Help My Poor Hens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by GreeneFarm, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. GreeneFarm

    GreeneFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2016
    Here's the deal . We started off with six of the greatest RIR ever ! They were so sweet . We raised them in a container until they were big enough to move outside . After we moved them outside , they poor birds started dropping like flies . It started off when I went out to the coop to clean the food and water containers and I realized my roo was just laying there in the corner by himself . To my surprise he had died . Of course I called the vet to see why this healthy bird had just passed with no signs of illness at all . The vet said he thought it was related to our juristic weather changes that our city had in the past few days . No biggie right ? It happens ! Well with two Roos and three hens left . We were doing good . Then the two Roos started fighting . I knew to expect this . One was butchered but business was still good . Now the hens are laying . Literally . Just laying on the ground . Still alive but just still . So , round two of the vet ! He says , sour crop . So we got new food , antibiotics , and some oyster shell . Still , no change . We ended up losing our last roo , and one of our hens . Now we're down to two hens .. Out of the six we started with . I figured , maybe it's bird flu ! The hens got there shots , the coop was emptied , bleached , and rinsed . The ground was treated as well . Now my two remaining hens are doing great . Laying once a day , no fighting , happy loving birds . So ... We tried again . A dozen ISA Browns this time . Same thing . We raised them up , and got them out to the coop . They did great the first few days , then boom . Dropping like flies again . They fought with the older hens , and lost . (These were not small birds . They are the same size as my RIRs at this point ). Three months later , I am now down to six birds total . We get an egg every day from each bird . Everything seems to be going great .. Until yesterday . I went out on my normal trip to collect eggs and stock feeders , when much to my surprise , another ISA has been attacked . Five .. Okay now I'm overly frustrated . I have put a lot of time money and love into these birds . This morning I went out per usual and found one ISA with missing feather and a bleeding rear end , alive and eating well , but still injured , And another laying by herself . Not this again . I walked over and touched her on the rear with my boot and much to my surprise , a hen who cannot possibly regurgitate , regurgitated a brown liquid and proceeded to flop around on the floor for about 5 to ten seconds before , at my worst fear , dying . I now have three healthy birds and one with a sore on her rear who I'm sure is going to pass too .. That's a total of 15 birds who've died . What else can I do ?
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Hi and welcome to BYC - I'm sorry that it is not under better circumstances that you join us.

    These are just thoughts that spring to mind: Coop and run size (re: attacks) and the possibility that there's something poisonous around that they may be eating? I'm most certainly no expert, and i think that maybe if you break the issues down into

    1. attacks (and post this on the "coops and runs" forum with details of your set up and space, and how you went about integration) 2. illness / death (post in "emergencies, diseases, injuries and cures" forum)

    All the best
    CT
     
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    I agree with CTKen - multiple factors are coming into play here. Maybe if we saw photos of your coop/ run etc. we could find some problem. What do you feed your birds?
    Chickens can and do regurgitate . Are you getting your birds and replacements from the same source? Integration issues can be brutal with chickens. The best way is called "Look but, don't touch," method.

    My brain isn't warmed up yet but, I'm sure other greeters will have additional advice/questions for you. Is your dr. an 'avian' vet?
     
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  5. GreeneFarm

    GreeneFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    I am actually using a "house" for the coop . It is a large space . I am at work right now but I'll be sure to post measurements and pictures as soon as I can .
     
  6. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm with the others on this. Sounds like a few different
    issues coming into play.

    I've tried to break your post down into an easier read,
    hope you don't mind.

    Original Post:


    Here's the deal .

    We started off with six of the greatest RIR ever !

    We raised them in a container until they were big enough to
    move outside . After we moved them outside , they birds
    started dropping like flies .

    It started when I went out to the coop to clean the food and
    water containers and I realized my roo was just laying there
    in the corner by himself . To my surprise he had died . Of
    course I called the vet to see why this healthy bird had just
    passed with no signs of illness at all . The vet said he thought
    it was related to our juristic weather changes that our city
    had in the past few days .

