Some chick losses

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by EweSheep, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    I've been losing at least three Wellie chicks lately in the past week,probably due to rats. Im down to four cockerals and two pullets [​IMG]

    However no blood, bites, feathers, lice/mites or illness/sickness was found on them, they were healthy and eating and lively. Whats the cause of sudden death? Could the rats bitten them? They died almost in the same spot. We got major problems with city rats, no signs of them except for the holes under the coop.

    There is a small cage in the coop and dunno if they ran blindly in the darkness and broke their necks or perching on top of the cage, they fell off?

    Whats going on???????????? [​IMG]
     
  2. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    If you suspect rats then you need to get those little ones into an area that is rat proofed!
     
  3. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    When we had rat problems, they just took the chicks down into the holes that they dug to get in. The larger birds they would pull partially into a hole or leave at the bottom of the coop and strip the body. When a rat kills a bird it should be an obvious predator attack- they bite and nibble. If chicks are dying, and you both find the bodies and they are not damaged in any way- this is probably not a predator. If there are not any respiratory or GI symptoms, or lots of lice- I would more suspect parasites that do not live on the bird- possibly red mites- they live in the coop and come out at night to feed- the chicks could die of anemia in a heavily infested coop. You need to inspect perches and bird feet at night with a flashlight for these.
     
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
  5. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Coop has been dusted with DE, and no anemic signs on the chicks....they are already two and half months of age. Been out at nights to check on them and found nothing except for bugs and spiders.

    One thing popped in my memory is my daughter....she has been playing with them and dont know if she held them too hard. She had the birds (one at a time) on the swing with her, holding them close to her body, swinging them to sleep LOL. NOt sure if that would be a factor but didnt think it was harmful. I will keep her out of the coop for awhile and see what happens. If I dont get anymore dead ones, it could be my daughter's doing. She's only four and loves chickens and "baby" them like her dollies.

    Can not tell if they had broken necks. All I know that their head and neck are so limp than the body which it was stiff when I found them in the morning.
     
  6. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Oh, no chicks were ever in the rat holes or carried to it. They died near the cages.
     
  7. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Katy, it is very possible it could be due to the immunity. However there is no sickness or illness. Nor was any cocci being found on them when they were being caged in the first month of their lives. No one in the flock had bloody stools.

    I got these Wellies from Estes Hatchery and they were of second generation from Harry Shaw's flock when he suddenly passed away.

    I never had this problem with my other Wellies from other sources including Mothergoose.
     
  8. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:I got my original welsummers from him 6 years ago. They're still laying me a few eggs.

    I wonder what hatchery the other poster got hers from.
     
  9. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    I have found in my hands DE is not useful in control of anything on or around my chickens. I have dusted serially with it, and put it in their dust baths, and did not see the lice disappear. I have also fed it, and did serial fecals, and it did not rid them of roundworms. If you have red mites, I don't think DE will help you. How did you determine that they were not anemic?
    I would doubt that the child hurt the chicks IF you saw them after she had cuddled them and rocked them to sleep. IF they were running around after each handling, they were probably fine. If you did not see them afterward it is possible the rocking to sleep was something more like holding them tightly to not moving=sleep to small child, I have chicks and young kids too- I know they can be too overabundant in their loving sometimes. If not too much loving, and no obvious cause of death- consider sending in the next one (if there is a next) to the lab to see if you have something infectious that causes acute death.

    When you go out at night, do you go into the coop with a flashlight and look closely at the perches/feet? red mites are very small, but visible- like the size of salt. They will get on your hands as well.
     
  10. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    No pale combs or wattles or restless activity during the day.

    I will see them tonight again and see what I can come up with. Funny as much as I check them all over, I didnt get any on me at night when I picked up the birds from top of cage to perch.

    Hopefully not red mites....those things are hard to get rid of. We did have a few wild birds coming in the coop at night, bashing themselves silly against the door when I get them out in the morning.

    We just got cases of West Nile disease in our city. Been seeing alot of pigeons and wild birds dying all across town. Hopefully its not the case with the chickens even we do have alot of mostiquoes in our area.

    Man, I hate the guessing game but will check again tonight to see if they do have for sure, red mites. [​IMG]
     

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