Please help me figure out why my chickens are dying

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by cobblehillchix, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. cobblehillchix

    cobblehillchix New Egg

    Aug 9, 2013
    We got our first chicks July 1st (2 sussex) and over the summer added on three blue coachens, two silkies, one polish and two black rock(?) all around the same age.

    They all are housed together and have a pen to run in. I believe we have one rooster for sure (blue coachen).
    About 4 wks ago, the smallest blue coachen was fine then died at night in the hen house. Then 2 wks ago our beautiful polish was found dying. Last night one of the sussex was found deceased as well. We have now lost 3.

    This is breaking our hearts, they have become pets to us and we love them. We are so new to this and wondering if we are doing something wrong.
    We live on Vancouver Island, it doesn't get too cold here but it has been chilly the past few nights. Do I need a heater in the hen house? How can I figure out what is going on with my chickens (none have laid eggs yet).
    Any and all advice would be appreciated as I don't know a lot of "chicken people".

    Thanks very much in advance.
  2. TNchickies

    TNchickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 7, 2013
    wow! that's SAD! if it is getting cooler where you are, a heater and light would help with any uncomfortableness they may have, and if they are going to start laying, they will need plenty of light. chickens need light in order to lay. as for the deceased, it is possible that they had heart attacks, died of worms, poison, (i think you get it). They could have died of several things. I would suggest a few things: 1.You research what you are feeding them. if you are feeding them the wrong things, that could be part of it. 2. make sure that if you see any of them acting abnormal to what you usually see, you separate them form the rest. 3. make sure that if their wings are drooping, they walk around with their mouths open, they laze around, of they aren't eating or drinking, that you separate them and give us the specifics, so that we can help you, (hopefully). I will be able to give you more advice if you tell me what they are eating, and whether or not you notice any symptoms. I hope that you will reply so i can help. Thanks, and i hope this helps! [​IMG]
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] I'm sorry to hear about your losses. I would suggest you post in the Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures section and give us some more info. What have you been feeding them, when did you move them outside, did they show any sign or symptoms before dying, what did/does their droppings look like (normal, watery, bloody), things like that. Anything you can think off that can help up help you figure this out.
  4. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC! x2 on Sumi's advice good luck to you.
  5. cobblehillchix

    cobblehillchix New Egg

    Aug 9, 2013
    Thank you for the responses!
    Currently they are eating starter food and hen scratch feed (as well as fresh veggies and bread cubes). They run free once a day when we are in the yard.
    They all seem fine and happy then boom dead. Definitely its time to put a heater and light in the coop. They all eat and drink very well and are always excited to see me. I go to them in the morning and at night (at least) and none of them have had any of the symptoms you have mentioned.
    I just spoke to the lady at Buckerfields (chicken stuff supplier) and she feels we might have a Mink bothering them, I just can't see where it would get in but it seems like a possibility I will examine today. I just cant bear to lose another one of my beloved chickens.
  6. hungnguyen

    hungnguyen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2013
    When the weather gets chilly at night, chicken with thin feather (i.e. moulting) and young chicks normally got caught with cold. For adult chicken, i suggest to cover up the cage with plastic sheet (example: buy some plastic that painter uses to cover the floor); covering so they are protected against north wind and rain. For young chick, they cannot stand the cold even with plastic sheet wrapped around cage. You will need to install a Heat lamp inside the coops and they will surround this lamp at night and slowly stay away when they grow up. Depending on the size of the cage, you will either need a small light buln to a flodd light. Good luck
  7. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]Happy you joined the site! :)

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined us! [​IMG]
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] you may also want to read up at the predator section. I believe minks and weasels just make a small puncture wound and drink the blood - leaving the rest of the chicken intact.

    Have you seen any punctures or sores on any of the dead birds. Minks can dig, and climb and get thru small, tight spaces. You may need to reinforce your fencing wire with 1/2" hardware cloth which is much stronger and durable than chicken wire. Put a top on the run to prevent climbers or attacks from the sky (hawks) . A wire apron around the run perimeter can help deter diggers, more info. in coop & run threads, than I can go into now.

    If they are dying of some illness it may be from adding new chicks without quarantining the newbies from your older stock.

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