Chicken Emergency!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dc7603, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. dc7603

    dc7603 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2011
    Please help...we've got 36 (35 as of about 20 minutes ago) broilers and 22 layers in separate brooders. These birds are 3.5 weeks old and have been bedded on pine shavings since they were one day old. We went to change the bedding tonight and didn't have enough pine shavings so we used a mixture of old straw and hay (probably 15 years old). The birds went nuts! They were clucking and gathering in one corner of the brooders. I told my wife that it was just a new feel under their feet and they would get used to it but an hour later they were still in the corners and were not happy...clucking and carrying on and one broiler was dead. Can anyone shed any light on this? I didn't realize that old straw could be a problem. Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Squishypuff

    Squishypuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2011
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    I wonder if the change freaked them out (different look, smell, and the rustling sound) and they all piled on top of the one and squashed it... I'm sorry for your loss. My meat birds were easily upset by changes, they don't seem to be a bright as other breeds and think small stuff will kill them.
     
  3. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 13, 2010
    Wow, 15 years old?! Straw that old is bound to have mold in it, which could be why you have a dead chick. I think I would get it outta there even if you have to shred some paper for now.
     
  4. JP101010

    JP101010 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:X2
     
  5. luvinrunnin

    luvinrunnin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:X2

    x3!!!!!

    Even tiny amounts of mold can cause problems.
     
  6. Squishypuff

    Squishypuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2011
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    My brain glossed right over the 15 y/o straw comment. Too much sun for me, I guess!

    I'd get that out quickly, I can't begin to imagine the icky stuff that would be in straw that old- both spores and nasty little bug type critters.
     
  7. dc7603

    dc7603 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2011
    Thanks for the replies, my chicken house to be is in an old barn on the lower level. The upper level is full of this old hay, do you think it will be a problem to have them in the same building as the old hay? Update: I changed all the bedding back to pine shavings and my layers are still acting spooked and huddling in the corner.
     
  8. Squishypuff

    Squishypuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2011
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    I don't like to keep old hay near animals, or near other food just because those mold spores can cause all kinds of nasty problems- particularly allergy/respiratory stuff. I take my old hay at the end of the winter and spread it in my garden, it's fantastic for bedding around potato plants! I'm not sure of the affects on chickens, but old hay (just a year old, even) makes my eyes water and I cough. It makes my pony hack like an old smoker too. We're wimps! But the stuff is useful around the yard or garden.
     
  9. tennesseeckn

    tennesseeckn Real or not real?

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    My two Wyandottes were deathly afraid of straw. I put a bale in the run and they stayed in the coop until I took it back out. I put it in their nesting boxes and they stayed out in the run for three days. I was SURE they would eventually figure out that it was safe... I had to move them into another coop with chickens that laid on straw before they could stand it. While the old straw probably isn't good for the chicks, I don't think it would have killed one that quickly. I think it was squished in the panic.
     
  10. dc7603

    dc7603 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2011
    We purchased this property less than a year ago and all winter my husband worked to get the hay out of the barn but there is a tremendous amount in the loft. This issue will really be a problem for us because we have built the indoor coop in the barn, it is pretty much ready to go. Thanks for the advise.
     

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