Sudden Death in Pullet

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by trobins, May 23, 2019.

  1. trobins

    trobins Hatching

    3
    0
    4
    May 23, 2019
    Hello all,

    I got my first set of chicks in end of May. One of the chicks pretty early on seemed more tired then the rest. Something was off. Then eventually it sounded wheezy and almost like coughing and then died at about 5 weeks. All of the other chicks were fine. An emergency vet friend assumed it was something congenital because if it was a respiratory disease he would expect more chicks to be affected. That I moved on from.

    Now another of our chickens had scissor beak. She ended up being our favorite. We weren't too worried about her because she was the largest of all the chicks. Then recently the others started to surpass her in size so I was worried she wasn't eating enough, but she certainly wasn't wasting away either. I was considering hand feeding her and then suddenly found her dying.

    My pullets (around 7 weeks) have started to lay on top of eachother when sleeping (they have roosts). She was found at the bottom of the heap barely alive. I'm struggling because I don't know if we weren't giving her enough attention as a scissor beak (she was always our most active) or if the chickens are suffocating eachother.

    We recently moved their brooder (in Canada and we are having an unusually cold Spring so I haven't moved them to the coop yet). So I moved it back. I don't think they're cold because they are feathered. I can't figure out why they are pilling on top of eachother. I don't know if I'm being paranoid and the two things aren't connected.

    Just hoping for some guidance. I'm very anal when it comes to animal care and I didn't expect to lose two out of our nine chickens. Especially past chick age. The first death was not a complete surprise, but the second I was not expecting in the slightest.

    - They were vaccinated
    - They were fed medicated feed for the first 6 weeks then switch to regular
    - My two that died are buff orphington hatch mates (my only two)
    - All the rest seem happy and healthy and were from a different hatch

    Thank you for your guidance. Sorry about the long post.
     
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

    13,276
    47,450
    1,292
    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    Man that is a rough thing to deal with.

    Personally since both were the same breed from the same place I would think it is a genetics issue.

    How many chicks total in the brooder?
    Chicks piling in a corner to sleep is actually really normal behavior.

    What kind of feed did you switch to?
    What kind of bedding are you using?

    Any other changes recently?

    Almost forgot.... :welcome

    I am hoping future posts are all happy ones for you. :fl
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Hello...:frow
    Where in Canada and what hatchery were they from?
     
  4. trobins

    trobins Hatching

    3
    0
    4
    May 23, 2019
    There were 9 in the brooder, now 7. I'm paranoid about suffocation because two are silkies and the one silkie is very small compared to everyone (but healthy and increasing in size).

    The only difference in the feed was medicated to non-medicated. We started with pine shavings and switched to Aspen (bigger chips less dust).

    We did remove the heat lamp recently and moved the location of their brooder, but everything I read says they should have been fine. They are feathered and the house is 20C.

    The breeder was DC Poultry in Quebec. They were really great other than these two passing. Everyone else seems healthy (then again I thought the scissor beak was fine).
     
  5. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

    13,276
    47,450
    1,292
    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    With just 7 I am less worried that someone is getting squished like a 30 chick pile could do.

    What about treats? Anything added? How about grit do they have access to grit?
    Issues there usually have symptoms before death though....I still think it was a genetics issue.

    :hugs It is hard losing any birds. I am really sorry you lost your buffs.
     
  6. trobins

    trobins Hatching

    3
    0
    4
    May 23, 2019
    They have grit. I did just start giving them oatmeal.

    Thank you. You've made me feel better about it in a way.
     
  7. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

    13,276
    47,450
    1,292
    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    Please no oatmeal.
    They need their regular food.

    Oatmeal has been found to be detrimental to chickens.

    https://the-chicken-chick.com/the-shocking-effect-of-oatmeal/
     
  8. MomJones

    MomJones Songster

    106
    188
    112
    Feb 22, 2019
    South Carolina
    Following. Keep us updated and I hope you get to the bottom of this problem.
     
  9. so lucky

    so lucky Songster

    555
    195
    211
    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    I sure didn't know that about oatmeal.:eek:
     
  10. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

    13,276
    47,450
    1,292
    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    It was news to me a while back too. I no longer give mine leftover oatmeal.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: