Strange Deaths in my Barnyard Mutts

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lelilamom, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our Buff Orpington raised two chicks 2 years ago. One hatched the last week in August and one hatched the third week in September. These were hybrids crossed between Red Sex and a RR Roo. They were the only two chicks we kept out of 50 hatched.

    On Sept. 9th, 2 years and 1 week old, the older of the two died after 4 days of lethargy, light eating and diarrhea.
    Yesterday, Oct. 1 after only 24 hours of lethargy and light eating the second one died at 2 years and 1 week old. I never got to see if she had diarrhea.

    I found it incredible strange that these two birds, born three weeks apart would die of the same symptoms, three weeks apart. My question is, are hybrids such as these prone to a short life span? Or are there more sinister forces at work here. I am very attentive to my flock of now 26. The rest of our flock is a mix of 4 yr, 3 yr and 6 mos old Red Sex, Amber White, Buff, RR and Barred Rock. We also have 4 turkeys who think they are chickens. We routinely clean the coop and run, DE both, keep straw clean and dry and changed often. We have the girls fenced in a 150ft x 100ft wooded area that they love. We no longer have a roo (he became very aggressive and started destroying all our eggs, so we ate him last year), provide clean water every day and feed layer mash from Agway who uses local farmers for their feed. We supplement with vegetable scraps from our organic garden and oyster shell. Our egg buyers also love to visit with vegetable scraps from their gardens. Our girls have lots of loving friends.

    Any feedback is welcome.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Barnyard hybrids are usually more vigorous.

    You say you feed layer feed. Were you providing layer to the entire flock when the chicks were growing 2 years ago?
     
  3. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I've been using the same layer mash for the past 4 years since I started the flock. When the Buff went broody, I isolated her and the chicks and gave them medicated crumble for 6 weeks. Then switched them over to the layer feed by 8 weeks. They've been on it every since along with vegetable scraps and oyster shell. What do you suspect?
     
  4. minichicks05

    minichicks05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you de wormed them recently they might have a type of worm like round worms if they have that and you did not work then I recommend purinia chicken dewormer.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I suspect urolithiasis and gout. 8 weeks is way too young for birds to be on layer feed - like at least 10 weeks too young.
    They should have a feed that is 1% calcium while growing. Layer is 4% calcium.
    A chicken has 6 kidney segments among its two kidneys. Excess calcium will damage the kidneys until the segments no longer function. A bird can appear healthy and continue to lay eggs as long as they have 2 functioning segments. Once the remaining segments fail, the bird can die within 24 hours with no other symptoms.

    Any time one has unexplained deaths, a necropsy will get to the problem. I'll bet if you had done so, gout and kidney damage is what you would have found.

    http://www.hyline.com/aspx/redbook/redbook.aspx?s=5&p=36

    http://poultryinfo.co.za/articles/Old/avian-urolithiasis-eng.pdf

    http://www.neobio.biz/database/n-5data5-2/n-5data5-2-7.pdf

    Worms won't kill them so fast without other signs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  6. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    What was their body condition like? Thin? Normal? What did their feet and legs look like?
     
  7. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have not dewormed, but I regularly use cayenne in the feeders.
     
  8. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Both girls looked normal, bodies were normal - the second one was just finishing a molt. Their crops were a little soft from not eating alot. Both abdomens were soft. Vents were clear, no drainage.
    I did not do a necropsy on either; quite honestly I wouldn't know what to look for. We've raised meat birds and processed plenty of them, but we don't really analyse the insides.
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    What state are you in? Every state has at least one poultry lab specifically for doing necropsies. Some states are free. Without lab work, it's a guess.

    A couple of the links I gave you show pictures of damaged kidneys. The second one is the better. I have another link I'll try to find with much better pictures.

    ETA
    This is the link but I can't get it to come up right now.

    http//nhjy.hzau.edu.cn/kech/synkx/dong/2bao/UrolithiasisChina.pdf
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  10. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did not know this. This seems the likely scenario. We always kept our store bought chicks on medicated chick crumble for 16 weeks. This year our 12 TSC chicks started on a mix of layer mash and chick crumble at about 10 weeks. I hope they will be ok.
     

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