dead bird and one with a pecked eye

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by happymama, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. happymama

    happymama New Egg

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    Sep 21, 2008
    Tennessee
    We bought 40 pullets last weekend and all seem fine. We followed Joel Salatin's teaching about free ranging with a portable coop. They live in a 2 ft high coop that we move everyday to new grass. They have seemed very happy and healthy but this morning we went out to move the coop and one was dieing. She was about 17 weeks old. At first I thought her head was gone and thought prehaps something had managed to get her through the fence but when I went around to the side i saw that her head was just distended towards her back. The other chickens were stepping on her also. We scooped her out and she had died by the time we finished feeding and watering. Do you have any ideas? It has not been unusally hot or anything and they have had fresh water and food everyday.


    My other issue is that one of the birds looks like it has had it's eye pecked out possibly. It is closed so i cant tell for certain but it is very swollen and looks a little leaky. Should I try to see if there is puss or just separate her or what? She is eating and drinking fine.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    n/a
    Welcome to BYC. [​IMG] Hope you find a lot of answers here.

    How long/wide is the movable coop?

    40 birds together in a too-small coop can cause death and injury due to crowding.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2008
  3. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Raccoons have paws like little hands and will grab a chicken and try to pull them through the fence.
     
  4. happymama

    happymama New Egg

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    Sep 21, 2008
    Tennessee
    Quote:The portable coop is 12ft by 10 ft. They have plenty of room to walk and run around. Part is wire for sun and the back half with the nests is closed in for wind protection and shade. Since it is moved everyday they are not exposed to more than 1 day of their own poop and they are on fresh grass each day. i mentioned I got the plans from Joel Salatin who is an organic farmer and the plans are for roasters but he had a modified plan for layers which we used. He has a great book on Chickens but experience can't be read it must be learned. HA

    Nonetheless, we lost another bird today and I am wondering if I need to call the extension office in my area. i have read several posts and haven't come across anything that looks familiar. my chickens seem cpompletely healthy until I find them dead. We check them several times a day and seem happy. The only one that looks rough is the one with the hurt eye and she is still eating and drinking but I think i may separate her today because she looks a little rougher this morning.

    The dead chickens have no marks or cut areas. They still have good color on their faces, no runny noses, etc. what could it be?????? Again, they are around 17 weeks, RIR's.
     
  5. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    n/a
    The portable coop is 12ft by 10 ft

    Wow, that's some portable coop!

    I have no clue other than that many birds working too hard on each other to establish a pecking order.

    Does it seem to you the deaths are solely from pecking?

    If you could take some pictures of the birds (the whole group and the dead ones), someone might have a better opinion.

    Hope all was well today.​
     
  6. happymama

    happymama New Egg

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    Sep 21, 2008
    Tennessee
    I could take pictures but I don't see any evidence of any trauma. They have all their feathers, aren't tattered at all. They seem happy when I go to check them throughout the day and as I said before no other signs of disease. The only thing I wonder is do they get easily stressed? My children love to go and pet them. Could they be stressing them?

    Well hoping no new casualties tommorrow.

    Thanks for trying to help.
     
  7. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Are you giving them supplimental feed or just grazing them on grass? If you are just grazing them chances are they are malnourished and that is what is doing them in.
     
  8. happymama

    happymama New Egg

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    Sep 21, 2008
    Tennessee
    No we are feeding them whole grain chicken feed as well as table scraps. How much do you think I should be feeding them? Their are 38 17 week olds.
     
  9. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Not sure as I have hanginging feeders but the industry figures a laying hen will eat 4oz of feed per day so for every four birds it would be a pound of feed roughly, as a sole ration. so a good rough guess would be 8-9 pounds of feed daily. I would break them up into smaller units so the stress level is cut way back and just get one of the smaller hanging feeders for each unit. The main problem with grazing any animal is the variable of the nutrition of the forage that they are eating. they can only get out of it what has been put into the ground. You are totally on the right track, now with a little fine tuning I think that you will be successful at it.
     

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