I'm Losing Birds

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gmayberry, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. gmayberry

    gmayberry In the Brooder

    Aug 26, 2011
    Three days ago I checked the birds in the afternoon for eggs, feeding etc.
    To my surprise I found a dead hen in the coop.
    No signs of distress the day before.
    I have been watching the rest of the flock (one rooster and two hens) closely the last three days. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just doing what chickens do.
    Tonight I had a hen down but not out.
    Not eating, watery bowels, pale comb and wattels.
    No sneezing, runny nose, raspy breathing etc.
    I have isolated her but it probably doesn't matter. All seemed fine the night before.
    I doubt she makes it through the night but we can only hope.
    We have made it through the Ohio winter with no problem and now this.
    Our winter was really mild and unseasonably warm temperatures already this year.
    No hard freezes or lasting cold temperatures.
    I have friends who have lost a high number of baby goats with no explanation.
    Most think it has never gotten cold enough to kill all the critters.
    Please, no "burn the chickens", "burn the coop and start over" advice.
    People couldn't do that a hundred years ago and I can't do it today.
    Any reasonable advice would be appreciated.

  2. JHulse

    JHulse Hatching

    Nov 4, 2009
    Same here. Last week one of mine were acting unusually weak in the evening. Next morning, gonzo! Right now i have another who is showing the same weakness... Hope she makes it... Anyone with advice or knowledge please help.. Could be the food? Water? Cleanliness of coop? Any advice will be much appreciated.

  3. chickenmommy1

    chickenmommy1 In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2012
    I am not sure if it is the same thing that could be happening to your birds but I know of 4 people in Ohio this last month who have lost dogs due to no certain reason except for just getting really sick one day and gone the next. I am hoping it is not a virus for the animals going around. If anyone hears of anything let us know please. This is a real bad virus and I am hopeful that is not affecting all animals. Sorry for your losses [​IMG]
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member 9 Years

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Inspect them for lice/mites. Worms can be a cause as well.

  5. How is the feed? Could it be moldy?..........Pop
  6. gmayberry

    gmayberry In the Brooder

    Aug 26, 2011
    I'm looking into everything right now.
    Food, water, etc.
    Coop is clean, all new bedding.
    Thanks for your help.
  7. melandtodd

    melandtodd In the Brooder

    Jun 17, 2011
    Bowling Green
    I cannot believe it.....this is happening to me too and I am also in Ohio! 48 hours ago exactly, I went outside and found a 1 year old hen dead in the chicken run. All the girls we active and eating and happy that morning and by 5pm she was dead. Now, another hen is just sitting in the run alone and looks lethargic. Again, all of them were active and following me all around today......

  8. bnjrob

    bnjrob Crowing

    Dec 31, 2008
    North TX
    The problem is that animals are stoic as a means of survival. They won't show a problem until the problem is advanced - hence the falling over dead for no apparent reason.

    Example: I lost 4 chicks in the past week - one minute they were fine, the next weak and then dead within an hour or two. Could not figure out what the problem was. A necropsy on the last chick found NO food inside the chick at all. Yet until it finally succumbed, it ran around energetically like nothing was wrong. Putting two and two together - all the dead chicks were the smallest ones and the big ones were hogging the food. The chicks were too dumb to just go to the other side of the feeder and eat out of a available hole in the feeder when the big ones came in and took over.

    There are so many diseases and injuries that have weakness, lethargy, listlessness, anorexia, etc. as a sign, that it is often difficult to diagnose a problem without taking it to the vet and running tests. And sometimes even then, it may not be that easy and require more diagnostic testing.

    And then you have the issue that chickens are birds and birds die from "stress" things that you wouldn't normally think of as being stressful.

    I would say to start taking precautions - trying the various homeopathic type things like yogurt, apple cider vinegar, herbs whatever you like to use, anytime even one of your chickens seems a bit off. And of course making sure that the feed/water dishes are sanitized, clean out the coop, etc. That way, you might be able to head off a full flock problem.

    There really is just no way to know for certain unless you're getting samples and sending things to the lab etc. And I know how frustrating and helpless you feel when things are sick and dying and you can't figure out why.
  9. gmayberry

    gmayberry In the Brooder

    Aug 26, 2011
    We are about 80 mi. south of you just outside Anna, Oh. (exit 99) on I-75.
    I checked after work last Saturday and found a dead hen.
    Tuesday night I had one down but not gone.
    I seperated her from the rest of the group and checked on her 4:30am Wednesday.
    No good news, she was gone.
    These are also year old hens.
    It seems I'm looking at a window time of about three days.
    The rooster and remaining hen seem fine for now.
    I've borrowed some feed from my neighbor 1/2 mile away.
    Just in case, my feed is not wet or visably moldy.
    He raises chickens, ducks, phesants etc. and has not seen anything like this.
    Pale comb and wattels were the first things he noticed.
    I've medicated their water.
    I have a book on chickens and none of the diseases described are even a possibility.
    The symptoms just do not fit.
    Now I can only hope for the best.
    Hope thins go well for you.
    Keep me posted.

  10. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    Same thing has happened to me. I went out to the coop this morning to let the girls out, did not notice anything out of sorts with anybody. At noon I had one girl refuse hard boiled egg. Odd for sure but she was up and about. Less then three hours later she was hiding herself in a nest box. By 10:00 p.m she was gone. This is the second hen I've lost in a weeks time.

    However, I did have another hen in to our avian vet earlier this week to discuss her internal laying issues. He also sent out a few labs and she came back positve for coccidia. This flock is three years old, our coop and run is very clean. None of these other hens have or are displaying any symptoms of coccidiosis at all. I'd never have suspected that. My barred rock did have frothy, yellow diarrhea just today. That was the only symptom. No bloody stool, nothing else. We're treating the whole flock with Corid, hope I don't loose them all. It's crazy.

    bnjrob is right though. There are so many different possible things that could cause this, each of us could have something different going on. Only way to tell is have a vet or lab do a necropsy.
    Best wishes to everyone, it's very discouraging.

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