My favorite chicken died - any ideas why?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jjosten, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. jjosten

    jjosten Hatching

    Apr 3, 2012

    I'm so sad today - my very favorite Buff Orpington "Cinderella" died today. Here are some facts, I'm really hoping that someone can help us figure out why we're having such bad luck!

    1) She is about 1.5 years old. She was fine yesterday and this morning, laid and egg today, and we found her dead at 6pm with nothing wrong with her (no visable injuries)

    2) We integrated our 2 new chicks, who are now 4 months and the same size as the others, about a week ago and there seemed to be no problems. However Cinderella was the most friendly with them. We also have 2 other adults.

    3) We lost another adult chicken this winter with no explaination

    4) We lost two chicks this spring - one of them appeared sick at first for a while but the second one (the replacement for the first) died very suddenly.

    5) I'm a little worried that one of our new chicks is aggressive - she was a few weeks older than the others when we got them and now I'm wondering if that's why the baby chicks kept dying. However since integrating the flock she seemed to understand her place in the pecking order and stayed away from the bigger ladies.

    I am just so sad and am trying to rack my brain for anything that changed or anything that we might be doing wrong. I do know that we have a mouse problem in our food - could that be it? I just dumped the rest of the food and got a metal garbage can to put the food in from now on, but some poop might have gotten in their food. I also fed them beet greens yesterday but otherwise everything has been the same.

    Thanks for reading this far and for any help you might be able to give! I also realize that they are farm animals and often they die for no certain reason, but I feel like we're a total failure at chicken ownership!

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Check for mites/lice and worms, is all I can think of right now if you are not seeing signs of illness. For worms check alongside the keel bone for thinness and look for diarrhea (not caecal poo which is normal).

    There are mites that can live in just the coop and come out at night, killing the flock members over time. So you might consider treating your coop at any rate, or go out there at night to inspect under the roosts to see if you can see any red mites.

    Then of course there are mites and lice which live on the chickens. They can kill chickens, as can worms.

    As far as the rodents go, I don't know much about that.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  4. jjosten

    jjosten Hatching

    Apr 3, 2012
    Thank you SO much!! I am pretty sure after reading about mites that that was what it was :( So sad, and such a rookie mistake. I will be treating the rest of the flock starting today!

    I really appreciate it!

  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Since you have different age chickens and have lost several this year, there could be a coccidiosis problem. It may be mites, but there are 9 strains of coccidiosis, and although most chickens become immune by 8-12 weeks, new strains can come into the flock by new chickens or simply by tracking in the organism on your shoes. Corid is the medicine to treat cocci, it is not hard on the chickens, and it would be worth a try to treat all your chickens for 5-7 days. Dosage is 1/2 tsp powder or 2 tsp liquid Corid to 1 gallon water.

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