Sudden death

WillowsFarm

Hatching
Jun 9, 2020
4
10
5
Hello, new to the this website but decided to join as we lost all 19 of our 4 and a half week old chicks a couple days ago. We did everything right, kept them in two different big steel tubs, we used pine chips, had brinsea hot plates, constantly changed their water and made sure it was clean and warm, constantly cleaned out their food and made sure it was full we even kept the birds in the big galvanized tubs that you see in tractor supply in the house so we knew we could control their heat better, we kept a thermometer in their as well. They were growing great and were almost fully feathered. Then we fed them one night and 15 minutes later they all started to die and within 3 minutes of eachother they were almost all gone, it was awful. It started when I heard flapping from one and checked the tubs and it was laying face first seemingly dying/dead. grabbed it and it was and we were utterly shocked. then we noticed another was having a seizure and slumped over and then went belly up and as we started to look at all of them we noticed they were all breathing heavy and slumping and flapping and going belly up and then 3 minutes later we were left with only one of them as my wife was screaming and crying because we felt so helpless. The one left mustve ate last and seemed ok but sure enough a couple minutes later heavy breathing slumping and then flapping and seizing and then dying. We have submitted 2 of the birds for necropsy and we are testing the food. We checked DuMor chick starter online and and noticed there was a recall for too much calcium between december and february however ours was made in march but it was the exact same brand number from the recall. So we don't know exactly what happened yet but it has to be poisoning right? I've never seen such a mass death before in chickens and so close within eachother and 15-20 minutes directly after feeding them more of their food. Please let me know what you guys think, as I NEVER wan't to experience this type of thing again it was terrible watching these birds we had grown to love go one after another after another so quickly.
 

renk777

Songster
Apr 28, 2017
490
455
177
East Coast, NJ
Hello, new to the this website but decided to join as we lost all 19 of our 4 and a half week old chicks a couple days ago. We did everything right, kept them in two different big steel tubs, we used pine chips, had brinsea hot plates, constantly changed their water and made sure it was clean and warm, constantly cleaned out their food and made sure it was full we even kept the birds in the big galvanized tubs that you see in tractor supply in the house so we knew we could control their heat better, we kept a thermometer in their as well. They were growing great and were almost fully feathered. Then we fed them one night and 15 minutes later they all started to die and within 3 minutes of eachother they were almost all gone, it was awful. It started when I heard flapping from one and checked the tubs and it was laying face first seemingly dying/dead. grabbed it and it was and we were utterly shocked. then we noticed another was having a seizure and slumped over and then went belly up and as we started to look at all of them we noticed they were all breathing heavy and slumping and flapping and going belly up and then 3 minutes later we were left with only one of them as my wife was screaming and crying because we felt so helpless. The one left mustve ate last and seemed ok but sure enough a couple minutes later heavy breathing slumping and then flapping and seizing and then dying. We have submitted 2 of the birds for necropsy and we are testing the food. We checked DuMor chick starter online and and noticed there was a recall for too much calcium between december and february however ours was made in march but it was the exact same brand number from the recall. So we don't know exactly what happened yet but it has to be poisoning right? I've never seen such a mass death before in chickens and so close within eachother and 15-20 minutes directly after feeding them more of their food. Please let me know what you guys think, as I NEVER wan't to experience this type of thing again it was terrible watching these birds we had grown to love go one after another after another so quickly.
I've never heard of this happening and so many! My gut got all twisted just reading this...horrific! You have a similar setup to ours. I too, would suspect the food. Was it a new bag or had you fed from this bag previously? Had you changed the water too? If so, is the water tap water? Municipal or well? I've heard of people losing entire aquarium stock because chorine/chloramine levels were so elevated, that even though they treated water with recommended amount of neutralizer, it wasnt enough. Water company screwed up. I believe I read of one case where hobbyist had water tested and proved level exceeded safe levels. So if you have the the opportunity, maybe get your water tested as well? I would think an adult chicken could handle a little excess chlorination and sun would reduce exposure further as far as the chlorine is concerned. Chloramine... not so much. But 4.5 week old chicks are tiny. I would think that's a huge shock to their system . Probably isn't the water but even to just rule it out and hold feed company accountable would be a plus. I am so sad to hear of your experience. Sending hugs
 

WillowsFarm

Hatching
Jun 9, 2020
4
10
5
Did you check the feed for mold?

Yes no mold, food was kept in the house and rolled closed every time we weren't using it. the bag was only 5 weeks old.

Also to address renk777 - Thanks so much, we just moved into this house last february and had our well water tested before we moved in and everything is safe. we feed our goats and dog this water as well and every one has been healthy.

thanks kiwiandpeachthepigeons
 

MysteryChicken

Enabler
May 31, 2018
20,058
43,874
1,051
East, Tawas Michigan
Yes no mold, food was kept in the house and rolled closed every time we weren't using it. the bag was only 5 weeks old.

