Dead Chickens & No Ideas

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Renegade, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Renegade

    Renegade Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2007
    Griffin, GA
    Background info:

    28 Red SL, Black SL, RIR all free range over 6.5 acres of fully fenced pasture

    Feed: Layena & So. States Rockin Rooster/ free choice in separate feeders
    Supplements: Oyster Shell/ free choice
    Stools: Normal
    Food/Water intake: Normal

    All are in good weight. Birds were dewormed last in late April with levamisol. Food is under cover and always fresh. No new birds.

    Only one symptom. Birds are lethergic for a few hours and then die. I have lost 6 birds in the last two weeks and I'm at a loss as to what could be wrong or what to do.Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Donna [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Too good of information in your post to ignore (glad someone reads the rules).

    One thing springs to mind, when birds which appear perfectly healthy but suddenly drop dead. It could likely be cocciddiossis. Do you have a vet you can take a fecal sample to?
  3. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2008
    Is it possible that there could be some kind of poison that they're getting into? In this area, there are lots of spots where arsenic was dumped long ago. The arsenic was used to kill grasshoppers in the 1930's, and it was sprayed onto the ground indiscriminately. When the grasshoppers were controlled, some people buried 55 gallon drums of the stuff. Now, the drums are rusting through, and the arsenic is surfacing and in some places contaminating the underground water.

    Not saying that this is your problem, but it's possible that some other lethal agent could be killing your birds. I'd have one of them post mortemed to find out for sure. Good luck!
  4. Leah-yes I know I'm crazy

    Leah-yes I know I'm crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2008
    Skidway Lake, MI
    Have you looked up your state department of agriculture to find out if they can do an autopsy? I've read some posts where this service was available for a reasonable fee. It would certainly be worth making a few phone calls to find out before you have more losses.

    Good luck.
  5. Renegade

    Renegade Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2007
    Griffin, GA
    Actually I didn't read the rules. I'm a retired vet tech and know the more info you give the easier it is to make a diagnosis. I can do a fecal myself in the morning. Just one question though. The youngest birds are 1 yr and the oldest are 2 yr. Wouldn't they be past normal age for coccidia plus stools are normal?


    I'm pretty sure there is nothing in the soil here. They are in the same pasture with 20 or so goats and a horse. Some have also been on this farm for 2yrs.


    I have actually been considering making some calls.

    Thanks everyone.

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Cocci can hit at any age if something else puts their systems under pressure. Things like change or even weather can make some all the sudden fall sick. Best of luck figuring it out!
  7. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Renegade I just had this discussion with my vet less than 30 minutes ago after losing a pullet this morning. He was here on a houes call if you believe it. He said they can catch cocci at any age but it is very fatal for young birds and adult birds show signs of sickness for days before becoming lethargic usually.

    Hope you find out what is going on with yours.

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