    Well with two Roos and three hens left . We were doing good .
    Then the two Roos started fighting . I knew to expect this .
    One was butchered but business was still good .

    Now the hens are laying . Literally . Just laying on the ground .
    Still alive but just still . So , round two of the vet ! He says ,
    sour crop . So we got new food , antibiotics , and some oyster
    shell . Still , no change .

    We ended up losing our last roo , and one of our hens . Now
    we're down to two hens .. Out of the six we started with .

    I figured , maybe it's bird flu ! The hens got there shots ,
    the coop was emptied , bleached , and rinsed . The ground
    was treated as well .

    Now my two remaining hens are doing great . Laying once a day ,
    no fighting , happy loving birds . So ... We tried again . A dozen
    ISA Browns this time . Same thing . We raised them up , and got
    them out to the coop .

    They did great the first few days , then boom . Dropping like flies again .

    They fought with the older hens , and lost . (These were not small birds .
    They are the same size as my RIRs at this point ).

    Three months later , I am now down to six birds total .
    We get an egg every day from each bird .

    Everything seems to be going great .. Until yesterday .

    I went out on my normal trip to collect eggs and stock feeders ,
    when much to my surprise , another ISA has been attacked .

    Five .. Okay now I'm overly frustrated . I have put a lot of time money
    and love into these birds . This morning I went out per usual and found
    one ISA with missing feather and a bleeding rear end , alive and eating
    well , but still injured ,

    And another laying by herself .

    Not this again .

    I walked over and touched her on the rear with my boot and much to
    my surprise , a hen who cannot possibly regurgitate , regurgitated a
    brown liquid and proceeded to flop around on the floor for about 5 to
    ten seconds before , at my worst fear , dying . I now have three healthy
    birds and one with a sore on her rear who I'm sure is going to pass too ..

    That's a total of 15 birds who've died . What else can I do ?



    Okay. your vet doesn't seem to be much help so far. Lets see if BYC
    can help a bit more?

    What was the time frame between the point your moved the chickens
    out of the house and the first rooster dying? Days, weeks, months?

    You appear to of had the basic birds long enough to of raised them? So
    lets assume good decent hatchery stock? You house-raised them some
    weeks with no illness? Problems began only after moving outside? How
    long after?

    You said something about they live in a "big house"? House or coop?
    Tell us where they live. I doubt they actually live in a big house? More of
    coop? Did you build it, is it new? Describe it well. Materials and such.

    Feed, water containers...again, new used? Metal, plastic? And the feed
    also. Right down to table scraps.

    Two roosters fighting and one going to the coop in the sky, no big deal.
    and not part of the illness issue. Mark that one off.

    Now back to sick hens. Again, a time frame please. Describe the hens
    and their actions please. And if you you think you have a health issue
    with your chickens at this point, it would be well to not feed these eggs
    to your family. Better to err on the side of safe.

    But describe the eggs. Shell normal? Egg yolk color, odor? Size, bigger
    or smaller as we go?

    Now, you've changed chickens and you've changed food. Not containers,
    just the food itself. And I assume the stock came from the same breeder?
    Probably not going to be a stock issue, so probably a good ideal not to
    post online the actual name of your breeder.

    You bleached the coop entirely? With...what mix? Again, describe the coop
    inside? Materials?

    Things looked good here. So you added more birds. Can you give us
    another time frame? How long does this go? You cleaned the coop, and
    your two remaining birds were good. For how long? Then you added the
    new girls, and they got sick in what time frame?

    And did they actually sick, or did the two original girls simply put a
    beating on them?

    Towards the end of your post you say that another bird had been
    attacked? By what, do you think? Another bird? And I assume the
    attack to of been inside the cage?

    So, is there any chance of a varmit attack?

    As we said, sounds like you could have a few different issues
    piling up at once. Take it apart piece by piece for us.

