Seemingly sudden deaths after integrating a new flock

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by amandapancakes, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. amandapancakes

    amandapancakes New Egg

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    Jul 8, 2015
    Kansas City, MO
    Hi all,
    I work at a school where we are raising chickens as part of our curriculum. We had 12 hens of various breeds and about 2 months ago, received 5 more hens (Easter Eggers) from a family who was moving and couldn't take their chickens with them.

    We kept the two flocks separate at first, alternating which flock stayed where in attempt to get them used to each other's scents and such. After about a week, at night when everyone was sleeping, we put the new flock in the same coop as our current chickens. That night, when moving the new flock, we noticed that one of them had passed away. We chalked it up to the stress of moving at that time.

    Fast forward about a month: another one of the Easter Eggers passed away. She was found dead in the coop - it didn't appear that she was attacked by anything - she was just gone. And then today (apx. a month later), a third Easter Egger was found dead! Again, no sign of attack - she was just gone.

    Does anyone have any ideas or experience with this? We love our chickens and hate to keep loosing them! Help!
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    10,422
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    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    I'm sorry for your loss.

    Unfortunately there is no way to tell what the cause of death is without a necropsy. You can send the body to your state lab, keep refrigerated, don't freeze.

    http://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
    http://www.usaha.org/Portals/6/StateAnimalHealthOfficials.pdf

    In the future you may want to quarantine a full 30days, keeping birds completely away from each other, no alternating. Practice biosecurity, change shoes/clothes, wash hands, etc., when handling each group. A lot of illnesses are airborne and/or transmitted by dust, dander and feces.

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...often-underestimated-part-of-raising-chickens
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/12751/urgent-reminder-please-quarantine-newly-acquired-birds
     

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