Please help...CHICKEN EMERGENCY...

dc7603

In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 19, 2011
13
0
22
Please help...we've got 36 (35 as of about 20 minutes ago) broilers and 22 layers in separate brooders. These birds are 3.5 weeks old and have been bedded on pine shavings since they were one day old. We went to change the bedding tonight and didn't have enough pine shavings so we used a mixture of old straw and hay (probably 15 years old). The birds went nuts! They were clucking and gathering in one corner of the brooders. I told my wife that it was just a new feel under their feet and they would get used to it but an hour later they were still in the corners and were not happy...clucking and carrying on and one broiler was dead. Can anyone shed any light on this? I didn't realize that old straw could be a problem. Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

zowieyellowflame

Songster
10 Years
Jun 11, 2009
466
0
129
Nova Scotia
I don't have any scientific knowledge on this but I bet 15 year old straw could be compromised. Lets face it, 15 years ago Walkmans and floppy discs were still in use. JS Maybe try getting some shavings or newer material. I do know my chickens like their straw in their nest boxes but it has got to be really good straw. No hay, no mold, just nice, golden, dry straw.
 

pinkwindsong

Songster
8 Years
Mar 18, 2011
1,655
4
146
Laurens SC
molds. dust could have done it as well as ants.. sometimes they get in the old hay.. hopefully just the dust etc. Id just dump it totally out tonight and paper the bottom till tomorrow and run out to TSC and grab a bag of shavings.

good luck
Pink
 

dc7603

In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 19, 2011
13
0
22
Thanks for the replies, my chicken house to be is in an old barn on the lower level. The upper level is full of this old hay, do you think it will be a problem to have them in the same building as the old hay? Update: I changed all the bedding back to pine shavings and my layers are still acting spooked and huddling in the corner.
 

Noobchick

Songster
8 Years
May 23, 2011
389
11
108
Creedmoor, NC
To be honest I wouldnt chance it if I were you. That old hay can be home to who knows how many different molds and fungi, not to mention mites, mice, rats, etc, all of which can make chickens sick.

Any way it can all be cleared out?
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
133,716
225,871
1,857
Out to pasture
do you think anything might have stowed away in the hay and you didn't notice it - snake, mice, rats??? -something scared them
 

sharol

Crowing
9 Years
Jun 13, 2010
3,011
88
251
Admire, KS
Chickens hate change, too. I bought a new (additional) feeder because I had a chicken being excluded from the food. They wouldn't go back in the coop. It was incredible. Usually they just stream in there at bedtime, but that evening they stood outside the door clucking and chirping (10 months old and laying). I would shove one in the pop door, and she would squawk and fly back out in my face. I finally had to move the thing into a corner they couldn't see from the door. A week later, and it is OK again, but they were completely freaked out.

Maybe it was just the change to something new and unknown??
 

tclegg

Chirping
8 Years
May 15, 2011
346
2
99
Parkersburg
Sorry I am still newbie--but have Studied and Read ALOT....feel something is not right in your chickens telling u so...Just this feeling that I have had my whole life whith all creatures since I can remember---always have been like that....(Strays and wild come to me) Change the set up..they r not happy and u need to make it right...bless you all) Maybe Im weird but I dont care GOD loves me!!!!
 

ragerkid2

Songster
8 Years
Apr 16, 2011
661
7
131
Johnstown Pa
Think about it. You just changed their environment. They have never know any different. The broiler was probably suffocating.
 

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