Sudden death? 2 Month old Easter Egger

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by IdasChickens, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. IdasChickens

    IdasChickens In the Brooder

    Jul 26, 2013
    Hi everyone. It has been a while since I last posted. I hope you are all doing well!

    Sadly, I'm having kind of a bummer of a day. As my title sates; just went out to my coop to discover one of my small EE dead on the ground.

    WARNING: Incoming long text!!

    ~2 month old EE

    In our smaller coop (sorry, I don't know the dimensions but I know that it is enough space for them all...) with the rest of her flock she came with (8) and another 9 from a group about a week older, so there was 18 total. All from Ideal poultry; pullets. Only about a week apart in age. Have all been together in same space for about a month.

    None of them are in with our older birds, however, I go back and forth from coops to coops and our other birds DO free-range.

    There was some pecking initially, but I always check everyone over. None had peck marks, blood, or missing feathers. Nothing indicating a violent nature.

    Clean food and water everyday, and night too.

    I keep the coop as clean as possible. I would say I do a thorough (okay, I don't bleach everything down, but I get rid of anything that may be moldy or damp) cleaning out once a month, more or less, depending on the mess, smell, and weather.

    Food is new, not moldy or funky as far as I can tell. Covered. No evidence of rodent dropping (the cat does and awesome job!)

    Using straw and pine shaving deep litter method. Stirring it up often to keep it dry.

    We HAVE NOT added better vents to our coop (yet) and I have noted that there has been some dust really kicking up in there the last few days. We had/ have plans to deal with that this weekend. And on that note; I did NOT notice any respiratory distress in any of the birds, though, I am going to check again and keep my eyes peeled.

    The bird that died seemed fine up until about last night when I noticed she seemed more lethargic than the others. It was night though, so I brushed it off, thinking she was probably just trying to get comfy in the roost. She was looking ruffled. Prior to that, she was the most active bird.

    There have been some oily looking poops in the small bird coop, but I researched that and they looked (normal), "oily type poops". Energy levels all seemed good though, so I didn't worry about it then. Also, this has not effected my older birds at again, I chalked it up to the food being too rich. Things seemed to improve after I gave them all some plain yogurt and made sure they had some grit, etc. This was a little over a week ago.

    I examined the body of the dead bird; no mites. crop is empty, no discharges, no missing feathers, no blood. She did feel thin to me, but then again; how do I tell if a chicken is too thin?

    Her weight and mass did seem relative to the other birds I have raised about her age. I had seen her eating and drinking. They have tons of access to food and water. None the less, I have the older birds (the ones they were housed with) separated now....just to make sure that the littler ones are getting food too.

    Next to lastly, and this is the "wild card"; there was one chick that arrived in the same shipment with really bad pasty butt. Really bad. I was keeping her clean but her butt was getting bald because of how bad it was. I tried yogurt, apple cider vinegar. Finally, we had to dispatch her a week or so ago. I checked her that day, and she just seemed to be leaking a clear fluid from her vent. ALL the other birds seemed fine...there were no other issues with any at this point.

    The reason we kept her so long was that she seemed happy. Eating and drinking and all that. Also, I have had lots of chicks rebound from the gut issues before....anyway, after I discovered the clear fluid, and we dispatched her, I DID clean the coop. All the bedding, washed down the surfaces with water and bleach. Cleaned out food containers with water and white vinegar.

    ANYWAY, lastly; NONE of them are dewormed. I hadn't dewormed our first,...... Yup, on my way to the farmers supply right now to get some dewormer (recommendations anyone?), to at least keep on hand. I have never noticed any signs of parasites before, and I've looked, though not to say they don't exist.

    Could my older birds have given my younger birds something from outside (even though the older hens seem okay?) Do the little chicks have a slow progressing illness from elsewhere?

    Did I screw up by keeping the older chicks with the younger chicks, are they bullying behind my back? The Black Cooper Marans are pretty bossy and very dominant...

    I now know I should have dewormed them all....but wouldn't I have seen some other sign that there are parasites, other than the poops (which appear okay [normal] according to the infamous chicken poop chart)?
    Sorry for the rant. As you can tell, I'm a little sad over this. And frustrated! [​IMG]

    Hope you are all having a better day! I truly appreciate the help.



    Edit: I just wanted to add that they are still using their red heat lamp too, when the temps dip.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Coccidiosis can be a problem at 8 weeks old, probably the most common one. Symptoms are sitting puffed up, lethargy, diarrhea, not eating, ruffled feathers, and weakness even not being able to stand. Treatment is Corid (amprollium, Amprol, Ampromed,) in the water. Dosage is 2 tsp of the liquid, or 1.5 tsp of the powder per gallon of water for 5-7 days. A necropsy by your state vet can give you a cause of death. Sorry for your loss.
  3. IdasChickens

    IdasChickens In the Brooder

    Jul 26, 2013
    Thank you so much for your response, Eggcessive.

    I am going to look into this.

    I appreciate your support.


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