1. syarnold1987

    syarnold1987 New Egg

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    Jan 3, 2016
    Very frustrated. We decided this time last year to be chicken farmers. I bought a coop, chickens (6 hens), and one rooster, and everything we needed for them to eat and drink. Within 4 months all but two died. Then my husband built a larger coop. We bought 15 hens and another rooster. We now have 18 chickens. I have had them since October. I have not seen one egg. We buy laying food (purina) from tractor supply. I clean the coop and have hay down. They have food and water everyday. I have our probiotics (once every couple of weeks) in their water to keep them healthy. Nothing. No eggs and now I have had two more die. They don't poop funny. No yellow poop. They just close their eyes, act fatigue, then stop moving. Stop breathing and die. What am I doing wrong?
     
  2. Ameraucanas

    Ameraucanas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In what position do you find them? (on their backs, on stomachs, etc.)
     
  3. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    Sorry you're having these issues. How old are they? Or rather, how old were you told they are? Is it possible they are dying of old age? What breeds do you have? Certain high production breeds are prone to ovarian cancer and things like internal egg laying. You could be dealing with a high parasite load - have you wormed them? You might want to do that and also treat for mites.

    Are there any other symptoms besides lethargy?

    On the egg front, it's not unusual that you aren't getting eggs right now. Most birds don't lay in the winter - they don't receive enough light to trigger their hormones and cause them to lay. If you add a light on a timer in your coop that provides 14 hours of light a day you should start seeing eggs.

    Unfortunately the only way you're really going to find out for sure what is killing them is to send one off for necropsy the next time one dies. It could be a number of things if they only symptom you're seeing is lethargy before they die.

    Another thought is that your original birds were sick with something like Marek's, and the ones who survived are now carriers and are passing whatever they have to your new birds. But again, unfortunately the only way to be 100% sure of what is going on is probably going to be sending a dead one for necropsy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  4. syarnold1987

    syarnold1987 New Egg

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    Jan 3, 2016
    I was told they were 3 yrs old. I'm not as concerned about the egg laying as I am about them being sick and dying. No weird poops. They become fatigue and some go blind. Then I find them face down and within hours they're dead. I have changed food, bedding- was hay, now it is pine shavings I put fresh on top and change out every 6 months. I go for flu testing next week. But according to a blog in my community, there is no current cases of bird flu.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  5. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    The blindness is concerning and points further towards Marek's disease. Unfortunately there is no cure for it and it's passed very easily from bird to bird and can live in the environment for years once it's introduced. Are the birds seemingly paralyzed and unable to move before they die?

    Edit: You might want to take a look at this too: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  6. syarnold1987

    syarnold1987 New Egg

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    Jan 3, 2016
    It's not that they become blind as my h as they just close their eyes and never open them again. Then they become like lifeless. You can pick them up and relocate them to the coop or away from the others and if they are laid in their back they won't flip back over. They're eyes are closed but they're still breathing.
     
  7. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    Honestly I think you're going to need to send one away for necropsy to determine what you're dealing with here. At three years old it's not old age that is killing them all, and I doubt that they're all coming down with cancer or internal laying at once, and it especially wouldn't be that if any of the ones you've lost have been roosters. It sounds like whatever it is must be contagious since it is affecting multiple birds, or something in their environment is making them sick. Are they having any kind of respiratory symptoms?
     
  8. syarnold1987

    syarnold1987 New Egg

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    Jan 3, 2016
    Have a hen now shows signs of sickness. I have isolated her to a smaller coop alone. If and when she passes, I am taking her to our local dianostic lab for testing. One is showing signs of mg but seems to be eating and acting normal. I have had others die in the pass and before they do their noses are runny with clear liquid. I have been checking for yellow droppings and they seem to pass something yellow a day before they die. This one isolated hasn't passed anything yellow yet but has been bullied overnight. Also she won't open her eyes and isnt eating or drinking.
     

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