I've got an awful lot of chickens dying....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BlsdMama, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. BlsdMama

    BlsdMama Chirping

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    I'm at a loss.

    We bought about a dozen chicks at a swap. We had approx. 40 delivered from McMurray's - rare breeds, etc.

    We mixed them. [​IMG] On Day 1 they started to die. Day 2 they were dropping like flies. McMurray's suspected the problem was that I was using alfalfa. They credited a refund for the dead ones within the time period. Unfortunately none of my swap chicks died, just McMurray's. We lost 13 the first few days. We gave them antibiotics and they stopped dying.

    Fast forward about 4-5 weeks. In our older broiler chicks we've been seeing some blood in the stool, but they had been out free ranging and had gotten some black oil sunflower seeds from the bunnies. The little laying breeds had NOT been free ranging. We were a little concerned that they had cocciodosis and they aren't putting on weight as fast as they should. We lost two of those. They went down first, and the next day died. We've not seen ANY blood in the laying breeds poo nor is it loose, it's normal. But we're losing them. A LOT of them. We've lost another dozen at the rate of 1-2 a day and we are down, from the beginning of about 50+ chicks to about 16. I've never lost this many chicks in my life. They've received electrolytes and they've received antibiotics. WTHeck is this?

    I'm at a loss. I'd just write off the rest, they're almost entirely only swap chicks left at this point, the McMurray ones are pretty much all dead with the exception of about 4. BUT I have laying stock coming next week. I have rare breed laying stock coming in to the tune of almost $200 worth and I'm deathly afraid they're going to get whatever this is. I'm seriously considering killing all of them, burning them, and bleaching everything.

    Suggestions would be appreciated more than you know.
     
  2. lux_interior

    lux_interior Songster

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    no suggestions... but I'm sorry for you! [​IMG]
     
  3. Are you using medicated starter feed?

    If not and if blood in droppings, it may be coccidiosis.

    I had a hen, just one out of twelve, who ate alfalfa. Had crop problems so I don't use any more and she's fine.

    But mass deaths in chicks is uaually a bio agent- and cocci the most common...and I guess you now know never to mix birds...and your new layers should be housed in quarantine quarters for a month with the quarters used by the diseased birds left vacant or with the survivors.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  4. DiVon80

    DiVon80 Songster

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    Need more info! what type of food do you feed? One thing I do not mix my chicks. I buy my babies and when they are old enough to go to the coop, I ordered my bantys. Everything was disinfected real well. The new babies stay in the house for about 2 weeks(early summer). This is just in case one batch may be sick and so on. I do start my chicks w a medicated chick starter. The banties got medicated game bird(higher protein). I saw many chicks I wanted here and there for sale BUT stayed strong and did not buy. I new I would have to quarantine any newbies from the rest its just not worth taking the chance. Also when you buy get the packets of the gro-gel. Its full of really good stuff to get them threw stress. Just going to places that have lots of poultry before you go near your birds you need to disinfect your self. Go to APA and read about Biohazard. To keep healthy flocks you need to be real careful about who,what may go near your flock. You can even have things in your area that the local birds have already developed immunity too and the new ones from another place may all die from it.[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    antibiotics is not good for cocci or at least not most of them. I would try Amprol and powdered milk in their feed and see what happens. It could also be that the chicks from the swap are carriers to something and not effected them selves.

    sorry I cant be more help. I would take a body, and call the state to have it tested, that is the only way you will know for sure what it is and how to deal with it. Good luck
     
  6. DiVon80

    DiVon80 Songster

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    Oh explain the alfalfa? Is this rabbit food? How old are these babies? Blk. oil sunflower seeds are not bad for chickens but, I just do not see babies eating then. Were they free ranging in the yard?
     
  7. BlsdMama

    BlsdMama Chirping

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    Quote:These were half grown meat birds that were free ranging. The bloody poop was from them, not the babies. We suspected cocci, but also knew they had consumed something they shouldn't have. The blood is gone in the other chickens and we thought perhaps it was cocci. We know that sometimes chicks can have cocci but not all will present with bloody stool.


    The alfalfa - we were using it as bedding. It was there, for our rabbits and goats, and convenient, so we thought why not? The hatchery felt perhaps it had unseen spores or something that killed the chicks.
     
  8. BlsdMama

    BlsdMama Chirping

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    Quote:That's exactly what we suspect. [​IMG] I'll see if we can't get our hands on a sulfa drug and see if that can't help.

    But we HAVE been feeding a medicated Starter - so shouldn't that have headed off our problems?
     
  9. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    if they are carriers of something bad like crd nothing will really help and the solution maybe culling all and disenfecting, I would send one chick from the swap for testing too just to see.
     
  10. BlsdMama

    BlsdMama Chirping

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    Lost another this morning and dh just killed another. I think it's definitely cocci. They are huddling under the light at 70+ degrees and this last one he killed was just skin and bones.

    We were feeding Nutrena starter, but when I look at the bag it says nothing about medication. So, I'm thinking I have non medicated starter. Drat. So I'm looking for Amprol or Nutrena starter with Amprol - a sulfate. Right?

    My next question - HOW do I protect my up and coming batch? Our mini-farm is such that we have NO other area for new chickens to be completely separate. They're already ordered, so there is no way around it.

    Can I clean out everything, sanitize (wood, drat) and go from there? They are NOT in the same pen as we have separate pens within our coop. They're separated by solid wood with the fronts of each pen being a half solid wood wall and a swinging chicken wire gate. If I feed them medicated feed from the beginning will we be okay?
     

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