im not sure if this is an illness...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by yolkie, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. yolkie

    yolkie Chirping

    Feb 12, 2010
    a few months back i had a chicken die without warning, all of the other chickens have been fine since then, but then yesterday another one was dead. now ive noticed that none of my living chickens are eating or drinking as much as they were before. and this morning, reaching under one of them to get eggs, i felt that her breast bone is very prominent. so then i started feeling all of them and they are all very prominent. now i swear before that i could just barely feel their breastbones. so im guessing they are losing weight. does anyone know what this could be? they all act fine, and if i let them out to free range then theyll scratch around, but in their pen they are barely touching their food, water and scratch? i just can't let them out to free range right now because we've had a coyote coming around. any ideas?? thanks!
  2. Hi Yolkie,

    Hope that others will provide you answers. You didn't say where you were, your breed of chickens, or if their ages.

    If you are someplace really hot, then your chickens will eat less just due to the heat. Theoretically they will drink more water. Has your egg production gone down?
    Have you changed a sack of feed? - are they now eating a different brand than before?

    It seems to me that you should check into their feed. You may want to boost their nutrition with some mashed boiled eggs, or scrambled eggs, sunflower seeds and chopped greens. If you have things from the garden like tops of carrots and radishes etc. that may be attractive to them.

    If you have any more that die, you may want to have it examined. You could contact your county extension agent and they could tell you what to do. One thing I believe would be to refrigerate the body of the dead bird.

    My birds seem less interested in their feed store feed, but they are still interested in treats.

    Sometimes if you mix water into the feed (if you have crumbles) they think it is the greatest thing on earth.
    It is good that you have checked them all, and it is possible that there is something that they need, or that they aren't able to fully metabolize the feed that they have.

    Sorry to hear that you lost some hens, and I hope that you get answers to build up your flock so that they become really healthy, plump chickens.
  3. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    Have you wormed them recently??? It sounds like there could be parasites (internal) involved...

    CRICHUK Hatching

    Jun 16, 2011
    Hi Yolkie! I am so sorry to hear of your loss.

    Can I ask you a question? Was your dead chicken's comb purple? We have had chickens since April, with no problems. Yesterday, one of our hens just died. She had no symptoms. We figured she had an egg she couldn't pass, and went into shock.

    Tonight, we went to check on our chickens, and our Rooster was dead. same symptoms whatsoever. When we found him dead, his comb, waddle, and head were purple. This morning, the tips of his comb had some black on it. We are now very concerned about Avian Flu or Newcastle Disease. We have three kids who see the chickens daily. They are in a coop, though.

    Our other concern is the eggs we have collected. We average 7-9 eggs per day from 12 hens. We have three dozen eggs right now, and ar concerned as to whether or not they are safe o eat. I have been using them reguarly with no issues......

    We are new at this, and very worried!
  5. Quote:Hi Crichunk,

    You may want to post the symptoms in a new thread that your chickens had. -- I see this is your first post too, so welcome to BYC forum. In the states each state has a land-grant university that has extension agents in each county. These folks can give good advice, help to anyone who calls them about agricultural/livestock problems. Am I correct that you are in the UK? Is there an equivalent in the UK? A vet or someone should be able to examine one fo the dead birds if you can get that and definitely tell you if it is one of the serious disease of chickens.

    I searched here on Purple Comb -- and came up with quite a few posts == you may want to use the search box in the upper right corner to enter questions about specific diseases and about the safety of eggs.

    Sorry that I don't have the knowledge to give you any help, except ideas about doing searches.
    Here is a link to the merc vet manual

    I hope that you will find that there are no serious threats to your family's well being, and that you are able to get to the bottom of your questions. Keep trying until you get the answers that you need.
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Glen St Mary, Florida
    Check for lice/mites also.
  7. yolkie

    yolkie Chirping

    Feb 12, 2010
    to CRICHUK
    no my chickens combs were still red when they were dead, which lead me to believe they had a stroke/heart issue.
    to everyone else
    they are just over a year old and are easter egger/barred rocks. all hens. i dont see any sign of mites, and im not sure what i should deworm them with. what are the main things i should look for to indicate mites and intestinal parasites? thanks!

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