chickens suddenly dying? lost 4 in 2 days! HELP!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mjs500doo, May 25, 2011.

  1. mjs500doo

    mjs500doo New Egg

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    May 25, 2011
    We've lost 4 of our chickens. Little background:

    They're about 3-4 months old.
    They have access to clean water and food (layer mix as told by the feed store)
    They all get along, we got them at the same time and they've established their pecking order almost 2 weeks ago.
    We got them 2 1/2 weeks ago
    We have several breeds, 25 total. Americanas, cuckoo marans, buffs, silkies, and a few straight run crossbreeds.
    4 have died. Before death (which occured around dusk), they were fine in the morning 5am, around noon or 2pm they were very weak and lethargic. Between 7-9p, death.
    We've lost our silkie pair, and two black crosses. That's already 3 hens, and 20 bucks!
    I haven't noticed anything strange about any of their poop.
    The two silkies died 2 days ago. I think those two got hyperthermia from sprinkled rain.
    Wisconsin resident and weather has been 60-70 during the day, commonly 40 at night.
    I've been letting them free range up until 2 days ago when my two silkies died. But then the two crosses died yesterday. [​IMG]
    We were told a dirt-bottom coop would help with grit, and we figured they were getting grit from outside, but we don't have any in the coop with them.
    They sleep huddled together on several roosts with shavings on them.
    Good ventilation in the coop.
    We check on them 3x a day at least.
    We are 20 yrs (me) and 21 (fiance) and we are trying to live self-effiiceintly with gardens and our animals. So we rely on these guys to grow up and supply us with chicks to sell, chicken to eat, and eggs to bake with. Every life is extremely important and it's heart-wrenching emotionaly, not to mention financially.

    My ideas are hypothermia, not enough grit to digest, wrong food, too cold?? I don't know. They have absolutely no wounds on them, no mites or anything either. I put grit in there today, and the only heat lamp we have is a red one and we were told it'd work but an experienced chicken-flocker told us red means blood and our rooster would kill the others. [​IMG] help!!

    -megan
     
  2. mjs500doo

    mjs500doo New Egg

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    May 25, 2011
    Went out for noon check and one of my cuckoo maran hens was dead. Great. Make that 5 chickens, 4 hens, and 25 bucks!
     
  3. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Quote:At that age, they ought to have a lot of energy and be out rolling in the dirt and digging all day- are they active? You really oughtn't need a heat lamp nor have any issues with temps. Do you have blackflies (buffalo gnats)?

    I would get Corid if you can't find any other reasonable cause- and quickly. Amprol is another brand name. You may be dealing with a bout of coccidiosis.
     
  4. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Chillin' With My Peeps

    When they free range they're probably getting poisoned somehow.
     
  5. sumatra

    sumatra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2010
    NW PA
    They are probably warm enough. My young ones have been out in really cold weather without any problem. you shouldn't need a light. It sounds as though you are doing evrything right though. If they've been on dirt at your place, but not earlier, they may have picked up something there. I think if it were my birds I would begin by treating for coccidiosis with Sulmet in their water, just in case. usually coccidiosis doesn't kill them, but it can weaken them and if they've never been exposed to it, it can be a problem. I would probably get some new food, too, just in case there is fungus spores or something in the old food. I will check my books to see if there's anything else it could be. I hope you don't lose anymore!
     
  6. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    First I am very sorry about your losses. 3 months old is a little young to be on layer feed. But I can't say for sure that is the problem. I think it has something to do with the calcium in that non layers don't need. Do they free range? Maybe they got into some pesticide IDK. I hope someone here maybe able to help. 40 at night shouldn't be to cold. Hoping for the best for the rest of your girls. Keep updating. I'm curious.
     
  7. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

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    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    I agree with Chookschick on the amprolium, more than likely cocci. I would also suggest you get them off layer feed until they start to lay; put them on flock raiser.
     
  8. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    Quote:At that age, they ought to have a lot of energy and be out rolling in the dirt and digging all day- are they active? You really oughtn't need a heat lamp nor have any issues with temps. Do you have blackflies (buffalo gnats)?

    I would get Corid if you can't find any other reasonable cause- and quickly. Amprol is another brand name. You may be dealing with a bout of coccidiosis.

    Do the blackflies cause illness in chickens?
     
  9. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    7,738
    95
    321
    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Quote:At that age, they ought to have a lot of energy and be out rolling in the dirt and digging all day- are they active? You really oughtn't need a heat lamp nor have any issues with temps. Do you have blackflies (buffalo gnats)?

    I would get Corid if you can't find any other reasonable cause- and quickly. Amprol is another brand name. You may be dealing with a bout of coccidiosis.

    Do the blackflies cause illness in chickens?

    They suffocate them and bleed them to death, and you'll find lots of threads if you use search- they are worse this year than ever before in many places, and there are lots of experienced chicken folks losing birds like crazy. [​IMG]
     
  10. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    Thanks! [​IMG] I will have to research this!!! I had no idea!
     

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