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I feel like a chicken murdered!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Eilish23, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Eilish23

    Eilish23 Hatching

    Mar 4, 2013
    We decided a while ago, it would be great to get some chickens. expecting them to be fairly low maintenance, and good from a sustainability point of view. We got out first 2 in August 2012 and seem to have managed to kill 5 of them since. is this normal?

    The first two we got, (Salmon Faverolles) one died after the second night. It had a weird ball patch on it's bum, so maybe wasn't 100% healthy, but main problem with that one is that teh bulb in teh heat lamp went out in teh night, so i guess it got cold, although it did survive another couple of nights.

    When we got a replacement for her, we also got a third one (one Salmon Faverolle and one Pekin Bantam). One faverolle got sick just before Christmas, we took her to the vet (who thought she had gastro), she finished her course of antibiotics and died the next day (boxing day), she was about 22 weeks old.

    The next faverolle went the same way about a month later although she died on the second day of antibiotics, even though she looked a lot better that the first one who died. She got an autopsie and turns out she got some sort of stomach infection, which we apparently couldn't have done anything about.

    The pekin Bantam was then left on her own and got very broody, so we discussed with the breeder and decided to get her day old chicks, we got 2 polish, 1 peking bantam, 1 wyandotte and one autralorp. The mum adopted the other pekin pretty quick but it took a bit lonegr for the others. About 2 days after she adopted them all, i found the peking dead. Now 3 weeks later, we come back home to find the Wyandotte lying in the coop on her back on her own, but still breathing. Took her inside, put a light over her and tried to feed her a honey and water mixtur. She lasted about 30 minutes before she was dead...

    I think we look after them well, and I really don't know what else we can do, but it seems like a lot of deaths in only 8 months. Is this normal at all? Any help greatly apreaciated, it's really put me off getting anymore!

  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Chicks can be a bit difficult to raise, and some are going to die. That being said, you do seem to have had bad luck.

    You might consider point of lay hens, which are older and a little sturdier until you get the hang of it.

    Just to make sure though, a couple of points. What are you feeding them? Should use chick starter feed, and commercial feed is fine. The bedding needs to be kept dry, and the heat lamp arranged so that the chicks can go under it or out of it at their discretion. They need clean water during day light hours. They grow quickly, and will need more and more space as they get bigger.

    They do a bit better if they have some wind protection, and can come and go inside the coop and out to the run as they please.

    Other than that, they should grow up pretty well.

    I have lost lots of them over the years, lots of things will kill and eat a chicken, and I did have one with a stomach ailment, but I culled her as I did not want to risk the flock. I have never gone to the vet with one, our vet might laugh herself sick if I did. I don't think gastric problems are all that common.

    good luck, MrsK
  3. 20736

    20736 Songster

    Jun 6, 2012
    Well if you care enough about chickens to try to give them a good home, take them to the vet when they are sick and study their biology, you certainly are NOT a chicken murderer.
    The only thing I would add is that if the birds are getting a disease over and over, it may be environmental and in your soil or coop or cage. Worth checking.
    Keep trying, it will be very rewarding for you I think.
    I also want to add that I use Chlorotetracyciline at the first sign of any illness, with good results.
  4. cary 1973

    cary 1973 Songster

    I agree with this post or

    i am thinking there food have you gone throigh diffrent food or on same bag maybe where the food might be bad try adding apple cider vingaer in there water and i swear by yogart.
  5. Eilish23

    Eilish23 Hatching

    Mar 4, 2013
    They are on chick starter feed, they have apple cider vinegar in one water container and garlic in the other. They have a purpose built coop where they are well protected. the coop came with a run which we have extended. The bedding is kept dry and regularly cleaned. They stay relatively close to their adoptive mum and run around full of energy. They don't have a heat lamp as i was told that would likely make them go away from mum instead of going to her for heat and anyway, it doesn't really get very cold at night at the moment (in Perth, Australia).
    I've followed all the advice from the girl we buy them from, who has years of experience and also taken them to the vet as soon as i have seen the slightest sign they may not be well. the vet is sure theer is no disease / bacteria lingering in teh area or they would have died within shorter periods.
    I was wary of going for really young ones, but givn we had a broody chook, it seemed like the best solution, and she has adopted them.
    From everything i've been told and read, it seems we are doing it all right and are just very unlucky, but I can't help feeling really bad. Anyway, thanks very much for the advice and hopefully this is the last of the bad luck!
  6. cary 1973

    cary 1973 Songster

    ok after reading what you just wrote you are havinh plain bad luck[​IMG]I am so sorry for all your misfoutin good luck
  7. miquwid

    miquwid Songster

    Feb 14, 2013
    Western NY
    My Coop
    I'm so sorry for all your troubles well first you came to the right place everyone here has a lot of knowledge to pass on, second I sounds like your doing what yours suppose to do. You will get there I'm sure of it. Good luck

  8. kacklinkelly

    kacklinkelly Songster

    Oct 12, 2012
    Southwest Desert
    So sorry for what you are experiencing. Is, it possible if you are getting all your chicks from the same
    source, that they might have a problem in their breeding or their husbandry practices? No disrespect
  9. Eilish23

    Eilish23 Hatching

    Mar 4, 2013
    Thanks for all the responses, i guess i will just have to accept it's bad luck.
    I don't think there are any issues in the breeding or husbandry practices as she is a well respcted breeder and educator, also the two faverolles that died had got to 22 and 27 weeks and were very healthy seeming and laying eggs which i believ they don't do if unhappy or unhealthy. Hopefully the mum and 3 chicks we have left make it :)
  10. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    Are you meaning a Pekin bantam duck? Some birds, duck or chicken, are just not good mothers. If the babies aren't fully feathered yet then they could be getting chilled.

    It does sound like you are having a bit of bad luck. Feeding the ACV should be helping them develop good bacteria in their gut. Have you checked them for parasites? Internal and external? Worms can do a lot of damage if there is an infestation as can lice or mites.

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