Losing chicken... please help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Texane, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. Texane

    Texane New Egg

    Jul 8, 2013
    I really don't know what's going on with my chickens

    We purchased our first batch of chicks last June. We bought 12 and we only have 3 left.. they all died. At that time I could see a pattern ( not feeling well .. just sitting down and not eating).

    So in November I got 12 new chicks along with two mature laying hens... I also got a non-GMO corn and soy free natural feed for them. the hens were molting at the time so they were not laying.

    I still haven't got any eggs so far... from any of my hens.

    So my chicks are now 13 weeks old. They were living in the garage one of them died the first day but they were doing fine..

    My transition outside was also very smooth. In sunny days ( I live south Texas), I brought them outside in a bigger cage. Then when they turned 10 week old, I put them in the coop during day time and see how the hens were reacting. They were really not nice with them and they still struggle to get some food. So, I decided to bring them outside but in the enclosed space without the hens and let them free range during the day with the hens. 10 days ago, they actually moved into the coop with the hens.. but I'm losing one a day.. I'm not sure why because they don't seem sick and I didn't witness anything.

    Also, my hens are free range, We have plenty of bugs and grass and herbs and worm around here. However, during winter time I give them some food that I make myself. We are trying to raise them on organically grown seeds and legumes along with some veggies and a very few amount of fruits. My feed is a mix of split pea, lentils, flax seed, coconut, sunflower seed, pumpkin seeds and what is available ( chia seeds, quinoa, millet, kelp etc..) and they get oyster shells in the coop. They also get compost worms once in a while.

    My chicks are now on that diet as well.

    My coop is neat and clean. They have three raised box with straw ( just switch to wood shaving because I heard some hens like it better).. but I still have no eggs

    Do you have any idea why my hens are not laying and why my chicks are dying?

    Thank you so much for your help!
  2. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 10, 2007
    BC Canada
    Have you considered getting a necropsy done?

    You could treat for coccodious, they may have Marek's disease. Have they been vaccinated against Marek's disease. Just a though, any feed that may be considered organic may set on the shelves longer in stores because its more expensive. The feed may have gone bad.
  3. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 10, 2007
    BC Canada
  4. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2013
    If your birds have the appropriate feed requirements and access to oyster shells/crushed egg shells for calcium and are not molting or ill,then they could be laying in an area you just have not found,you mentioned they are free ranged,possibly hiding eggs.

    For dying chicks,i would definitely look at coccidiosis as the culprit. Coccidiosis is a parasitic infection of the intestinal tract and can kill very fast. Some symptoms of cocci are: runny/watery poop(may or may not contain blood,depends on which strain it is)fluffed feathers,lethargic,not eating/drinking properly. Cocci is spread by droppings,which get into feed/water via droppings,but can also be spread by bringing in new birds to flock(or new birds can contract cocci from existing birds)wild birds/clothes/shoes/hands/feed utensils,etc. Cocci is the leading cause of death among chicks and can also affect older birds,chickens are only immune to the strains they have prior exposure to.

    Purchase Corid(amprolium) or might be called Amprol(amprolium)depends where you live. Dose for Corid/Amprol 9.6% liquid is 2 tsp per gallon of water,dose for Corid 20% powder is 1-1.5 tsp per gallon of water. Treat ALL birds for 5-7 days,do not give vitamins during treatment as they interfere with the ability of coccidiostat to work,give vitamins after treatment is complete.Make sure medicated water is their only source of drinking water. No need to separate birds,if one has it they all do.

    Corid can be found at most livestock/feed stores in the cattle section,it will say for cattle,but is perfectly safe for poultry.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  5. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    I would be more suspicious of disease than I would be of feed. If you are losing so many (and really, that is a lot of birds to lose), please consider having a necropsy done.

    Most birds will show symptoms before death, but they try to mask/hide them as it makes them more prone to predation. So the symptoms they have might be very subtle.

    My list indicates that the following labs in Texas do testing, it's best to call ahead of course as my information might be outdated, and not all labs are able to test for all things...

    Texas Animal Health Commission State Federal Laboratory
    4501 Springdale Road Suite B
    Austin, TX 78723
    Phone 512-933-0441

    Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (College Station)
    1 Sippel Road Drawer 3040
    College Station,TX 77843
    Phone 979 - 845 - 3414
    Fax 979 - 845 -1794

    Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (Amarillo)
    6610 Amarillo Blvd West
    Amarillo, TX 79106
    Phone 806 - 353 - 7478
    Fax 806 - 359 -0636

    Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (Center)
    635 Malone Dr
    Center, TX 75935
    Phone 936 - 598 - 4451
    Fax 936 - 598 -2741

    Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory
    1162 East Sarah DeWitt Drive
    Gonzales, TX 78629
    Phone 830-672-2834
    Fax 830-672-2835

    I do know Texas A&M has done testing for BYC members, before.

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