Please help! My pet chickens are dying!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lorimerj, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. lorimerj

    lorimerj New Egg

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    Jan 9, 2017
    I am new to any chicken forums. We have had chickens for about 5 years and had an animal kill off some of our chickens, but I have never had any die from what I think is some kind of sickness. A couple of weeks ago I noticed one of our 5 Comet chickens was losing her feathers. I figured maybe she was molting. Another one of the chickens sat pretty still in the Sun, but when I went to check on her she rambled around fine. They all were eating and acting normally. I went away for the last week while my family took care of the animals. While I was away 3 out of 5 of my Comets died and I have one currently that I am keeping in the house that looks like the one that I thought was molting. Currently, all the other chickens look and act fine, even the one Comet that is not in the house. One of the 3 that died was eaten by a raccoon (I assume), but I do not know if it was sick before that. One that died right before I came home they brought in the house. It did not want to eat and died later that day. That one did not look like it was molting. Is there anything I can do to help save this chicken? Should I be contacting someone to rule out some strange disease? What can I do to help them?

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  2. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check for lice/mites.Check under wings and around the vent area.Also what are you feeding them?,I see in the pic you are feeding them scratch which has little to no protein.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. So sorry for your loss. Molting and winter can be tough on most chickens, especially if they are a bit older. Make sure they are eating a good 16-20% balanced chicken feed, and you can supplement with some extra protein from egg or dry cat food. . It seems like molting can increase the chances of a chicken dying if there is an underlying problem. Hopefully, they were cared for regularly with fresh water and food, and were locked up in their henhouse after dark. Were they let outside to forage during the days? A necropsy is the best way to find out why a chicken dies. You can do one yourself to look at the internal organs, or let your state vet or poultry lab do a thorough one.
     
  4. lorimerj

    lorimerj New Egg

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    Jan 9, 2017
    I am feeding them scratch, 16% layer crumbles, and whatever scrapes and vegetables I think they might want. They are free range during the day and locked up at night in a modified dog pen. Unfortunately the top of the pen was compromised by something, but is fixed now. I didn't see any lice or bugs of any kind. Are they easy to see?
     
  5. lorimerj

    lorimerj New Egg

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    I have been out of 16% layer crumbles for about a week, but had plenty of scratch. Would that have killed them? They also eat the horse feed, and scraps from the house. I bought more crumbles today and have been feeding the one inside some cat food. I was trying to figure out how they might catch an illness since they are the only chickens around here, but we do have a small pond, a few ducks, several wild birds that come through, and mice and rats that like to live in the barn and eat the chickens food. Thanks for responding.
     
  6. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How much scratch do you usually give them in one day?
     
  7. lorimerj

    lorimerj New Egg

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    I have a center aisle of our barn that each morning I pour about 1/2 coffee can of scratch & crumbles on the ground. They don't finish it each day, but the chickens, ducks, squirrels, and mice come and munch on the food throughout the day.
     

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