Sudden Death Of 10 Chickens And 2 Duck


9 Years
Jun 3, 2010
I have 15 chickens, all mixed variety that have been totally fine for a long time (2 years plus) They were a variety of ages ranging from 3 to 6 months. They were all healthy, moving fine, clean water, food (they also range feed), great coup, etc. last night when they were put to bed, all 15 of them. They were all fine at 7:30 this morning EST. When I got home today at 4:00 pm 10 of them were dead in the pasture ... only one was laying on it's back with it's wings outstretched, most are on their sides. I also had two cayuga ducklings (under six months) that are also dead. Any ideas? They ducks and the chickens were never together. They only think they shared was food. I have one chicken that has not passed away cannot stand up and 5 that are perfectly fine. My vet is baffled. Let me know what you think. Thanks!
Sounds like they got into something they shouldn't have, but I just can't imagine what it would be. Do you have anything there that could be some kind of poison? How about antifreeze...nope, I just looked it up, that seems to take longer.

I'm very sorry about your birds, what a terrible thing. Hopefully someone else here will come along with a better idea of cause.
Where are you located?

There's been sulfur trioxide leaks from the Lucite facility next to Dupont in Millington, TN. It's known to have killed off entire crops in the surrounding area due to chemical burn, BUT, when it's picked up into the atmosphere, then mixed with rain, it is much worse because sulfur trioxide when mixed with water becomes sulfuric acid.

Alot of articles online about dead birds, dead crops, etc due to this.

Then also, if you live near the Gulf of Mexico, then the air/rain may contain chemical dispersant used by BP to dilute oil on the surface of the ocean.

The more information you can provide, the better the folks of BYC can help you. You mentioned that they shared food.. what was the brand.. Any lot number, exp date, etc on it? You may want to have it tested.. Mold can kill animals.. Is there any mold in the feed? Have rodents been able to get into the feed? Rodent droppings can pass disease and parasites.
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We are in Michigan and I was thinking it might be mold as both the ducks and chickens died. The only problem with that is that I have been feeding out of the same back for the last 3 days and I have 5 those are still alive. Fortunately, my "old girl" (my original Bard Rock) is still with us but I lost my beautiful black rooster and his son earlier this week. It is devestating. We used to have them free range all over our yard but now, nothing. Thanks guys!
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So sorry to hear about your loss.
I would switch bags of feed immediately and notify the manufacturer, see if they'd do some testing on a sample you send to them.

The five who lived may have been the ones the others chase away from the feeder, or less assertive members of the flock. Maybe they didn't eat the amounts the others did.

Are you on a well?

I doubt lightening, it would have caused a lot of physical damage (you'd think)
I too would get rid of that food, just in case. My other thought would be botulism. I don't know how fast it will affect them if they get into something but there are quite a few posts on BYC about it. You can give them a Epson salt or molasses flush to help remove it from their system. Just search on BYC for more infomation.

I am sorry you lost your birds. I can't imagine losing that many atone time. I think it has to be environmental

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