Dying chickens...too hot or ?

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11 Years
Apr 16, 2011
I just lost three chickens. I had them outside in a pen with plenty of water and food. They are seven weeks old. One was a little older - maybe ten week old bantam. The others were a RIR pullet and a BR cockerel. I went out to check on them and the roo was lying down. I picked him up and brought him inside and tried to hydrate him to no avail. His eyes were closed and his head drooping. Then I noticed my EE pullet looked similar so I brought her inside and she had bloody spots on her with nasty little flying gnat-like bugs sucking her blood. When I squished them they were full of blood. I hydrated her and she is okay so far. Then the RIR did the same thing, again the bugs, head drooping, eyes closed. Is it too hot for them? They had shade, and water. I'm at a loss. I don't want to lose anymore obviously. They are all inside now. I thought maybe they aren't feathered out enough and since we have so many bugs...they were just swarming them. Could it have been the bugs only?
Wow, that's just horrible for you! I've never had that problem, so I hope someone else has an idea. My older chickens eat the bugs to fast for them to become a problem for us. Even the horse yard gets a thorough gleaning every single day. Keep us updated and good luck.
Buffalo gnats, also called black flies. I read one post where almost all their chickens died. Maybe move them into a building or something so you can spray? I don't know what else to do. Try a search on the topic. Good luck.
Sure enough that would be them. Buffalo gnats. This is the first spring/summer I have lived out here in the country so these pests are new to me. We've been working outside and they bite us too. Temp here is probably 80 or so. Wow. I had no idea bugs could kill that fast. What can I do? Is it because my chickens have bare areas where feathers are coming in? Or do they kill adult birds as well? I wasn't expecting to have to keep my birds inside forever! I don't think the bugs are usually this bad, we've had an ungodly amount of rain so they are terrible. Guess I'd better keep my chihuahuas' outside time limited as well. Ridiculous.
Thanks all!
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