Chickens dropping like flies...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lovesgliders, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2011
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    I have a small flock of Silkies, about 3-4 months old, sexes unknown. I started with 15 and am now down to 12.

    Chicken #1 died about a month ago. Fine in the morning, that night I found it dead in the coop.

    Chicken #2 acted a little weak for a couple days during a hot spell (85 degrees, nothing obscenely hot, their run is mostly shaded, the other chickens were acting fine) so I brought it inside to monitor it. Kept it by the AC. Was watching TV when I heard a huge ruckus, went and the chicken was having the worst seizure I have ever seen. Then she went stiff and keeled over dead. This was three days ago.

    Chicken #3 (my favorite [​IMG] ) was fine yesterday, dead this morning. Again, in the coop instead of in the run.

    There are no marks on any of these chickens. My coop and run are predator proof, plus I have big dogs that keep everything away, plus I live on an island... there is really nothing out here.

    None of my chickens are acting weird, sluggish, sneezing, no eye goop.

    I have brought home ducklings but chicken #1 died before they came home. Also the ducklings are in the house and have had no contact with the chickens (and never will). They are from a reputable hatchery and are the picture of health.

    I haven't brought home any new birds other than them.

    I would really appreciate any insight. I am new to chickens, and this is heartbreaking and frustrating, and I feel like a big fat failure. What am I doing wrong? Everyone always has food and water, the coop is clean, the run is spacious. [​IMG]
     
  2. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    So sorry for you losses! Very sad and frustrating! [​IMG]

    Of my original four chicks, one dropped dead a few weeks after she began laying. She was absolutely fine in the morning and we found her dead in the coop in the afternoon. It was on a holiday so I had no way to take her in for a necropsy.

    We've always wondered if it might have been some kind of poison - I can't say I ever really hear about chickens being poisoned, but is there anything around your coop that could be considered poisonous?
     
  3. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know, I would love to get a necropsy but living on an island... it just ain't happening.

    Nothing poisonous around the run, they've scratched it mostly to dirt so they subsist on kitchen scraps and their feed. And I know not to give them avocado or anything bad. They get corn, berries, greens, stuff like that.

    Sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
     
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Strasburg Ohio
    So sorry to hear that. I'm wondering if it is a genetic thing with your chicks.....Perhaps a condition they were born with-some sort of brain abnormality.

    I know chickens can stroke out just like people do. Poison, as another member mentioned is also not out of the question........Is your feed stored in a cool, dry area? Or is there feed in the chicken run that has spilled out of the feeder and rotted? Chickens can die from that....

    Just grasping at straws here. I used to keep my chicken food out in the run, but they would spill some out of the hanging feeders, and even though the run is covered, it eventually got wet and would stink to high heaven! [​IMG] So I would literally have to scrape it out of the run to make sure they didn't try to eat it. Normally, I don't believe a chicken would try to eat rotten food unless they were super hungry, but I was afraid they would, plus with the awful smell, I had to do something. Now, I keep the food in the coop, water outside....No more problems.....

    Again, so sorry for your loss!

    Sharon
     
  5. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    Were they laying? Maybe egg binding?
     
  6. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maine
    Quote:I honestly can't think of anything poisonous that they could've eaten, but I guess there is always the possibility a poisonous bug flew into the run? I am grasping at straws, too. Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it. I keep their feed dry and cool in the basement, feed them 2-3 days worth in a feeder in the coop (not in the run), and dump it fully (out of their reach) before I refill it.
     
  7. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2011
    Maine
    Quote:No, they definitely aren't laying.
     
  8. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, I thought about the laying thing, too, but saw by their ages they are too young for that. It was suggested to me that the chicken I lost might have had what they called "egg yolk stroke" but she had been laying for two or three weeks when it happened.

    Sometimes they just die. But the fact that you've lost three in a short time and you obviously care for them well does seem odd. I started a thread here awhile ago in hopes that people would post on a single thread about losses and causes of death to help us see patterns, but it never took off.

    I hope you find out what the problem is.
     
  9. kinsey228

    kinsey228 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2011
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    I bought a few chicks from a breeder near me, and I had the same thing happen with 2 of them. Do you put the Sav-a-chick solution in their water ? It may help. Maybe even a little vitamin water. I've read on here that some people give their chickens scrambled eggs. Just a few suggestions. Good luck!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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