Squabs keep dying


7 Years
Sep 13, 2012
My fantail doves are sitting and hatching eggs fine but as soon as the Squabs are about inch to an inch and a half feathered they die. I can't see a reason for it. It happens to all of them so it isn't just a certain pair that are losing thier young. As anyone got any ideas of what it might be. Also I have canaries so want to know if they are safe. If it helps the fantails are free flying all day.

Thank you in advance
I keep mice poison down all year (where the birds/chickens can't get to it) and I havent seen any sign of any mouse activity for over 6 months I do disinfect everything regularly but I will disinfect the nest boxes food and water bowls again tomorrow but if it isn't mice what could it be.

It can't be the weather because we have had both hot and cold days (spring in the UK -_-)
I feed my parents meat builder when they are caring for squabs. I also mix in a bit of whole corn. I do treat them to shelled peanuts from my hand every time I enter the loft.

I take it your food is kept dry and not subject to mold.
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Yes our food is kept dry but because they are free flying all day they do tend to feed off the birds table we have so they also eat bread off the table though that's not moldy I have just grass seeded an area of the garden do you think the grass seed might hurt them if they pick it up?
I have been having the same problem. I turned out my birds had Salmonella. The adults were carriers of the disease.. and showed no symptoms.. one a few were skinny and some had loose poops.

The squabs would get about half grown and the die. The few that survived and left the nest, died a week or so later and had runny green poop.

Maybe take a poop sample to a vets and see what they can find. Its easy to treat with the right antibiotics and rest you adult birds not letting them breed for a good few months. The only breed from the most healthy ones.

I have just started to let mine breed again after 5 months. I only let one pair breed to see what happened. One egg did not hatch, but the other egg did, and now the squab has fledged, it fat and healthy and eating well. Its been out of the nest over 2 weeks.... so I hope the disease is over now.
Jak2002003 those sound just like the systoms that mine have do you know then name of the antibiotics you used on them?

Thank you
No. You have to get them from the vet. Don't use any human antibiotics on birds as they can kill them.

It was not expensive at all and they got better quickly. You only have to take some poop samples and tell the vet how many birds you have and tell them they all have it.

Hope they get better soon.

If any have loose poops, it can help a lot to put some apple cider vinegar in the drinking water. Also feed them some live natural yoghurt. You can mix some seed with the yoghurt to get them to eat that. All this helps with the natural bacteria in the birds gut and helps them overcome the salmonella bacteria. But they will still need the antibiotics for best results.

They can recover on their own over time... but without the antibiotics some birds will remain carriers of the disease and it will come back in the future.

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