Also to address renk777 - Thanks so much, we just moved into this house last february and had our well water tested before we moved in and everything is safe. we feed our goats and dog this water as well and every one has been healthy.

thanks kiwiandpeachthepigeons
If I were you, I'd switch to dumor 24% chick starter grower feed next time? I've been feeding my chicks this since the recall happened.
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,472
10,840
611
North Florida
Just a thought on the feed, this has happened to me many times. The top of the bag may look fine and the feed at the bottom is not. Sometimes bags get wet before getting put on the shelf for sale, and spoil starts. I always empty the entire bag into another container before feeding any to my birds, so I see the whole bag, top to bottom. I have taken more bags than I'd like to admit back to the store after doing so. If there is any doubt at all, I won't feed it to my birds. It may be a color change, an off or bad odor, or clumping in the feed. I had one bag that smelled so bad after a mile down the road I turned around and took it back right then. Sometimes, strange as it may sound, smelling the sewn strip at the bottom of the bag will clue you in to any spoilage, and yes I do this despite the looks I sometimes get.
I'm so sorry that this happened to you, and I hope you get solid answers as to what happened, whether it was the feed, or not. :hugs
 

MysteryChicken

Enabler
May 31, 2018
20,058
43,874
1,051
East, Tawas Michigan
Just a thought on the feed, this has happened to me many times. The top of the bag may look fine and the feed at the bottom is not. Sometimes bags get wet before getting put on the shelf for sale, and spoil starts. I always empty the entire bag into another container before feeding any to my birds, so I see the whole bag, top to bottom. I have taken more bags than I'd like to admit back to the store after doing so. If there is any doubt at all, I won't feed it to my birds. It may be a color change, an off or bad odor, or clumping in the feed. I had one bag that smelled so bad after a mile down the road I turned around and took it back right then. Sometimes, strange as it may sound, smelling the sewn strip at the bottom of the bag will clue you in to any spoilage, and yes I do this despite the looks I sometimes get.
I'm so sorry that this happened to you, and I hope you get solid answers as to what happened, whether it was the feed, or not. :hugs
I've had to take moldy food back to the store at least three times. It was last year, it was like 2 bags of chick feed, & 1 bag of layer crumbles. I noticed the feed was green instead of the usual tan color.
 

humblehillsfarm

Crowing
Mar 27, 2020
3,040
5,810
391
Southwestern Pennsylvania
My Coop
My Coop
Just a thought on the feed, this has happened to me many times. The top of the bag may look fine and the feed at the bottom is not. Sometimes bags get wet before getting put on the shelf for sale, and spoil starts. I always empty the entire bag into another container before feeding any to my birds, so I see the whole bag, top to bottom. I have taken more bags than I'd like to admit back to the store after doing so. If there is any doubt at all, I won't feed it to my birds. It may be a color change, an off or bad odor, or clumping in the feed. I had one bag that smelled so bad after a mile down the road I turned around and took it back right then. Sometimes, strange as it may sound, smelling the sewn strip at the bottom of the bag will clue you in to any spoilage, and yes I do this despite the looks I sometimes get.
I'm so sorry that this happened to you, and I hope you get solid answers as to what happened, whether it was the feed, or not. :hugs
Wow that's great advice. I've always dumped mine, purely to have a more functional container, but when I got chicks, I put the bag in the garage next to the brooder rather than dumping it (and it was Dumor, purchased in March :/ ) Thankfully, nothing bad has happened.
 

WillowsFarm

Hatching
Jun 9, 2020
4
10
5
Just a thought on the feed, this has happened to me many times. The top of the bag may look fine and the feed at the bottom is not. Sometimes bags get wet before getting put on the shelf for sale, and spoil starts. I always empty the entire bag into another container before feeding any to my birds, so I see the whole bag, top to bottom. I have taken more bags than I'd like to admit back to the store after doing so. If there is any doubt at all, I won't feed it to my birds. It may be a color change, an off or bad odor, or clumping in the feed. I had one bag that smelled so bad after a mile down the road I turned around and took it back right then. Sometimes, strange as it may sound, smelling the sewn strip at the bottom of the bag will clue you in to any spoilage, and yes I do this despite the looks I sometimes get.
I'm so sorry that this happened to you, and I hope you get solid answers as to what happened, whether it was the feed, or not. :hugs

I was near the bottom of the bag when this happened, so we were assuming whatever poisonous stuff in the bag may have shifted towards the bottom and was concentrated there which is why it affected them so drastically. We did find tiny clumps in the bag but very tiny like the size of a quarter and only about 2 of them and we just threw it out and chocked it up to just natural defects within food, like with dog food youll get two kibbles fused together or something. Everything else was regular dry and granular looking. From now on we will be dumping all the food in a big plastic container with a top instead of keeping it in the bag but these are minor changes as i still cant rationalize how terrible the reaction was and so quickly. It has to be more than regular spoilage of food that seemed the exact same as when we opened it? I'm getting a prelim from the necropsy report by friday so hopefully i can update everyone by then on what may have happened. Until then i'm working with purina and tractor supply to make this right.
 

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