Thoughts on unexplained death in Freedom Rangers


In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 19, 2008
Bridgton, Maine
Hello -

I have Freedom Rangers from Freedom Ranger Hatchery (used to be JM, but a son took over the FR end of things, I think). They were hatched 5/11, and received in good health on 5/13. Since then they have been on Poulin Quick Grow Broiler Crumbles, with the addition of some Turkey/game bird crumbles when I ran short before the delivery. They run out of food every now and then, but not on a schedule. They just go through the feed at an incredible rate.

In the past week or so, I have found 3 dead birds; all well fleshed and weighty, most recently this morning. Now it is Memorial Day weekend, and I don't think I'll get any reasonable results from the poultry lab even if I refrigerate the corpse. Obviously, if I have any more issues during the coming week, I will be taking advantage of the state lab.

In the meantime, any thoughts? These birds are going out into tractors just as soon as DH has them constructed.

All that said, I had 25 Freedom Rangers last year, and (1) I don't recall them growing at nearly the fearsome rate as this year (2) I was using different grain - not Poulin, but I don't recall the specifics. But not a one of them died (until the appointed day of death, that is).


Open one up. Look for LOTS of excess fluid in side. Clear yellow fluid.

Do any seem listless, have their heads down, purplish combs, look like they are breathing heavy or panting, or just are overall noticeably slower than other birds as they react to you?

How many birds total did you start with?
Thanks for your help. If I lose another one, I will open it up. This last one was simply too "ripe" to think about - we're having unseasonably warm weather. I have turned off all the heaters.

Haven't noticed difficulty breathing or cyanosis, but I'll go and sit quietly near them for a while and see what I can see. They're under a hover brooder (with space outside it), so it's hard to observe them all at once.

Started out with 102. Now, in theory, have 99.

More later, no doubt.
We got 50 from MT-DI and they are 4 weeks now. Already have had 21 with CHF, ugh. 3 more look bad today. I am giving up on FR, never had CX do this bad, even in the summer fair raising with high number of flip.
17-18 days is a bit early for CHF now that I think of it. Trampling deaths? How big of a brooding area are they in?

Percentage wise your losses are minimal, (unless you are looking at it from the POV of the chicks that died).
Could be trampling. They are in an enclosure about 6 feet across, with a 4X4 hover over them. These guys have grown a lot faster than my last batch, and are probably at or beyond the limits of their area/bird. Tomorrow we will enlarge their area, and as soon as possible after that get them into a couple of 6X12 tractors. Fortunately DH and son are pretty much resigned to that as the next task on the list.

I do understand that these losses are well within the expected parameters, but it somewhat surprises me that the victims were so well fleshed - would have thought they could stand up for themselves.

No sign of blue combs, but a bit of panting - which, given the heat, I am also doing.

Here in Maine we went from cold/rainy to 80-90 degrees over the course of 3 days.


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