yes to still laying
    Yes to bright red waddles etc...
    Yes to active
    Yes to eating
    Tails up

    Everyone else is doing just fine..... Just seems to come on suddenly....well at least the noticeable change in behavior (weakness which causes them to sit mostly, struggle to get up and major weight loss,even though they were eating/drinking normally up until that time) occurs within 24-48 hours of death...of course, that is in these 2 instances, which have been 3 mos. apart.

    Thanks again!
     
  7. luvussomechicks

    luvussomechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    I've just had 2 die this week as well. Same symptoms as yours but one also had diarrhea. My Silkie roo was just sitting in a corner of the pen for all of June and then this month I found him in the house a lot. He just looked like the heat was getting to him. But I've been putting ACV and Vitamin Minerals alternating in the water and even a sprig of Oregano. Today, I found him in the house. I put him on the ground, he could barely walk. Then I picked him up and he died in my hands. But also this week, I've had a hen to do the same, sluggish but with diarrhea. She died within 2 days of me seeing her like that.
    Im afraid it will go through my flock or that it will be an illness that I would have to cull my flock.
     
  8. luvussomechicks

    luvussomechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2012
    I just read the link, That Quail Lady just posted, and thank you for that. Pollorum is about the main disease, with our symptoms, that would make you cull the whole flock. Pray that it is not that. Has any of you, had any dealings with that?
     
  9. UrbanFlock

    UrbanFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 5, 2016
    Denver
    The one that died yesterday has had diarrhea her entire short life (1 year). We gave her regular mineral salts baths and she seemed healthy in spite of the diarrhea. It could have caught up with her in the heat (Denver) but the Maran that died 3 mos. ago did not have diarrhea, but same situation. I don't think her diarrhea had to do with her death, unless, as noted above (maybe over the long haul her system go depleted of nutrients she needed and if finally caught up with her, though it was VERY sudden not progressive, which I find a mystery) and this still doesn't explain the Maran's death 3 mos. ago with exact same symptoms, sudden without diarrhea. I'm not concerned that it is "contagious"....guess we'll find out, but no other symptoms what so ever in the other chicks and no one died after the Maran. If this does happen again, I'm going to get an autopsy.... to be sure. Keep the comments coming!
     
  10. UrbanFlock

    UrbanFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 5, 2016
    Denver
    Yes, I've considered that as well. Plants or something in the yard they accidentally ingested. Which could very well be. I don't think we have any poisonous plants. I read through the very long list and we able to keep an eye on them quite often. The plants we do have aren't torn apart from eating, but there could very well be something in the soil that they happened to eat. That's where I've been leaning.... that's a tough one. They love the free range. We are int he city so only have about 3,000SF for range, but it's big enough, grassy, sunny and shady. They really like being out all day.
     

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