First time meat birder with first random death???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by kyleag, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. kyleag

    kyleag Just Hatched

    Jan 11, 2017
    Logandale, NV
    So I am new to raising meat chickens but have raised laying hens for some time. I have 32 Freedom Rangers that are 8 weeks old. This morning I discovered a hen in the corner of the coop that had passed away sometime during the night. She seemed healthy as far as I could tell as she didn't stick out from the flock. All the other birds seem to be doing just fine. Any idea what could have caused the death?
  2. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    I've raised maybe 6 batches of Freedom Rangers. They are my favorite type of meat bird. That said, I always seem to loose a few from each batch during the first 4 weeks and every once in awhile need to dispatch one early because it doesn't seem to be thriving. I have read that Freedom Rangers are prone to "Flip Over Disease", although not nearly as prone to it as the really fast growing Cornish X type broilers. Here's a description from a webpage I found:

    Birds that succumb to flip-over disease are often found dead on their stomachs with their legs stretched out behind them and their necks extended forward. Occasionally, a dead bird is fount on its back. There is rarely any sign of sickness prior to such deaths, but some people have observed a bird, which appeared to be perfectly normal, suddenly squawk, and make a small jump into the air and land on its back. The wings flutter, there are some convulsive movements and the bird is dead.

    It is thought to be related to their fast growth and probably has something to do with heart failure, although this article states that the cause hasn't been proven. Here's the link I was refering too:

    I always order a few more than I actually want/need figuring I'll have a few losses. It always makes me sad to find a dead chicken and I always wonder if there is something I could have done better to save it, but having had it happen almost every time with one or two, but not a massive die-off that would suggest a disease or problem with my brooder or grow-out facilities, I am just starting to think that perhaps the odds just mean that en every batch there is a chick or two that has some genetic flaw.

    I had much higher mortality rates in the CX I tried so I'm sticking with Freedom Rangers.
  3. PapaBear4

    PapaBear4 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 25, 2014
    My take on it is that sometimes they just die. Is there a reason? Yes. Are you going to ever figure it out? Probably not, even with a lot of time and effort. I've raised several batches of freedom rangers over the last several years and I always loose a few for unknown reasons. If the rest of your birds are looking okay, keep on keepin' on.

    You're only a few weeks away from processing day! Good luck to you!
  4. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    Part of having any breed of chickens is random, mysterious deaths. Seemingly healthy birds that just drop dead. Yes you can spend lots of time and money having the deaths explained. But unless you start having several in a short period of time its not really anything to get worried about. Not really an answer, but just advice from a veteran chicken breeder.
  5. kyleag

    kyleag Just Hatched

    Jan 11, 2017
    Logandale, NV
    They all look healthy and are all up and about this morning. When I found her she was all stretched out like Hummingbird Hallow noted happens in flip-over disease so maybe it was that? I don't really know what else to do as they all seem to be thriving, so I'll just keep an extra eye on them for any signs of weakness and go from there.

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