Help with diagnosis--deaths

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by LauraL, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. LauraL

    LauraL Hatching

    Jul 5, 2010
    Good morning!

    I'm hello to all... :)

    We have past (successful) experience raising flocks of 30-40 meatbirds but right now I'm brooding (for 4 weeks) a flock of 200 for someone else. This individual wants to use organic, non-medicated feed and my experience has been with the "regular" feed.

    In the past we've usually lost 1, maybe 2, birds out of 30-40 in the first week or so, however out of my current flock of 200 I just lost my 10th bird in the first 6 days of life. I was "OK" with losing 6-7, figuring that was akin to my previous experience, but now the numbers are creeping up.

    The last 5 dead birds have been found on their stomachs, with legs extended completely behind them. An hour ago I found a *live* bird in a similar position...legs fully extended and immobile. The chicken can move his head about.

    Any ideas?

  2. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009

    What percentage feed are you using... It may be that they are getting too much protien and are flipping.. Also how hot is where you are.. Meat birds are very suceptible heat and will die very easy in it .. Are any of the birds panting???
  3. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Songster

    May 11, 2010
    Northern Colorado
    losing 2 out of 40 is statistically the same as losing 10 out of 200.

    but i do agree w/ CoopCrazy - check your protein levels and temp. also, how large is the brooder?
  4. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    not enough info.
    please address feed, water, temps, housing, lights etc.
  5. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    When chickens die of "flip", which is really a certain type of heart attack, they literally flip over and they are found dead belly up. So if they are face down, it's not flip. It's possible a different cardiac problem is taking them out, but I'm guessing they're getting too hot. It's unlikely that they'd be dropping from cardiac problems at 6 days old.

    But I agree w/KatyTheChickenLady, there's not enough info. How many birds in what size area? Do they have access to outdoors, shade, and plenty of clean water? If they go outside, are they on grass, bare dirt, concrete, gravel, or what? How's the ventilation? Is the coop dry and clean, or wet and stinky? What part of the country are you in, and how's the weather been? Are they panting, wheezing, spread way out away from each other, cramming into corners, anything like that? Listless? Droopy? Bubbly/snotty sounding breathing?

    You might add poultry vitamin powder (available at most feed suppliers, I use 1 tsp per gallon of water) and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to the water. 1/4 cup per gallon. If it's a vitamin deficiency, that may take care of it.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  6. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    The more birds your dealing with the harder it is to keep them all happy. This year I have found out that if you do anything over 100 birds in the same brooder you want to have literally waters, feeders, and heat everywhere. They catch on to eating and drinking by the 5-6 day and if they don't.... they are too weak to walk and they do exactly what your talking about. This year we are doing 400 / week and it's been a task as it's the first time I've ever done this many for so long in one summer. I have learned so much about them in this one summer than I have the last 10 that I have been raising these birds. The higher the numbers.... the better your management has to be. The birds themselves create physical barriers in the brooder from the water, feed, and heat. So you have to make sure you have enough.

    I have 5 1 gallon waters for the first week scattered throughout about a 4x9 section with two 4 foot feed troughs. I also sprinkle feed on the floor next to waters to get them to eat. Either way a chick turns there is feed or water within a two foot circle.

    Last.... get some supplements for them for the first week too. I never really used them and now swear by them. It gives them a huge advantage, I now use supplements until they are three weeks. Basically an electrolyte package with some amino acids, minerals and vitamins.

    More than likely the only thing killing your chicks is lack of nutrients.... especially with these temps, these birds need the supplements when they are young. They drink so much water to stay cool that it basically strips the nutrients out of their body as they don't eat near as much when it's hot than when it's cooler. So by adding the supplements to their water this ensures they are getting everything that they need.
  7. scubaforlife

    scubaforlife Songster

    Jul 13, 2009
    Are there any other symptoms? Have you watched them for an extended period of time? Limping or dragging feet?

    It could be anything from pullet chicks that need more x,y,or z in their diet, to pneumonia. Need a bit more info.

    I have a standard, ACV and ProBiotic regime now that seems to have helped. I watch for small legs indicating pullet chicks that need to be treated like premies and given some extra riboflavin.

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