Have I been over indulging my birds to where they are dieing?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by fishingman, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. fishingman

    fishingman Out Of The Brooder

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    Past two day's I have lost two of my girls I am somewhat depressed as wanted them to have the best for them to get best from them pet wise, looks and of course egg;s
    last night after a good day of free-range all came in acting no different and waiting to get into the coop & run.
    So they entered and began their normal run to feeder to fill up for night and get a suitable drink.
    Every 3 days I fix a nice bowl of apples, pears, bananas, rice sometimes, kale or cabbage or lettuce, tomatoes, peaches sometimes But you get the idea a nice veg salad all fresh & washed.
    Their food is a layers pelleted well known brand for my area and was using the mash prior to them beginning to lay my girls are 10 months old.
    Well I went back out after them being in, to close door to coop and secure {Fort Knox's} for the night. The coop's door's are secured with turn-able locks like for windows as well as their vent system & added measure spring loaded latch hooks // is what we call our coop as 360 fenced in with large stone's on a 24 inch skirt around out side for digger's . OK I admit went a little over board , But we love our animals their family to us and in a lot ways respond as our dog's do cat & other!
    Well, I came across one hen last night dead at food bowl seemed she ate what would say a lot! being out free range and now colder less bugs & worms so it's pellets a lil crack corn and salad , I found my second one dead this morning in coop nesting box.
    No marks to either birds !
    I do live in Country so have many predators , is reason for Fort Knox's as dog is not out side at night.
    Have I over fed my birds?
    Their food is98% layer's pelleted food with 2% crack corn & 2 to 3 salads a week & what ever they find free range.
    I am going to open the 2nd one today and check things out as one passing heart broken 2 in 24 hrs.? seems a problem at hand!!

    I did purchase a new hen from another who was moving she is going through molt and stays away from others as still not sure of them but does bed with them at night I have had her now roughly a week & 1/2 she is clean no show of sickness.
    but seam's this took place within 3 days after me changing coop bedding for winter .
    I put down a good 4 to 5 inch base of Pine Shaving & then approx. 6 to 8 in. fluffed "Hay" matted down to around 3 to 4 inch.
    Both products were purchase at local feed store.

    Now it has been cold here in> North Western NY dropping to 20 at night and 40- 50 in day. I am checking all scenario's poss. . Am I doing something wrong!?

    They get fresh water every day & Water cleaned out every day & feeder as well when filling // we have spring & well water tested every year!! & passes w/ flying colors & a stream running 24/7 on property so is not stagnant with stocked trout .! I had tough time sleeping trying to figure what I did wrong or what is going wrong I put a lot of time & effort along with choosing birds for this area which would fit with weather issue's ,

    Could they of died from hay? like straw Issue?? or did I over feed them or is something else?
    seems nothing on property which can do it as would of killed them months back!
    Any & all idea's which I did not mentioned are appreciated .
    hell I even had it I would talk to them and they would squawk & dribble little noise's back like saying something back to me followed me around like our dog / speaking of which he's out side looking for the other's! I work the ground they were right along side digging & scratching away!! what helpers with grub control they do all the work digging and eatin and later before snow i'll throw seed down for thicker lawn next year!!

    Yeah I know long about my chicks but hey ??? It's ??? I got a lot of smile's in such a short time of having & SOME GOOD LAUGH'S OF WATCHING THEM GROW & LEARN !!

    A Follow up to my loss >

    I wish to thank all who left mess. it seems my eye site & glasses were not as good as another's ! He a [​IMG]Farmer down the road from us found one bird had a mink bite to neck which crushed the neck bone and also windpipe. Due to fact other look almost same with out really seeing bite! We caught a brown mink dragging away one of the carcasses we had left out for morning viewing but was gone when awoke to find the second one dead in nest box. Seems with confusion of thinking the first one Choked or died from something else , no one double check the lock on coop door and mink climbed through chain link to kill 2nd bird inside coop not noticing one's above on roost! or didn't care!???. We are installing chicken wire mesh 360 through out whole cage top bottom & sides even though it's 360 now, holes in fencing too big! and we now have special note on door to: Double check all locks before saying good nite to the crew!
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
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  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome! So sorry for your loss. If there are no obvious wounds on your birds, the only way to discover the cause of death is having a post mortem exam done, preferably by a veterinarian experienced with chickens. Your state veterinary lab might be your best resource if it's close, or contact your county extension office, of through your local veterinarian. Keep the bodies wrapped and chilled until Monday. Again, so sorry. Mary
     
  3. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unless they chocked on a piece of fruit- I doubt it was your feeding that did it. If you can, the best way to go is to have an autopsy done. Depending on your state, some state Universities/ or ag depts will do it 1/2 reasonably.
    Failing that, if you haven't wormed your chickens, do it now. Safeguard for goats get most worms that are common to chickens, albendazole is the only wormer that gets everything that I know of.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Sorry for your loses.

    Could have been mold in the hay
    or the new bird is carrying a disease(without showing symptoms) that your birds were susceptible to.
     
  5. fishingman

    fishingman Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2014
    Thank you, come to find out was a Mink Crushed birds neck & windpipe with one bite!
     
  6. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry about your birds. I think mink and the like are one of the trickiest to figure out because they're methods are so subtle compared to other predators.

    I wouldn't suggest covering the bottom of your run with wire as they can injure their toes scratching around by catching them in the wire. Instead, put a wire skirt around the perimeter; you can either dig down about 12" and out 18" then cover with sod, stone, pavers, etc. or at least down a few inches and cover. Predators will generally dig right next to the fence/barrier and once they hit the wire, they may try other spots next to the fence but won't think to start further away.

    @iwiw60 has some great examples of wire skirts
     
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  7. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, if you want to 'skirt' your run here's some pics of the how-to:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    So very sorry for your losses...hard lesson learned...it's never easy. I wish you all the best!
    (Many thanks to @islandgirl82 )
     
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  8. fishingman

    fishingman Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2014
    [​IMG]

    Yeah is what I did 20 inch skirt with flat stone!
    I also caught the little bugger he went on one way ticket to outa here!
    Nasty Buggers they are !!
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
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  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Mink might go right thru the chain link holes.....what's on top of the 'run'?
     

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