Mysterious Deaths


In the Brooder
Apr 21, 2016
Ok so I got chicks from tractor supply back in end of March beginning of April. Obviously they are big now (all but my mini chickens) but I noticed my brown batch (of 6) were bald on back when they spread their wings out. Few people told me they would get their feathers later and were probably roosters. They are fat and seem to walk a bit funny (compared to other chicks and my first year group). They are kept with the other chicks I got and get along with them just fine. My first years cannot get to them but share the coop with them. Yesterday I went to change out the food and water when I found two of them stuck behind the gate. I was able to move them and they were fine but another was dead by the fence. I had my hubby disposed of it while I changed the food and water. I lost quite a few of my chicks last year so I try to be immune to it. Well today I let the others out and noticed that two of the big browns decided not to come out. I went to change food and water which is when I found the two in the far side of the coop also dead. I removed them with a shovel but noticed that their wings were spread exposing a fully bald backside. My Da has had chickens for years, store bought and hand raised, and cannot explain what happened. Any ideas?
Could the big brown chickens have been meat birds, like cornish or other breeds? Sometimes TSC will sell meat birds to people mixed with egg layers, and the buyer does not realize that meat birds are only meant to live 6-8 weeks before being slaughtered for meat. Meat birds have large bare spots on them, can be pigs, and can have leg or heart problems if kept too long. Pictures of one may help to identify it, or you can do a search at the top of this page for meat birds or Google meat birds and click on images. A necropsy done by the state vet or poultry lab on a refrigerated corpse can help identify a cause of death if it is something contagious.

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