Mysterious Deaths...Any Advice?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kgoehner, Jul 15, 2018.

  1. Kgoehner

    Kgoehner Hatching

    May 14, 2018
    Over the past 4 days, we have had two of our young chickens mysteriously die. On Thursday we left on vacation. On Friday, our housesitter notified us that one of our chickens had passed away. No signs of illness, no blood, nothing to indicate what could have happened. Today we returned home and another one had died. The first bird to die displayed no signs of illness. The second bird had been somewhat "lazy" in that it seemed to sleep a lot, but I hadn't thought anything of it at the time. Here's the overall situation we have for our chickens:

    -We had 17 chickens (now 15), 2 of those are roosters. 9 of those are laying age, 6 were still very young (fully feathered and old enough to be outside without a heat lamp, but no where near laying age). We have purchased all our chickens from the same location at "coop-ready" age. The two that died were from the 6 we most recently purchased. Is there a chance they came to us already sick and not well?

    -They have both oyster shell and grit available to them freely. Their food is a chicken grower crumble. We do have some laying pellets in the coop, but they are higher up and I haven't seen the younger chickens show any interest. Is there still a chance they got too much calcium in their diet and that killed them?

    -Would the older chickens have picked on them and possibly killed them? We didn't see any signs of blood, but under all those feathers it is hard to know for sure. Should we separate our younger chickens?

    -The temperature has been around 90 degrees the past few days, but they have lots of water available and plenty of shade.

    Any idea what is going on or what we can do to prevent more deaths??? I would hate to think something we've done has caused this!
  2. snow5164

    snow5164 Crowing

    May 16, 2015
    Pecking ? You’d see results of that on them .

    Calcium? Not likely

    The heat? I’d say that was the problem ,were they supposed to be let in and out of the coop? I’d say they stayed in the hot coop
  3. Kgoehner

    Kgoehner Hatching

    May 14, 2018
    Their coop is attached to their run and they have free access to it whenever they want. Both were found in the run (I always forget to specify and tend to refer to the entire enclosure as the coop). The run is 25x30 feet. Would heat still be an issue even out in the run?
  4. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Set 40 eggs Jan. 2!

    RyRe2010 and Farmer Connie like this.
  5. Kgoehner

    Kgoehner Hatching

    May 14, 2018
    Thank you, that's good to know. We will go get some today. We had been putting nutri-drench in their water because a third bird from that same group of 6 was having eye issues (bubbling and swelling). That seems to have resolved itself at least.
    Farmer Connie and KikisGirls like this.
  6. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Set 40 eggs Jan. 2!

    I would get the liquid if I were you. it seems easily to use and you can get a head start on treatment buy giving each bird a couple of drops of undiluted Corid straight to the beak.

    This bird that had the swelling...hopefully it was due to a peck in/near the eye and not a respiratory disease. :fl
    Farmer Connie likes this.
  7. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    It would be helpful to know how old both groups of hen/pullets are and how old are the "roosters". If they are in fact just cockerels then in my opinion you probably have one too many. That can cause stress which can aggravate the heat situation or lower their immune system and make them vulnerable to disease.
    Did you get them from a private breeder and were they vaccinated for Marek's. Whilst it is more common for Marek's disease to exhibit as a variety of symptoms, it can occasionally cause sudden death. The "lazy" one may have been experiencing difficulty walking or breathing perhaps. What breeds were the ones that died?

    If you are able to refrigerate a carcass and get a necropsy done, that will be far more enlightening than us guessing. State veterinary or agricultural diagnostics labs are the place to contact and much cheaper than a private veterinary practice. Most have a website.... if you do a search for " your state" diagnostics lab.
  8. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie All My Friends Have Hoofs

    Feb 28, 2017
    Florida Peninsula
    My Coop
  9. Kgoehner

    Kgoehner Hatching

    May 14, 2018
    The roosters are about a year old, 11 of the hens are just under a year, and the other 6 are/were born the end of March. We didn't intend to have two roosters - one is a silkie and we were told it was female when we purchased it, but then about 2 months ago we discovered it was also a roo. It doesn't seem to bother the ladies the way the other roo does though - it pretty much keeps to itself.

    We bought them from a farm that sells chickens of all ages and they do claim to be vaccinated for Marek's as well as other diseases. The two that died were a barnavelder and a speckled sussex.

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