Red Star chickens sporadically and mysteriously die in the night

The_Juggler

Hatching
9 Years
Jun 15, 2010
2
0
7
I'm posting here because over the last year or so I've had a number of Red Star chickens die in the night.

There's no blood or feathers around so I'm sure a predator didn't kill them, and they seem healthy enough so I don't suspect an illness - though I can't be certain of that because I don't know anything about it. I feed them cracked corn, plenty of water, and they eat plenty of natural things like bugs and stuff around the yard and they seem to enjoy that quite a bit.
I'm not really sure of the age of any of them as I've bought them from a lady in the area, though I don't believe they're too old.
I close the small barn door up at night to keep common predators out (we do have a lot of coyotes in our area) - and this morning when I went to let them out one of them was dead on the floor.

This is the 4th one I've lost this way over the course of a year.
They're pets really, we usually only keep 3-4 at a time; now I'm down to 2.

Are there any signs I should be looking for?
Is there some illness or parasite I can look for?
How long should a chicken like this live anyway?
What other information should I provide here?


And thanks for your help.
 

feathersnuggles

Songster
10 Years
Sep 4, 2009
1,120
14
151
Seattle
They need a balanced layer feed in order to survive. Cracked corn has almost no nutrition or protein for one thing. And it's not even close to balanced for vitamins, minerals, protein, etc. they need to lay these large eggs, every day.

Go to a reputable feedstore and get a bag of "layer feed" & start feeding that -- and stop feeding corn. It's worth it, if you want your chickens to have better odds for a healthy life. They will do much better, and any natural food they forage will benefit them.
 

rebecky1305

Songster
10 Years
Aug 19, 2009
318
1
144
Lansing, MI
At the top of this forum there is a link that says "Learning Center". Click on that and it will open up a whole array of information that may help you. Everything from feeding to pests to disease, etc. Read and learn everything you can and you will have a happy healthy flock.
 

allieloveschickens

Songster
9 Years
May 20, 2010
834
0
119
San Diego
I agree with feathersnuggler, they definitely need some real feed, depending on their age, and whether they are laying or not you can feed them either starter crumbles/mash, or if they are laying eggs then laying crumbles or mash. Good food = happy chickens! Good luck!
 

The_Juggler

Hatching
9 Years
Jun 15, 2010
2
0
7
Wow I didn't know that the cracked corn was not a great thing to feed them, that's just what I was told to buy at the local farm store.
Actually I can't help but feel a little guilty now, I'm always sad when they're gone - but now maybe they won't die like this.


Thanks for your help everyone - I think I have a lot of reading to do here.
 

feathersnuggles

Songster
10 Years
Sep 4, 2009
1,120
14
151
Seattle
BTW,


Don't beat yourself up; you're learning, like everyone else.
I knew absolutely NOTHING until I got chickens, and then started reading BYC posts.
 

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