hens all dying, lost over half my flock, unknown cause, please help!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ilovemychook24, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. ilovemychook24

    ilovemychook24 Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    seems i've lost half my flock of 10 all in this week, and i dont understand why?
    at the start of this week they were very beautiful excited birds now i come in everymorning to find one or two dead.
    the weird thing is though they are all dying in the same position (not same spot in pen though)
    i find then with there necks slightly curled in towards there bodies, neck feathers up..this is probably normal, but i dont know as this is first time i've ever had deaths in my flock. i can give details:
    their poo looks normal if not a really light green compared to their normal dark green
    combs turn a tad darker and flop over toward death
    ruffle up feathers
    they seem to stand in one position and sleep all day, so no energy what so ever
    appetite still seems the same, if i bring food they'll eat it
    sometimes in the pen i'll find really dark, almost black diarrhea (i dont know if i spelt that right)
    and they seem to has this black stuff on the tips of their tongues, i tried getting it off but it's almost impossible, did they eat something wrong?
    is their medicine i should use?
    we've just powdered them for lites and mites and put dewormer in their water but i dont know if those have anything to do with this
    the farm next to us has just put mice bait out all over their farm to get rid of the heaps of mice....would that have anything to do with it?
    they are normally freerange but since i'm scared i'm just keeping them locked up in their pen...
    someone please help! :'(
  2. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    [​IMG] wish i could help [​IMG]
  3. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Wow you got me on this one, I don't think the position they die in is an issue and it sounds like you have a handle any possible causes, There has to be just one thing that will stand out and tell you what it is, just don't what yet. I will be following this one. The free range thing sticks out and they die at different intervals, so maybe take a very close look around your property and fence lines, for toxic plant's and any rat bait that may have passed into your yard.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011
  4. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    How old are they?
  5. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    Could be the mouse bait. Some rodent baits contain a chemical much like "coumadin" which is a blood thinner and causes massive internal bleeding which leads to death. The black feces is probably a sign of internal bleeding. A death from "bleeding out" is relatively quick and quiet. Good luck finding your source of death. I'm sorry you're having to go through this loss.
  6. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I hope that it will stop.

    You said that the neighbor was poisioning mice. When an exterminator came to my mother-in-law's house, I asked him if the poison he was putting out would mean that the walls would be filled with rotting dead mice, and he said no, they usually crawl away to die. I hate to think that your chickens while free ranging found mice that had been killed by the poison that the neighbor put out, and ate the dead mice, thus ingesting the poison.

    keeping them in their pen for awhile may protect them. Perhaps you could have one of the dead ones looked at to see if they could determine if poison is the cause.
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    What a horrible thing to happen! Lock them up for a while.
  8. chicken grandma

    chicken grandma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2008
    west michigan
    You might want to double check the chemicals you gave your hens when you wormed them and powdered them for mites. Be very careful when you use chemicals on birds. It is better to have a few mites than to poison your hens and their eggs that you are eating. God bless you.
  9. ilovemychook24

    ilovemychook24 Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    my chickens are varied ages about 2-7 years old
    i'm starting to think it might be the mouse bait >.<
    my whole flock just look sickly except the silkies in the next pen that arent free range
    another detail about the birds is they have dirty bums
    i have pictures..i could put them on but i dont know if it will help
    i did put powder on them and their pen and since we almost live right on the farm, i believe my hens may of wandered off and found the bait
    my two barred rocks love mice so they definately mightve eaten some dead ones
    i may have found some blood in some poo somewhere around the roosts...this is scaring me
    i only started with chickens sometime last year...so many problems so soon
    i believe the next hen tp die will be my only rhode island red and then one of the barred rocks
    so far only my small hens have died
    and my rooster seems absolutley fine
  10. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    Vitamin K can be an antidote for blood that has become too thin. If the bleeding has started already I don't know if it helps or not. Where to get vitamin K for chickens? I only know this information to be true of humans treated with coumadin/warfarin blood thinner.

    Vitamin K Foods
    Vitamin K Nutrition
    Which foods have the highest levels of Vitamin K?
    The following list summarizes selected foods containing high levels of Vitamin K, as measured by the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
    By far, the major source of Vitamin K is green, leafy, vegetables - kale, collards, spinach, and turnip greens are the highest.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011

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