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I've decided that raising chickens = heartache.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChesapeakeBorn, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. ChesapeakeBorn

    ChesapeakeBorn Out Of The Brooder

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    How often do you lose a chicken to illness? I have lost 5 since August. Three (unvaccinated) died within days of each other. I waited awhile and got some more. Two of the new flock (fully vaxed) died over a month apart. I am baffled. They live in a generously sized tractor that we move to fresh ground every 3-5 days. I change the shavings in the hen house about every 5-6 days. Fresh water daily (bleach out the container daily too ever since the 1st three died). I am wondering if it is something in our yard.

    I think maybe I should give up. What am I doing wrong?
     
  2. top of the hill

    top of the hill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry for your loss. [​IMG]

    Did you notice anything strange like runny noses, eyes, sneezing. Where were the chickens from, were they vaccinated? Do you worm them? Are there any poisenous plants near where the tractor is?

    I have not lost a bird yet ... knocking on wood as we speak (one of my girls has sour crop)... but the first thing i might try is change out the beaching everyday to something easier. If you add just a tbls of apple cidar vinegar (the organic kind with "the mother" on the label - I use Braggs) per gallon of water, it will not only help keep your chickens immunities up and feathers full, but will keep the slime out of your waterer for a few days. That being said, make sure it is a plastic waterer as metal will corrode from the acidity of the vinegar.

    Just something to try...
     
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    I've never lost a chicken to illness. I maintain a closed flock. Is it possible you purchased or were given sick birds unknowingly? They couldve been carriers of some unknown disease that finally took its toll. External or internal parasites couldve taken their lives as well. Environmentally, were there pesticides on the grass or dirt, did they eat contaminated feed that had mold or mildew? These are a few examples of what couldve possibly happened. You would have to have a necropsy performed to find out for sure. You can call your state agriculture department and find out how to go about this or contact your county extension agent. Perhaps a local vet can help as well. All you have to do is call and ask for assistance/directions how to go about it.
     
  4. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It seems like it might be something in your yard? I got mine last spring, they free range all day, every day, they were from the feed store and I do not vaccinate for anything. They've never had anything other than feed (as chicks) and free ranged. All are very healthy. I'm sorry you are going through this. I would feel the same way [​IMG]
     
  5. Tracy the chick

    Tracy the chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please don leave us [​IMG] I know how you feel hun... It could also be the chickens you had left could of been carriers of a disease...Not sure how much land you have but you could put a new chicken coop up and start again.. Tracy xxxxxx
     
  6. ChesapeakeBorn

    ChesapeakeBorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your quick replies! In response to your questions:

    - All of the chickens that died came from the same farm. The 1st three were not vaccinated, the 2nd two were vaccinated against multiple diseases. Months passed between the time I got the chickens and when they passed away.

    - I do use apple cider vinegar in their water (1 tbs/gallon), which is changed daily. Never saw any runny noses or sneezing, however all do have messy vents and have had them for some time.

    - I have not used wormer, but I do sprinkle organic food-grade diatomaceous earth in their feed to prevent a heavy worm load.

    - We do not treat our lawn with anything. It stays quite damp/wet though, never dries out.

    - The feed appears fine as far as I can tell, no mold or mildew.

    I never knew raising chickens would require such detective work! [​IMG] I am kicking myself for burying the hen that died yesterday, instead of taking her for a necropsy.
     
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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  8. ChesapeakeBorn

    ChesapeakeBorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh shoot. I thought DE would help keep the load down. I have been reluctant to use wormer because the Wazine I have says not to use it on hens laying eggs for human consumption. What can I use? Should I take a fecal sample to the vets for analysis?

    Would this explain their messy vents? I have never seen worms in their poo, but I suppose there are some that couldn't be seen without a microscope?
     
  9. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    You probably also need to consider coccidiosis with a chronically wet yard. It can be a problem for older birds, though it is usually chicks which have issues...how old were they?
     
  10. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What does DE do? I've seen it mentioned many times but have never used it.
     

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