Mass Chick Death- WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by WestCoast Farm, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. WestCoast Farm

    WestCoast Farm Songster

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    Mar 17, 2011
    Duncan, BC
    In all my life of having chickens, I’ve never seen this. Anybody have an idea?

    In my secure chick barn this morning (newer 20’ sea can with upper ventilation- no way for predators to get in) I found about 20-30 chicks dead. These were 10 days old. Many were out of their pen, some strewn on the floor, many stuffed in books and crannies dead, like they were terrified and hiding.

    There were 12 survivors still in their pen, under their heat plate. Seemed fine but scared.

    In another pen were some 5 week olds- all fine. One was out and seemed dazed, a couple of the small ones were somehow in their pen, dead.

    This looked like a massacre / attack. Yet not a drop of blood was seen. Not a single injury noted. All looked like they died at the same time- last night. All were fine at last check yesterday evening.

    Today all the survivors seem fine. No signs of illness at all.

    Craziest thing. I’ve searched the entire building & there is no sign of a predator anywhere, or droppings, tracks, or signs anything could have possibly gotten in. This is a sea can insulated, with windows & lined with plywood.

    It’s like a bomb went off and they all died of fright. WTF...?!?!
     
  2. Amc29

    Amc29 Songster

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    Feb 20, 2019
    SW Oregon
    Oh my gosh! How terrible! I am so sorry that happened :( Those circumstances do sound extremely strange, especially with the lack of injury.
     
  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Enabler

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    Is it possible they could have gotten into something poisonous? I don’t know what would have caused the frightened appearance though. Could you send some of them in for necropsy? That is probably the only way to know for sure.
     
  4. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Enabler

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    Oh and I am so sorry for your loss :hit :hugs
     
  5. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

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    Are you absolutely positive something couldn't get in? You'd be surprised what a mink can fit through
    Can you include detailed pictures of the setup?
     
  6. WestCoast Farm

    WestCoast Farm Songster

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    Mar 17, 2011
    Duncan, BC
    32B48296-9C45-499C-81E1-062801C7EDF0.jpeg 65B7A888-371B-4EC8-868A-1A4080948533.jpeg 4072B4FB-222C-42D8-AE92-A79806DAB670.jpeg 32B48296-9C45-499C-81E1-062801C7EDF0.jpeg Thanks everyone. It literally looks like a grenade went off, but only affected the young ones, and no external injuries.

    I can’t imagine what could have poisoned them. I’ve raised chicks in this barn for over a year and never an issue. Unless some toxic mold grew. But why did all die at the sane time and the rest are fine?

    As you can see, this brooder barn made out of a shipping container is a sealed unit. I searched high and low, got under everything & looked with a flashlight. No signs of rat turds, entry holes or anything.

    Hubby thinks maybe a rat ran in & out without me seeing but I can’t see it. Nor could I see a rat causing this...

    Our cats to jump on the roof and hubby stored some tin up there recently. Could a loud noise scare them so badly they died en masse? I literally filled a bucket with bodies. So sad and mystified
     
  7. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

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    I'm dumbstuck. I mean, a sudden loud scare could possibly kill them. What do you feed? Anything in the water?
     
  8. starri33

    starri33 Crowing

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    I'm so sorry about your loss, mouse or rat, you would have had some kinda droppings and injuries.
     
  9. micstrachan

    micstrachan Free Ranging

    Very strange indeed. I’m so sorry. No idea.
     
  10. The chicks were totaly enclosed in the wire pens i see? Roofs too? Were any sides visibly pulled even an inch?
    Yet there were many on the ground outside of the wire pens? Is there any way a cat got in and used their paws to pull the chicks theough the wire the way racoons do?

    Could an insect/spider do such a thing?

    Ugh it almost sounds like a human had to do this but who would do such a horrendous thing?

    This is so mystifying and I am so sorry, what a terrible thing to happen :(
     
    drumstick diva, NewBoots and MROO like this.

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