Learning from Mistakes...


8 Years
Mar 10, 2011
Just found my rooster dead, wondering if its a freak thing or something else i did today that can harm my birds?

he is just under a yr old, and had one of his kids hatch this week. he seamed to be doing fine overall, but he is now gone.

the weather has been really nice today, and my neighbor i share a yard with had his dogs out, i have a 2 layer a frame coop so the birds can easily get away from predators but the bottom of the coop is enclosed with chicken wire so the birds stay in.

my initial response is stress killed the bird from the extra activity of the dogs after them not being out much from the winter. but i would like to know if some of my habits need to change, here are some other things i have done today that i have done in the past with no problems or concerns...

i feed my chicken bread - from the local bread store, they will sell a small batch of it for a lower price and they label as as animal feed. i have been using it for a long time now, and other people use it for birds also, i have stopped feeding sweats to my birds but have heard the die in the red zingers will color the inside of an egg

feeding chickens table scraps-- have also been doing this for a while, will not feed my birds anything with chicken in it, or any raw meat but when there is hamburger left over, the eggs are huge, in the past have given the birds moldy food, but have not for some time now

alwase thought my rooster a bit of a gentleman, he let the girls eat first, and would go after any potential concerns or dangers of the hens. he has a baby hatched and healthy, and a number of eggs in the incubator,

what are your thoughts? it is against the city to have roosters where i live, but you tend to get attached, and i did buy him from a feed store as a girl.
Hi. I am sorry about your rooster. Sometimes these things just happen. I don't think you did anything wrong. I feed mine table scraps and "bird bread" from the bakery outlet, too. Occasionally I have had a problem if the birds did not eat it all and it got moldy. I guess I shouldn't say I had problems, but I could see that there was potential for problems there. So now I only feed as much leftovers and/or bread as they can eat right away. So it is possible that your roo found something bad to eat. But sometimes they just die. I do butcher my own birds and I have noticed that there are birds that look good and healthy but who's heart is in bad shape--really fat. Most of the birds that have access to real ground pick up coccidiosis and that also affects them. Some show it, but there again, some look great and act great, but their liver is a mess! I have had chickens for years and sometimes, they just die. I hate that, because it is so traumatic to go out and find one of your favorites dead. It is sad and scary, because you don't know if you did do something wrong. All you can do is watch your other birds carefully in case they are acting sick in any way. For me, no one here really understands about how I feel, so I spend a little extra time reading a good book or have a good cup of tea. I know a lot of people are comforted right here on BYC, because it helps to know that there's a lot of people out there that love chickens.
I too am sorry for your loss, you noted the things you feed your chickens but you didn't actually mention true chicken feed. which is what they need the most of. I too give my birds leftover food, and some bread as a snack but they need the feed for all round good nutrition. also are the dogs harassing the chickens? making them stressed out. if so you might have to put up a barrier so the dogs can't get close to the cop and run.. heres a link to botulism which might be helpful
i primarily feed my chickens scratch, i have the laying mesh but it comes in pellets and gets tossed off the side, so i keep it accessible but in smaller quantities and also grind up my shells so the chickens don't recognize it and will mix the egg shells into the chicken scratch... then i look more for table scraps from cooked meat because i have a difficult time getting them to eat the laying mash
chickens can not have a healthy body without solid nutrition that being said this is what happened to me, I feed scratch too, and they would gorge on the scratch and were not eating their pellets so because of reading on BYC I realized that scratch is like candy and is not that healthy. so I started mixing a little scratch into their feed everyday and just gradually reducing it more and more till now they are barely getting any and eating their pellets real well. I buy 50lb. bags of pellets and add 5lb. of scratch to it I also add 5lb of Blk oil sunflower seeds to it. that gives them extra protein and also extends the bag of feed. if you want your hens to lay good quality eggs then you need to give them good quality feed, they need extra calcium for making egg shells if not their body will take it from their bones and soon you'll have a weak hen on your hands.. scratch and bread should be fed very sparinly [sp] table scraps can be given but only along with a good quality feed. I have no idea what killed your roo and I am sorry it happened, things happen and sometimes there is no explanation for it. my chickens love cooked meat too, you just have be sure your giving them a balance of essential food sourses.

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