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Losing 3 month old pullets

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by megs1001, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. megs1001

    megs1001 Chirping

    Apr 13, 2011
    About a month ago, I bought my mother 4 little 6-8 week old pullets & 2 weeks ago added a slightly older cockerel. She has a small pen attached to the coop & has not yet started free-ranging them.
    Last Sunday morning, she found the Wyandotte pullet dead in the coop with no obvious signs of illness or trauma & was quite upset. This one was in the middle of the flock as far as age, size & social status. The others were all huddled outside in the pen, as far away as possible.
    This morning, she texted me at 6 am that she found the white Plymouth Rock dead in exactly the same manner. This one was the oldest/largest of the girls, the "alpha" hen & her favorite so she is pretty distraught. She said there was a small mark on her neck area. Not sure if she meant on the skin or feathers.
    She didn't hear any fighting and she also said that one of the chickens has softer poop than the others but no diarrhea.
    With the first one, we thought maybe she had gotten part of a pit left in one of the peaches she gave them, or heat stress or a scorpion or who knows what else.
    I kind of discount the heat theory because the deaths are happening at night or wee hours of the morning. Their coop has a fan & an awning over the area for shade. They have 3 waterers plus a "bathing" pan. (The water is from a well w/o chlorine or additives. It's been tested clean in the past.)
    The scorpion theory is based more off her seeing one in her car rather than seeing one in the coop. We know they're around, but I don't know that they'd go up in the raised coop to attack chickens.
    She didn't quarantine the cockerel, but he came from a local, clean flock & he's a very nice, almost mellow little rooster. Doesn't seem aggressive or rough.

    This picture is the Plymouth Rock last night:


  2. MSH

    MSH Chirping

    May 4, 2011
    Cleveland , Georgia
    i have chicks dieing in the same way the first ones died at night no symptoms the 3 last night same no symptoms now I have 1 that is fluffed up but still alive and one that is fine I have treated with corid and they are still dieing mine range from 4 weeks to 8 weeks I have a fan and a cover and frozen 5 gallon buckets out there so I'm sure mine is not heat either I'll def. be watching here and let you know if i figure anything out !
  3. megs1001

    megs1001 Chirping

    Apr 13, 2011
    We've been trying to figure out possible causes & a lot of it is just grasping at straws. [​IMG]
    There's a tall ornamental shrub near the coop that I think is some kind of juniper. It's not anywhere close enough for them to reach, but maybe the berries can fall & end up in their pen? Are they poisonous to chickens?
  4. megs1001

    megs1001 Chirping

    Apr 13, 2011
    The lady I bought them from says it's a snake. Why would a snake attack almost full grown chickens? It can't eat them & there are no eggs yet.
  5. spook

    spook Songster

    I am not positive on your birds, but when I have birds drop dead, seemingly healthy, it turns out to be Mareks rearing its ugly head.
    Go to one of the many sites here on BYC and read up. Now against many others opinions, I prefer not to inoculate our birds because we want the breed to become resistant and those that make it through will be strong and pass it onto chicks in eggs. Also, don't quote me, there are several types of Mareks (the virus') and if you inoculate, then you are giving your chicks the shots for the main type of Mareks that poultry breeder/industry has, this that we have could be what the wild bird population has in our back yards. So, you would be spreading a type that that possibly your birds have not had and COULD lose the whole flock. (Please don't quote me, others are much more knowledgeable on this matter).

    But 3 months is when Marek's disease nails my birds and they drop dead or I have to cull due to leg weakness, gasping and inability to eat or drink without having help. Good luck to you!
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Spook, I agree with you.

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