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Lost 3 chickens in a week... HELP

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GaskinsFarm, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. GaskinsFarm

    GaskinsFarm New Egg

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    Hi! I am new to owning chickens, we actually started back in April when my friend gave us 5 adult hens. We have them in a large pen 20' by 20' with a attached coop. We added 4 more a couple weeks later and have raised 5 from chicks. We just started having problems this week. When the boys went out there to feed them on Sunday we could not find Mrs. Yellow one of our young chickens we got in May, my husband went out later and found her dead half way buried in the chicken coop??? We could not figure this out it did not look like a animal had been in there and her body was intact just buried, Can chickens do this to each other??? Then the following day we found our newest chick (Fancy, 2 months old) dead and today we found Bawck dead who was a little older than Fancy, None of them were sick and Fancy and Bawck were in a separate area than Mrs. Yellow.. I do not want to lose any more, I don't know what is causing this, Could it be the heat?? I live in Florida and it has been in the 90's all week? I have made sure they have plenty of water and they can get in their coop for shade.. Any Help would be much appreciated..
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, it could very well be the heat. Most coops don't provide the kind of shade they need, because they heat up when the chickens are inside. If they stay out in the sun because the coop is hot with no air movement, they are almost certainly getting overheated. In the south, especially, they need breeze as well as shade. When they begin to get heat stressed, they will pant with their mouths open and hold their wings a little way away from their bodies.
     
  3. GaskinsFarm

    GaskinsFarm New Egg

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    May 1, 2013
    Thanks for the reply. It has been extremely hot and humid this past week, their coop is open, but we don't have much breeze here. Maybe I will try putting a fan out there for them??
     
  4. GaskinsFarm

    GaskinsFarm New Egg

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    Ok after thoroughly cleaning my pen last night, and observing my chickens, I did not see any signs of them being overheated, I did however see a small hole ( small snake size) in the corner of my coop. Is it possible that a snake could have killed my chickens? Since the Adult Hens and our larger chickens were fine, and only the young weaker chickens were dead could this be a possibility?? I know I am probably grasping for straws here, but I am trying to find out what is going on.
     
  5. shelbydog

    shelbydog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bristow, ok
    I can answer the question about being buried in the bedding, yes, if one dies in the coop the other chickens will cover the dead one with the bedding/litter.
    No signs of injuries or parasites?
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. iheartnh

    iheartnh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I suppose it could be a snake, but I'm leaning toward overheating, too, mainly because you said one was partially buried. My hens take dust baths to try and cool off, and they have dug a fairly impressive 'bath tub' in their run - on really warm days, I will go out and find a few of them half covered in dirt. If they were to die that way, it would certainly look like something had attempted to bury them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Heat Can and does kill chickens. Signs of heat stress are hard panting,wings spread,lethargic,confused,collapse. If any chickens have these symtoms,immediately submerge them in a pail of COOL water(DO NOT USE COLD,this will SHOCK them)up to their necks,this will immediately drop their body temp,and save lives.

    If deaths persist i would look at possibly Coccidiosis as the problem. Some symptoms of cocci are: runny/watery poop(may or may not contain blood,depends on which of the 9 strains it is)fluffed feathers,lethargic,not eating/drinking,weight loss. If symptoms match,purchase Corid(amprolium)dose for Corid 20% powder is 1 tsp per gallon of water(this is the severe outbreak dose,giving this dose as chickens are dying,moderate dose is 1/2 tsp per gallon of water)dose for Corid 9.6% liquid is 2 tsp per gallon of water. Treat ALL chickens for 5 days,do not give vitamins during treatment(interferes with medication)give vitamins after treatment is complete.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
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  8. GaskinsFarm

    GaskinsFarm New Egg

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    No I have not noticed anything unusual, I put DE in their food and dust them with it and I have not had any problems till now, but it has been extremely hot this week heat index in the 100's this week.. so I don't know.. Thank you for your reply, I thought it was very strange to find it buried, the other two though were not and the one we lost yesterday was laying there dead. no marks or anything..
     
  9. GaskinsFarm

    GaskinsFarm New Egg

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    Thanks for all the responses, it is really appreciated it has been very frustrating to say the least to lose 3 of our chickens. We have raised them since chicks and it is heartbreaking. I am going to put a box fan out there today to help with the heat and I will try to get something at the feed store today just in case something is going around, All the other chickens seem fine, and I have not seen any of the symptoms of heat or coccidous and I have been monitoring them, but maybe I am missing something? They are in the most shady area of our yard, but it is HOT here, and we live in-land so not a lot of breeze. Yesterday when the most recent one died (Bawck our bar rock) - My 13 year old called and said that it was real bad and I did tell him to give it water and try to cool it off, but it did not help it was dead by the time I got home..
     
  10. iheartnh

    iheartnh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When we got our annual heat wave in July (I live in NH, and we usually have one week of near 100 and super humid), I froze water in plastic food dishes and added the giant cubes to their water a couple time each day. There was lots of watery poop, but it kept them cool.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
    1 person likes this.

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