My birds are dying!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jill, May 1, 2007.

  1. jill

    jill Hatching

    Jan 24, 2007
    I'm not sure what I've done. My birds are 9 weeks old and have been outside for a while. All perky and happy. Then we had that 90 degree weather yesterday and I came home to find all 4 of my polish dead! I scooped them out and then this morning I have 4 of the cochins that passed on! There was water and cover (which they were all in when they died), but I also fed them a scoop of layer feed. I usually feed meat bird food since I had them vaccinated. Would I have killed them by feeding a scoop of that?
    I saw the picture of the month on the home page and they looked exactly like my polish that are now deceased. So sad. I also lost a favorite blue cochin. I've got a sultan left...hopefully it won't die. I've got some other cochins & austalorps, but they aren't my favorites...I guess if they live they will become that though! LOL
    Could the extreme weather change cause this? I've never had so much trouble with birds as I have this year. I'm hating to go out to the coop. They are also with 3 ducks, but they don't bother the chicks.
    Anyone know what happened?
    Thank you
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    To me it sounds like it might be the food; maybe there was some toxin in it or it might've been spoiled. I don't know about the weather; but I would think not. .
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Was the water in the shade all day? Was it kept cool? If the water gets too warm, they won't drink it and would get dehydrated.

    9 weeks is too young to give them layer feed, the calcium levels are too high for a bird of that age.

    Did you check if there were any wounds on the birds? An animal like a weasel could have bitten them and you wouldn't have necessarily seen the marks.

    The food could have been old or moldy. Do you know how old it is? How is it stored?

    That's all I can think of for now...

    Good luck with the rest of your birds.

    if edited, probably for typos....
    Last edited: May 1, 2007
  4. hencackle

    hencackle Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    I agree with keljonma...9 weeks chicks can't have layer feed. Wait until they are 18 weeks old before giving that.

    Did the chicks have any contact with grass that might have been sprayed with herbicides? Whatever happened, it is fast-acting....poisoning, heat-stroke, or suffocation. Something could have scared them enough to pile up on each other and suffocate the ones at the bottom.
  5. Llysse

    Llysse Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    9 week chicks may be too young for layer feed, but I don't think the extra calcium in a scoop would have killed them. [​IMG]

    I'm so sorry. I think it's more likely that people were on the mark when they suggested that the food had perhaps gone bad or gotten moldy, somehow.

  6. jill

    jill Hatching

    Jan 24, 2007
    The water wasn't in the shade all day. So I will have to change that. The meat bird food is a new bag and kept in the garage in it's bag and the layer food is kept in a new metal trash can, but not wet or clumped like it can get when wet and then dried. I think they had been dead for a while because their eyes were gone. Baby-biting flies are all over the place now that the weather has warmed up. It's hard to outside too long because they bit any bare spot of skin! I was lazy and didn't feel like going into the garage to get the "right" feed, so I was pretty upset with myself and am glad that a couple cups may not have killed them. It's just so strange. I'm glad that I started with 31 birds, but I didn't want them to be killed.
    Thank you so much for your help. It helps to get feed back so I know where to look and make changes for more content birds..and owner!
  7. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    I'm so sorry for your loss.... :aww
  8. Corey NC

    Corey NC Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    To me it sounds like heat stroke, 93 degrees sounds very hot unless they have been conditioned to it, expecially if the became dehidrated because of warm water. I wonder if the top knots have anything to do with over heating, I am not sure if it works the same as humans where heat escapes through the head. [​IMG]
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    So sorry for your loss. I doubt that feed would have hurt them if it was just once. I've started feeding layer at 10 weeks when The feed store ran out and my birds are fine. I think like the others that it could have been the heat or maybe they got into something poisonous. Hopefully the rest will be fine.
  10. Llysse

    Llysse Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    If the layer feed was fresh, then it must have been heat stroke. I'm sure that having fresh layer food for one day couldn't have killed them--it's just that the extra calcium makes it tough on their kidneys if they keep eating it.

    How scary that heat stroke could happen in the 90s--we have 90 degree weather here all the time in the summer. In fact, it's supposed to get to 88 today!


    I hope your other birds will be okay.

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