Couple questions about contagious diseases and sudden deaths

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by EveryZig, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. EveryZig

    EveryZig New Egg

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    Nov 6, 2013
    Hey all, I just signed up to ask this on behalf of a relative who's recently built a coop and bought some chickens, and has been having trouble, as they sometimes just die overnight. They look and act perfectly healthy in the evening when the coop is closed, but sometimes in the morning one is just dead with no apparent signs of injury, or is about to drop dead - won't eat, drink or move, just sits there with eyes closed. What are the possible causes of this? Could it be a night-time invader? The relative seems to think it possible, as she says the coop is a mess on those mornings and the chicken is most often found exactly next to the door. Is there any chance they could be doing it to each other?

    Another thing, the same person has a dog kennel and has a good bit of experience with dog breeding. Her most recent litter has had some unusual problems from the get-go, and she thinks it's likely due to an infection. She's worried that it might have been transmitted from the chickens by means of dust and powder from the coop sticking to her clothes and shoes. Is that possible, and what preventative measures should be taken when handling both dogs and chickens?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    They're not doing it to each other at night because they can't see and don't move in the dark.
    Is there an opening big enough for a predator to get in? I doubt that's it or there would be signs of injury.
    What is the coop ventilation like? There should be about 1 square foot of opening per bird at a minimum (covered with hardware cloth for predators).
    If there's an ammonia or fungal buildup with no air exchange that could kill them overnight.
     
  3. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree it sounds like a predator problem to me, but can't be sure.

    Has your relative checked for mites/lice on their birds? It would have to be a bad infestation, but they can kill smaller birds if left untreated.

    I don't know for sure (your relative should check with their vet) but as far as I know, there are no diseases that are shared by chickens and dogs, so I don't think such passing of disease is possible. But to be sure, check with a vet.
     
  4. EveryZig

    EveryZig New Egg

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    Nov 6, 2013
    Thanks, it does sound like she has a ventilation issue, but 1 sq.m. per chicken? That's a lot of space. How do you keep it from getting too cold in the coop during winter?
     
  5. EveryZig

    EveryZig New Egg

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    Nov 6, 2013
    Never mind, I'm a dumb*** and misread. Thanks all.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    No problem.
    But I don't worry about it cold in the coop. They can handle the cold as long as they also have fresh air, low humidity and are otherwise healthy.
    Bad air is a downward spiral, sniffles and sneezes and all of a sudden they can't handle the cold.

    My newest buildings have one third of the wall open on both the east and west wall. The prevailing wind passes right through.
     
  7. EveryZig

    EveryZig New Egg

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    Nov 6, 2013
    They haven't had a casualty in months since improving the ventilation, thanks guys.
     

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