Help!! Twelve broilers died in one night... what's going on?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Ariel Elyse, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. Ariel Elyse

    Ariel Elyse New Egg

    Jan 12, 2016
    This morning I went out to my chicken shelter and found twelve dead birds inside. Here are the clues... any ideas about what the cause was? What should I do so it doesn't happen again?

    I had 74 cornish cross that were 8 weeks old.
    There was a heat index of about 95 degrees F yesterday.
    They were fine at 3pm yesterday afternoon.
    I have a 10-12' Salatin-style shelter with metal sides on only 1/4 of it, so there's cross ventilation. I move it every day.
    The dead birds were some of my biggest - some were 7 lbs.
    They had food and water when I found them this morning.
    The dead ones were in the side of the shelter with the food and water - the side without metal sides and roof.
    The dead ones looked perfectly normal.

    Heart attacks? They got too hot? Some strange sickness? What do you think?
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
  2. lcertuche

    lcertuche Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would think they just were too close and got to hot. This sounds like the time to start putting them in the freezer. I am thinking about get some Cornish X's but I think this is the time of year. Temp in the 90's for the young cheeps and then as they grow the weather cools until it is cool enough and they are big enough to process for the freezer. If I don't do it this year I will definitely do this next August.
  3. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    8 weeks old-- probably died of heart failure. The biggest are usually the first to succumb.
    We lost a few broilers this year as well, even with having them on feed restriction (12 on/12 off).
    They had to walk back and forth for food and water and were on fresh pasture daily.
    Lost them at 5-6 weeks old as I recall. Sorry for your losses-- that's huge.
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Yeah, losing that many at once sounds like a heat or ventilation issue. Tough break...sorry for your loss.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
  5. Ariel Elyse

    Ariel Elyse New Egg

    Jan 12, 2016
    Thanks guys. That's what I thought. If I do another batch in the heat of summer like this I'll do a smaller batch and process sooner and provide more shade, etc. ;) I'm learning a lot!
  6. eviemethugh

    eviemethugh Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2015
    North Carolina
    Salatin style tractors are not suitable for hot climates. We live in North Carolina and did our Broilers super early in the spring (finished by end of April) and will start another batch the last week of August, so by the time they are big it will be cooling down again (mid October complete)
    Prop up one part of the roof, and fill it in with wire to catch some more breeze, it will also help hot air roll up and out of the coop as the night cools down. Because of how low Salatin coops are, the breeze is rarely as strong within 2 feet of the ground as what you feel on your face/upper chest. (Although, interestingly enough Salatin coops also are not great for areas that actually DO have strong wind close to the ground and will flip over....) I love Salatin, not a fan of his coops though.
    You can also spray the metal/tin parts down with water during the day so that they cool down.

    Hope you & your chicks are doing better today! <3 [​IMG]
  7. Ariel Elyse

    Ariel Elyse New Egg

    Jan 12, 2016
    Yeah, I'm figuring that out. ;) The wire is a great idea! I'll have to try it. I also have a big barn fan from a friend I'm going to set up so they get a breeze.

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