Lost 2 in a week

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ihavechicks, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. ihavechicks

    ihavechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have had crazy cold weather here the past few weeks. My chickens are not used to temps below freezing for multiple days in a row. I lost my Americauna first, it was a extremely cold night. Then this morning I found another had died. Last night it was around 38 in their coop. This chicken death really concerns me. My Americauna had a Rhode Island Red that she hung out with & that is the type of chicken that died. I'm not sure if it's the same chicken since I have a few. I don't know if the cold temps did them in or if I have a bigger problem. Any thoughts on what could be going on?
     
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I think you might have a bigger problem. 38 should not be a problem for them to handle, even if they're not used to it. We had much colder temps here. We lost one during the first round of severe cold, but she had been sick in the fall with Coccidiosis, and I think she was just still recovering from that and was a little weak. Our Ameracaunas have done well in the cold. I think the fact that the RIR died too should tell you that there might be something contagious going on. Chickens conceal their symptoms, so try to watch them without them knowing. any sneezing, coughing,diarhea, lethargy? Swollen eyes, discharge? What are you feeding them and how are they housed? What, if anything, were you doing to try to keep them warm? Some heat lights give off poison vapors that can kill chickens, especially in tight enclosures with not as much ventilation.
    If you have another one die, seriously consider having a necropsy done. They need to be done asap, preferably within the first twenty four hours after death.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  3. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cold temps definitely can kill a chicken. What are the symptoms,if any. Explain how you found them(lying under roosts,huddled up in corner/nest box,etc). How old are they,and have you recently introduced any new birds? Do you use a heat lamp? Any issues with frostbite?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Make sure the coop is free of drafts, and has some overhead ventilation for moisture to escape should protect your birds from the cold down to below zero temps without a heat lamp. I agree with the others that something else if going on--coccidiosis, respiratory disease, mites, worms, egg binding, or impacted crops.
     
  5. ihavechicks

    ihavechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what I was afraid of. I did have a heat lamp in there but I turned it off this morning. I do have a turkey that likes to go inside sometimes and she was in when both chickens were found dead. I didn't see any trauma to either chicken but I will take a closet look when I get home tonight.
     
  6. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How far apart were the deaths(one day,two)? How many birds do you have? Check your heat lamp/casing heat lamp is housed in,make sure it does not contain teflon(PTFE).
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  7. ihavechicks

    ihavechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The deaths were 3 days apart. We have 26 birds. The red that I found this morning was laying flat on her chest with her legs straight out behind her.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  8. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    It's just hard to say if there are no obvious symptoms. It could be from the cold, but I would be surprised. We were dealing with -20 temps here, plus wind chill.
    Just watch them, make sure the rest are eating well. If you have any vitamins you could give them, that would help keep them going. In the cold temps we were
    giving ours lots of cracked corn, and mealworms and sunflower seeds mixed with their regular food for the really cold days, just to help build up a little fat reserve.

    I guess I would suggest just keeping a close eye on the others, look for any unusual symptoms that might give you a clue. And check your heatlight, as was mentioned earlier. You can use it, but just make sure it isn't contributing to the problem. They don't really need it though.
     

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