Chickens Mysteriously Dying

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by katiek, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. katiek

    katiek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 4, 2008
    Wildwood, GA
    Hello Everyone,

    I made the mistake of buying chickens from a man down the road who I'd never bought from. He sold me 10 laying age chickens: 7 red star and 3 buffs who seemed to be pretty healthy when I got them. Shortly after getting them home, they started dying. I've had chickens for 7 years and I have never seen anything like this. They day before they pass away, they walk around lethargic and don't eat very much and have really funny looking stool. Then, the next morning they are gone.

    The three that died first were the buffs and I thought maybe it was some weird genetic problem since the ones that died were all the same, but now it has started to spread to my original flock. They are kept separated, but in the beginning some of them flew into each others runs and co-mingled a bit. I have now lost two of my original chickens in the same way. This is so scary to me, because my original flock all have names and I am very attached to them.

    Any one have any idea of what this could be and what I can do to stop it and protect my chickens?

    I did notice a few days before one of the buff chickens passed away that it was wheezing like it had an upper respiratory problem. I haven't noticed it in any other of my birds, and I put vinegar in the water to help fight that.

    What do I do? I've never had disease in my flock before and now I'm kicking myself that I ever bought chickens from an unreliable source!

    Thank you so much for any advice.
  2. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2012
    Do they have any runny poops? Are their combs turning purple on the ends? Any deformed eggs? Just need some more clues, but the wheezing is a respiratory issue.
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    It sounds like you've already answered you own question. "Wheezing like it had an upper respiratory infection." There are many types of respiratory diseases that chickens can get; some can be mild strains of a particular disease or in your case, a deadly strain. There could also be multiple issues you've inherited. It has obviously quickly spread to your seperated flock, direct or indirect contact couldve spread it.
    I recommend that you contact your county extension agent or state agriculture department and find out how to go about having a necrospy performed on one of the birds. Some state agencies do this for little or no cost at all. You could also contact a college veterinary med school to see if they could do a necropsy.
  4. katiek

    katiek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 4, 2008
    Wildwood, GA

    There were not many other symptoms, no deformed eggs, no purple combs, and none of the others were sneezing or wheezing.

    One of them did have runny poop. Should I treat them with anything? If it is respiratory, how do you suggest treating that?

    I offered them some diatomaceous earth and they seem to be eating it. Could it be a parasite of some sort?

    No one else has developed symptoms since my post.

    Thank you so much.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by