Our Roosters keep dying... Any ideas?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cottonpickinfarm, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. We have been raising chickens/roosters for about eight years now. Pretty much by-guess-and-by-golly. We've always had great success until this year.

    We had three roosters from last years flock. We culled out two last year. The butcher said they were extremely healthy.

    This winter our rooster died. None of the chickens did. It was a hard winter, so we buried him and looked on Craigslist for another. We got one last month. A beautiful, healthy rooster, named Tom Cruise.

    A couple days ago, my daughter said that Tom's tail feathers were dragging. The next morning he was dead. Again, none of the hens, just the rooster. He still looked healthy, except that his tail had started drooping.

    I'd love to get another rooster, but I don't know what's killing them, so I hesitate. It's been a tough winter, here in Washington State. They haven't been out of the coop area much, even though they can. There hasn't been much ground to root around in, so we were wondering whether it was as simple as not having enough gravel in their craw (sp?)

    Any ideas?

  2. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    did you have a necropsy done on any of the others to determine what their cause of death was?

    I havent the foggiest idea, the information is so vague given they seemed healthy [​IMG] I'm sorry you keep losing your roos. How long after you got them did you notice they were sick? Quarentined for how long before introducing into your flock? Gravel in their craw - you mean their gizzard? Do you not provide grit for your birds?

    I'm sure others will pop on and chime in...
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
  3. chilling in muscadine

    chilling in muscadine { I love being disfunctual }

    Jun 8, 2008
    muscadine, al.

    Have you been supplying grit? Really we would need more info to try and figure out what is going wrong.
  4. We have not had any tests done on either dead rooster.

    We haven't supplied grit previously. We live in sandy loam and the whole flock is only locked in at night, for the most part. Mostly because we have a lot of owls in the area and everyone in this area has lost part of their flock to owls, if they aren't "put to bed" at night.

    We aren't opposed to providing grit, just never needed it before. Even in most winters they are out and are able to get to the dirt. But this one they never ventured far from the coop and there wasn't exposed dirt for much of the season.

    Thanks for any of your help.

  5. Diva

    Diva In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2008
    Salem Oregon
    Should I be offering grit to my flock of girls? [​IMG] Linda
  6. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    Its my understanding that grit should be provided unless your chickens free range 100% of the time and can find it on their own. Even if mine free ranged all the time, I'd still provide grit and oyster shell for them because they may not get enough out of ranging.

    Dirt is one thing - grit (pebble) is an entirely different thing and chickens require it to process things they eat down or they can get sick and die (again, what I've read and been told)

    If I'm wrong - someone jump in..

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