My chickens keep dying

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nmorrison, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. nmorrison

    nmorrison Just Hatched

    10
    0
    12
    Feb 15, 2017
    I have lost 2 chickens in 2 weeks. I had a small flock of only 4 and they aren't around any other birds. The first one I noticed she wasn't as perkyas she usually was and she had stopped laying. 2 weeks later we lost another and her symptoms word lethargy, lack of appetite and her crop was full and mushy. We brought her inside and kept her under heat lamp. I tried to massage for crop and make her vomit but nothing came out. Any suggestions as to what could be plaguing my chickens?
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,881
    2,854
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Look back to where and what your chickens were doing before they got sick and died. What had they been scratching in? What was edible in that area? Do you have a compost pile? Was there rotting food deposited in it? Has there been a lot of rain or snow? How warm has it been? Have you inspected the feed sacks for mold?

    How about insects? Any problem with ants or roaches you felt the need to spray the premises?

    What about home improvements? Any paint or thinner puddling in the soil where the chickens were scratching around?

    How old were these chickens? Some diseases target chicks around ten weeks old. Other diseases are more common killers of older chickens.

    You need to do some investigating and come up with more information. We can only shoot you some wild guesses without knowing more details.

    One thing you can do to get a definite answer is to take the dead chicken to an agricultural lab or a vet who does this sort of thing, and ask for a necropsy. It will tell you what killed the chicken.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    9,406
    2,515
    366
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Hi[​IMG] Welcome To BYC

    I'm sorry for your loss.

    How old are the 2 that you lost?
    What type of food/treats do you feed?
    Do you provide poultry grit free choice?
    Have your hens been wormed?

    It's always hard to determine the cause of death without necropsy or testing. If you still have the body you can refrigerate her and send her for testing at your state lab.

    Sour/impacted crop are usually a symptom of an underlying condition like Coccidiosis, worms or possibly internal laying/reproductive disorders. It would be best to take a fecal sample to your vet to have it tested for Cocci, worms and possible bacterial infection.

    Provide fresh water and feed daily, offer poultry grit (crushed granite) free choice, for laying hens offer oyster shell free choice for extra calcium.

    Here's a list of state labs:
    http://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
    http://www.usaha.org/Portals/6/StateAnimalHealthOfficials.pdf
    https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahln/downloads/all_nahln_lab_list.pdf

    Here's an informative article on crop issues:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
    2 people like this.
  4. nmorrison

    nmorrison Just Hatched

    10
    0
    12
    Feb 15, 2017
    Both hens were about 11 months old. We do not have a compost pile and they free range all day in our backyard. They have access to clean water and we feed them table scraps in addition to the foraging. The one that we just lost had laid an egg the day before and went to bed like her normal self. The day she died we found her at the bottom of her coop staring at the fence. There was an underdeveloped egg near her as well. She died in about 12 hours.She did not eat that day but was drinking water.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    You don't feed Chicken feed?
     
  6. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    What she said....

    Gary
     
  7. nmorrison

    nmorrison Just Hatched

    10
    0
    12
    Feb 15, 2017
    We give them feed about every other night. They free range bugs and in the garden all day.
     
  8. nmorrison

    nmorrison Just Hatched

    10
    0
    12
    Feb 15, 2017
    Feed sack is kept inside, no mold. It was been rainy but no food it left in the rain. The weather has been mild, between 30°-50°.
     
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Layers need feed daily with minimal free range to keep them healthy......

    Best of luck.....
     
  10. nmorrison

    nmorrison Just Hatched

    10
    0
    12
    Feb 15, 2017
    @chickens really- The most recent was laying an egg a day. She was happy and pecky. She was a black sexlink
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by