Healthy happy chickens die or dying


8 Years
Dec 30, 2011
About 6 months ago, I was given a turkey chick. He grew up to be beautiful and followed me around like a puppy. As I read up on turkeys, I found they need company. I couldn't find any more turkey babies, so I bought 4 baby chicks (Ameraucana) from the local feed store. They were perfect beautiful specimens of the breed. These were supposed to be all hens, but I am pretty sure they grew up to be roosters. They all crowed and one in particular was very "in love" with me. They all got along fine, no eggs at all. They were beautiful, big, healthy and very sweet. Last night, I put the roosters and turkey up in their house. Each night they go in there and hop up on their roosting bar which is about 4 feet off the floor of the coop. The coop is about 10 inches off the ground. They all looked and acted normal. This morning when I went to open their house, they were all on the floor. They were flopped over and I first thought they were all dead. Carefully, I picked each one up and found they were alive. One appears to be fine, but concerned about the others. One is upright but can only take a few steps before falling back to his belly. Two were alive but were not even strong enough to lift their heads. The same with my turkey. I was careful in case there was a snake in the coop but did not find one (nor evidence of one.) I checked their entire bodies but cannot find a single puncture or wound. Two have now died and my turkey appears to be taking his last breaths. The other two have not changed. I live in the country, but there is no one close to me with any chickens. I just need some ideas as to what could be wrong. I gave them all water with some prednisone (steriod) to counteract any shock they may have been in. It had no effect. I am heart broken. These were my babies. Please help.
I just don't know. They are always running around my yard. I have horses, dogs, cats.... We have citrus trees and they love when I cut up oranges or grapefruits for them. The only thing I can think of is they may have gotten into a moldy orange laying around somewhere. It just breaks my heart.
I do know citrus fruits is not good for them:(. I have never fed my birds citrus let me do some research as I know there was a thread about citrus...I don't remember reading it was deadly though...
I wonder why if doesn't say why not to feed citrus.
I haven't ever fed them because I had read this info, but I didn't
know why.

Off to do research again brb
So sorry about your birds. However I can't help feeling there's no way eating a bit of fallen orange could kill these birds in one night. I agree with an above poster that perhaps it could be botulism. One sign of botulism is that feathers come out easily when you pull them. If the feathers remain tight even after death, it's not very likely to be that.

I would perhaps be looking around for anything unusual, e.g. are any wild birds dying at present? My sister's yard was visited by a sick pigeon, and all her growing chicks developed paralysis and tremors, though almost all recovered. That was avian encephalomyelitis.

Has anyone laid rat bait recently? Could the dogs have dragged something festering out from under a shed?

Such a puzzle.

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