    Spook
     
  7. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    just addressing this part

    when you moved them outside how old were they? what was the temps outside day/night compared to the temps they had been living in day/night?

    birds need to acclimate especially when going from human house to outdoors when it is not yet summer. Meaning time outside, time inside or out to the coop but with a heat source available at first in case they need it
     
  8. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Ohio
    Rottlady, good point on the temperature.

    But the original post seems to span a few months to me.
    He seems to of lost chickens by an illness, a few by fighting
    within the flock, and possibly a few by attack of some nature.

    A lot of missing information?


    I am more concerned with the coop itself a this point. What
    is it exactly? New, used? I'm looking for things such as mold,
    even behind the walls or under the floor. If a linoleum floor,
    could be exposed glues. Could be a calking sealant. Looking for
    any signs of the chickens pecking on a spot on the wall...the
    material. Could even be old treated lumber.

    The attack could be something completely unrelated. Any
    POSSIBLE point of entry for predator?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  9. GreeneFarm

    GreeneFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2016
    Okay , so integration . We started moving them out to the big house about mid spring . We'd take them out to the coop and let them check it out , ya know , figure it out . We started of with leaving them out about an hour , then increasing times until eventually (after about three weeks ) they started moving into the coop at dark instead of my back door . The heat lamps were off inside the house during the transition to the coop to ready them .

    The first roo died about two weeks into the transition . We added a lamp in the coop to make sure the temperature wasn't the issue .

    Food and water containers are the red and white plastic 1 gallon drinkers from tractor supply company , which were cleaned throughly , soaked in rubbing alcohol and air dried . (My birds keep a clean house for the most part ). We had three watering containers and three feeders . We recently cut back to the three gallon drinker with the taps on the bottom to make life a little easier when refilling ! They love it .

    Okay , food . We started off with Dumor medicated starter /grower . Then to Dumor layer crumbles . We started offering oyster shell about a month into the transition . Then another hen died . Thought maybe it was sour crop or crop impact . So we took the shell . Now we use country road layer crumbles and pellets . We also now offer them cracked corn .

    Now the eggs . Those started off about the size of a golf ball but now they're a great size ! I have pics I'll post of those . I'll be sure to include a yolk !

    We bleached (with straight bleach ) the coop top to bottom to eliminate any parasite or mold that could have been in the coop . (I had the same idea ) we even tore the walls out of the coop and replaced them with a new wood paneling . We didn't leave any behind . The coop was rinsed , squeegeed , and shop vaced to insure we got it all .

    As for me referring to the coop as the big house . I insure you that it is in fact a house . It has one room , a small kitchen , a closet , and a bathroom . Not a huge space , but it's my hens big house . There is no paint or tile . The floor is cement . Of course , I'll add pics of my coop and outside as well .

    Our birds were doing great for about three months . That's were we decided that we could add more !

    We raised these new 12 ISA pullets in our home just like the 6 RIRs (with a bit more space ) and the transition was the same . Beginning of spring . It took a few weeks . We even monitored the reaction of my two RIRs. We started to leave their container out in the coop during the day too so it wasn't too dramatic of a change . I know what stress can do to them . These birds had country road starter feed

    During the time of raising the birds in my home is when the Second roo died out in the coop . He was lathargic . Wouldn't walk eat or interact at all . He literally layed down and died . Just like the last hen . Now I start to worry .

    After the new birds got used to the coop and the old birds got their chance to check them out , they finally started staying out all night . They did good for two weeks , then the (RIRs started attacking the ISAs ripping feathers out till they bled to death . I know this is what happened . I seen it happen to one . It was awful . Some would live a few days after the attack but would eventually die .

    There is no place in our coop for entry of outside predators . No spots of pecking in the material .

    We captured a bird dying on video to send to the vet of the most recent ISA that passed . It was the same as the RIRs . Very sad . I can post that but be aware . It's gross .
     
  10. GreeneFarm

    GreeneFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh , the RIRs were from Tractor Supply Company . My ISA Browns were from Rural King
     

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