1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Several dead chickens this morning!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LeadHead, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. LeadHead

    LeadHead Out Of The Brooder

    42
    0
    32
    Apr 5, 2011
    My son called me while on my way to work this morning. He had gone out to feed the chickens and found several young Silkies (5 of 7) and our d'uccle hen dead in their cage, and the d'uccle rooster "a bit wobbly". The d'uccle hen was a couple years old, the Silkies were a few months old.
    We have a cage built in our coop (elevated about 3' off the floor) and all our "little" birds are in there; 7 young Silkies and the pair of d'uccles are/were by themselves, and in the same elevated cage but with a mesh divider are our breeding pair of Silkies. He said the breeding pair are as lively as ever, pecking his hand as usual when he went to feed them. Down on the floor (concrete with straw bedding) is where we raise our broilers. We recently raised about 70 broilers and took most of them to be processed a week and a half ago, but we kept 7 to butcher ourselves at our convenience. Those 7 broilers are all ok. Last night it did get down to 24-25 degrees, but I wouldn't have thought the birds wouldn't survive that since winter here in northern IL gets much colder than that, and we've not had a problem losing chickens from the cold in the past. However, this is the first winter we've had the Silkies and d'uccles so they're a new experience for us.
    We have a completely separate coop for our two turkeys and 35-40 layers/roosters. All of them seem to be doing fine. Does anyone have any idea what's going on?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    28,929
    2,905
    471
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    How sad, sorry for your loss. I would suspect either they have coccidiosis, or that they had too much of a draft on them in their cage. I don't have any trouble with cold winter with silkies and d'uccles, but I make sure they are in a draft-free area with 2 X 3 roosts to keep their feet warm. I might consider treating them for cocci with Corid if they have any symptoms of it (poor appetite, diarrhea, puffing up, ruffled feathers, paleness, and acting sleepy.)
     
  3. LeadHead

    LeadHead Out Of The Brooder

    42
    0
    32
    Apr 5, 2011
    Pardon my ignorance here, but isn't coccidiosis normally transmitted via feces? If so, wouldn't this be less likely since they are in an elevated cage with 1/2" hardware cloth bottom? As a result, they should have a minimum of feces to deal with and it would seem that the broilers down below on the concrete/straw floor would be in more contact with it. Does this make sense?
     
  4. Kessy09

    Kessy09 Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    22
    Jun 16, 2013
    Rural Manitoba
    Coccidiosis is naturally occurring in all chicken's systems, so they don't necessarily need to be exposed to it for it to become a problem. If their immune system is weakened for some reason, the coccidiosis (a protozoal parasite) overwhelms their system and causes death within 3-5 days. Are they on a medicated feed? Or have they been vaccinated? No overcrowding? No poop getting in feed dishes or water? If you have been paying very close attention to them you probably would have noticed some sort of change in behavior/activity over the last few days if this was coccidiosis. It's not often fine until death. Are you willing to perform a necropsy on one of them, to see if there is any lesions on the internal organs?
     
  5. LeadHead

    LeadHead Out Of The Brooder

    42
    0
    32
    Apr 5, 2011
    Yes, I could do that if I knew what to look for. Also, it would indeed be possible for some of their waste to have gotten into their water.
     
  6. Christabelle

    Christabelle Chillin' With My Peeps

    475
    28
    108
    Jun 22, 2012
    Dayton NV
    That many dead at once overnight- I would assume exposure. I don't know about the hardiness of the specific breeds- it just sounds like the most plausible explanation... I doubt coccidiosis would get that many randomly one cold night.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    28,929
    2,905
    471
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Coccidiosis can be transmitted by hands, shoes, using the same brush or sponge to clean out feeders and waterers. If I have chickens in a cage there will be other chickens climbing on top and sometimes droppings will get in. I am not saying that is what the cause is for sure, but it would be one of a few possible causes to look at. The symptoms may be there, may be not. I would agree that cold may have been the cause as I said before.
     
  8. LeadHead

    LeadHead Out Of The Brooder

    42
    0
    32
    Apr 5, 2011
    I'm thinking maybe because they don't have a solid floor in their cage the cold is what got them. The multiple deaths in one night, all of them in such a cage...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by