Help! My chicken are dying :/

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by vsecretz, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. vsecretz

    vsecretz Out Of The Brooder

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    I am still pretty new to taking care of chickens as they were inherited with the house we purchased a few months ago. I am still not certain on which types of chickens I have other than the silkies. The others seem to be hens of course. About a month ago, one of my hens was found dead in the coop one morning. I freaked out and wasn't sure how it might've happened. There was no sign of foul play, no blood or loose feathers lying around. My assumption was that perhaps there was maybe a chicken fight but still unsure. I did not base it off of sickness because all of the other chickens were their usual selves, eating and drinking just fine.

    Well, today - I go to the coop to give fresh water and veggies and saw the other twin to the hen that died a month ago, also dead. Now, I'm really freaking out and am upset because I do not know what's going on. I take pretty good care of them and check on them often. Everyone can appear to be fine and eating as usual and then boom - there's a death.

    I live in New England (outside of Boston). The past few days, the temperature hasn't been too cold and I know that chickens are ok in the cold and they've been with this house for a few years. This particular chicken is one of my bigger ones. I actually named her "Bully" because she would often bully the other chickens come feeding time, she would stomp around and scare away the other chickens. So I was quite surprised that she was the one who was found dead this morning. I felt bad. With this particular death, I noticed there were a few of her feathers lying around her body on both sides. So, I wasn't sure if there were a pecking session on her from the other chickens or if this might have occurred after she had died.

    Oddly, I had noticed that even though the weather has been fairly bearable - they all spent a lot of time in the coop throughout yesterday and the day before. So I'm not sure if some things had been going on since then but normally - they seem to follow each other and either flock outside in the run for a bit or go inside as one or two heads into the coop.

    Are there any possible suggestions to consider as to why my girls are dying on me? I thought the one that died a month ago was just a once in the blue type of thing but I'm just confused right now and am afraid for the others. I am not sure how old the chickens are or how to tell but not sure if age is a factor possibly. As I said before, the ones that have died are twins or so I call them because they look exactly a like - color, size, etc. I will try attaching a pic of the chicken as an idea.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. hennible

    hennible Overrun With Chickens

    Looks like a barred rock or barred Plymouth Rock... Sorry not that great with breed names... If that is at hen ( looks like a hen to me ), her legs are awfully yellow which can indicate that they have stopped laying which comes with age...
    Have you noticed any strange poop in your coop? runny, green, frothy, lots of intestinal shed, or blood? Any sneezing runny noses or watery eyes? Is the coop well ventilated? What do you feed them? Any chance they got into something they shouldn't have eaten?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
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  3. DRGLENNON

    DRGLENNON Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I"m sorry for your loss. I'm not sure but my thoughts were if it's something contagious they would have died closer together and more deaths. Hopefully it's just old age. I'm still pretty new to chickens too. I hope you get some more useful info. from those who have been at it longer. Good Luck!
     
  4. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "Bully" looks like a rooster to me. Could be wrong. I have 2 Plymouth Rock hens. Their waddles and combs are significantly smaller. Here is a pic of one of them with 2 other chickens. The tail on yours also indicates a rooster.

    [​IMG]

    Now, more questions for you.

    Have you wormed them lately? Some worms are not visible to the naked eye.
    Have you checked them thoroughly for mites & lice?
    What do you feed them?
    Did they run out of fresh water anytime recently?
     
  5. vsecretz

    vsecretz Out Of The Brooder

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    The pic I used was one I found online to give an idea of the chicken that died. However, my chicken that died - her legs weren't that yellow as in the pic. No strange poop, nothing runny, no sneezing or watery eyes. I thought that I might have seen a very small smudge of faint red on a very, very tiny part of the shavings I use but wasn't quite sure if it were dried blood. I tried getting a good look at the body of the chicken to see if she was pecked a few times due to all of her feathers I saw lying around her but didn't see too much.

    The coop is well ventilated. I keep the front entry door into the coop open at all times as well as the long, rectangular window that is on the upper side of the coop. There's really nothing that they can eat in the coop outside of the food that is given to them unless they decide to eat shavings and straw.
     
  6. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you wormed them lately?

    Have you checked them over thoroughly for mites and lice?

    What do you feed them?

    Did they run out of water anytime recently?

    How old are they?
     
  7. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    When is the last time th chickens were wormed? Did you check the body to see if she eas thin? Was her crop full or empty? Have you checked all of your chuckens for lice?
     
  8. vsecretz

    vsecretz Out Of The Brooder

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    Honestly Outpost JWB - I have no idea what it means to worm chickens. I am new to anything dealing with taking care of chickens. Some of them will allow me to touch/pet them while others are used to seeing my face but perhaps are not yet that comfortable with me touching them yet.

    I feed them the Layena Pellets and cracked corn mixed. Every other day, I also feed them fresh, organic spinach and small diced green apples. They also like diced cabbage. I know that the waterer had frozen over night last night from what I could see this morning but made sure they had fresh water this morning. I usually check on the waterer and alternate the waterers if one freezes just to ensure they always have fresh water daily.
     
  9. hennible

    hennible Overrun With Chickens

    Worming means treating for worms, usually with some sort of oral medication...
     
  10. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you leave the door and window open all the time, as in, is it open at night? I ask, because, where I live I wouldn't be able to do that because of predators. Especially little mink and weasels. They can slip through the tiniest holes in the run (or dig under or climb over the fence) or make their way into the tiniest cracks to get into a coop. I'm not sure where you're from, or if you even have them in your area, but when I've lost chickens to them there wasn't much evidence to be found. Occasionally I might find a spot of blood or two on the bedding or feathers, but a lot of times they would just look like they keeled over and died for no reason. I had to plug up ever crack and crevice in my coop and line the bottom with rocks to convince them to look for food elsewhere (we also set out traps, but never caught one). Anyway, just a thought.

    I do agree that you should probably go ahead and worm your chickens. If they were hand me downs, you have no idea if they'd ever been wormed by their previous owners. Also, if you loose another bird, you might want to consider looking a little more closely at the body. Examine every inch of the skin under the feathers to look for wounds and examine every inch of the insides to see if there is some underlying issue thats causing them to die (if worms are present, you'll find them inside). It sounds horrible, but if they were mine, I'd have to try to figure out why they were dying.

    Good luck, sorry about your lost chickens [​IMG]
     

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