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Roosters dying?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kajira, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    So - I know it's not "my yard" and the only thing I can come up with, is the layer feed had too much calcium and killed my roosters.
    A friend raised a batch of chickens. Gave us half, we ended up with 4 roosters.

    One by one, my roosters all died. Except 1. I'm going to be switching their feed out to a regular mixed-flock style feed, to try to cut down on the calcium, and just try to hand-feed the 4 hens separately some calcium a few times a week. I also mix Diatomaceous Earth food grade a couple times a week to help reduce worms and all of that fun stuff, per the recommendation of local farmers who've been doing this a long time. (our goats get that mixed into their grain too, as do the horses and other animals.)

    anyways - my friends roosters all dropped dead 1 by 1 too, after starting the layer feed in june (around 15 weeks) per the recommendation of the feed store. When she gave them to us, we kept feeding them based on what she'd been giving them, not realizing that it was probably too much for the roosters.

    For those of you who have roosters in your flock and layers, how do you get the extra calcium to the girls, with out over loading your roosters?

    My daughter is really upset that the only Rooster that's still alive, is the one that seems to hate people. LOL (figures he's too onery to die on her.)

    We are raising a batch of easter eggers now, and going to be building a second coop - since I only got 2 roosters, and 6 hens, I'd like to avoid making the same mistakes I made with the adult batch we were given too.
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    While calcium does tend to damage cock's kidneys, it's rare for it to actually kill them. When it does, it usually takes a matter of months or years. In most cases it will have no obvious outward effect (although it's not a great idea anyhow).

    For mixed adult flocks, a 18% grower ration is ideal, supplemented with oyster shell for calcium.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I've heard mixed reviews on that - but since all the roosters ended up dying, at two separate houses, and the only thing in common was the feed, I don't know what else it could be. I suppose it's "possible" the roosters killed each other off, but they had no signs of damage, and never fought with our other rooster. We free range during the daytime and only coop them up at night.

    I was under the impression she may have started the layer feed a little too early - and since it's extremely hot in texas, even mild dehydration could lead to kidney issues - which mixed with too much calcium, might have caused problems in the males. (that's the theory anyways, since all females are healthy, laying eggs, and in good shape.)

    Still not 100% sure, and I'm afraid I'm too cheap to ship the dead roosters off for an autopsy when the likelihood of getting a straight answer is slim.
     
  4. jacksun

    jacksun Out Of The Brooder

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    My roosters eat layer all the time only get De once a month or less. The one roo is over six yrs old .
     
  5. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Ours share a pen with our goats. And our goats eat the chicken feed too and get in their coop, so I sprinkle it in a little more often just to be on the safe side. hehe (I'm not sure them eating chicken food is good for our goats, but I can't exactly stop them, the little buggers are smart and figured out how to open up our feeders for the chickens.)
     
  6. jacksun

    jacksun Out Of The Brooder

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    I found out about fermenting feed by accident. My chickens would get into my fermented pig food and were crazy about it. Old time farmers always had a mix of animals, One would eat what others wouldn't. Chicks would scatter the poo and pick out bugs and grain.
     
  7. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Yeah. I've always found chickens to be scavengers. But, that's why I give a little more of the DE in their feed, just to be safe since I let them roam freely during the daytime. they only sleep in their coop and lay eggs in the nesting boxes.

    My stupid goats go in my chicken coop and hang out in there too. I'm lucky they are pygmy's or they'd have destroyed my coop.
     
  8. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    I assure you----your roosters eating Layer feed did not have nothing to do with them dying. I been raising chickens for 60 years----they all eat layer feed right with the layers. Something would have to be bad with the feed which would have cause some layers to die too. I have not read all your post but if these were young roosters I would be leaning towards worms or a disease . Tape worms will kill a chicken in a little while---younger ones quicker----if they get them bad enough and MOST chicken owners never worm for tape worms----just other worms.
     
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  9. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    They've been vaccinated, dewormed for the stuff DE doesn't kill, and I use DE in their feed to help keep parasites down as well. We deworm all our animals on a regular basis, because I'm anal about that, especially with 5 dogs and 7 cats. I don't like having to deal with it, and an ounce of prevention is worth it's weight in gold to keep a problem from popping up. ;)

    - I also give tick medication to our dogs, when I deworm, so I keep it on a monthly schedule for everyone and deworm the horses/goats and stuff for things DE in their feed won't kill.

    I learned the hard way with ticks getting into my house because of not using the right tick medication. Never dealt with ticks prior to moving to Texas.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    De doesn't kill intestinal parasites. Not in any species. It's very odd that your cockrels are dying with no obvious injuries, and you aren't loosing any pullets. Is it luck, and nothing to do with the sex of the dying birds? Before adding more birds, having a post mortem done would be best. Check with your state veterinary path lab. Mary
     
    1 person likes this.

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