Entire flock dead overnight....locked in coop, no sign of predators

Megswdw

In the Brooder
Nov 11, 2018
11
12
34
On Saturday morning, when we opened the coop up to let our chickens run, we found our rooster dead. The heat lamp had fallen in the night and burned a little bit of bedding and it's cord, we figured maybe it had hit him in the head or something funky had happened with him and the light. We got a new light, and the chickens roamed all day. On Sunday, we locked the chickens up and then unlatched the door in the morning on our way out of down for the day. Our daughter, who unlatched the door, didn't look in to at the chickens. When we got back, to town, we went to lock them up for the night and they were all dead....splayed across the floor. There was no sign of predators and in hindsight, I'm thinking they were all dead in the morning and we just didn't check on them and assumed they were fine. Here are observations we've made:

1. We had one bird that appeared to have a hurt leg for the last few weeks. She was having trouble staying balanced. Maybe it is Maruk's? Seems unlikely to have killed them all within 24 hours when she's been limping for weeks.

2. We were towards the bottom of the feed bag, so not likely a bad bag of food.

3. We had a mix of ages and breeds

4. It is cold, but the coop was comfortable

5. The farmer next to us was in the field yesterday, maybe he put down fertilizer that harmed them? The baby chicks and injured one don't go to the field though?

We don't really have an vets that know about chickens, so we will call our Extension office tomorrow. Any ideas of what could have gone wrong would be appreciated though!
 

Cyprus

Master of the 'never give up' attitude
Jan 19, 2018
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What kind of bulb did you use? Some are coated in Teflon. (Like the cooking pans) and it gives off fumes that are fatal. So sorry for your loss. I cannot even begin to imagine how you feel. Tragic :hit
This is important.

Mareks? Maybe Cocci? I had rabbits show similar symptoms and die overnight. Corid for Cocci, Mareks is untreatable I THINK. I’m very sorry for your loss:hit
Yup, you can't cure Marek's.
 

Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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How old were the chickens? The two most logical possibilities were smoke inhalation from the lamp fire, or a teflon coated lamp that gave off toxic fumes. Where did you get the heat lamp bulb? An electrician’s family last year had a heat lamp go out, and the father replaced it with a lamp he had in his truck. Most of their chickens died from the fumes. The best way to find out what happened is to get a necropsy on a refrigerated body, by your state vet. So sorry for your loss.
 

Cyprus

Master of the 'never give up' attitude
Jan 19, 2018
16,113
55,583
1,207
My Coop
My Coop
How old were the chickens? The two most logical possibilities were smoke inhalation from the lamp fire, or a teflon coated lamp that gave off toxic fumes. Where did you get the heat lamp bulb? An electrician’s family last year had a heat lamp go out, and the father replaced it with a lamp he had in his truck. Most of their chickens died from the fumes. The best way to find out what happened is to get a necropsy on a refrigerated body, by your state vet. So sorry for your loss.
:goodpost:
 

Megswdw

In the Brooder
Nov 11, 2018
11
12
34
Thanks for your ideas! I was thinking it might have to do with toxins from the charred floor of the coop, but the light was shatterproof and did show signs of burning on the outside. The weird thing is that the doors were open all day the day after the rooster died, so it should have been aired out. There might have been some flakes remaining on the floor though.
 

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