Three Barred Rock roosters have died, they don't look hurt or diseased

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LeonKowal, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. LeonKowal

    LeonKowal Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Jan 22, 2011
    Brentsville Va
    I started my coop in early spring with 6 Red Comets and a Barred Rock rooster. This winter when the weather got cold the hens stopped laying eggs and shortly there after my rooster died. I received two more Barred Rock roosters just before the new year. The first one died about a week ago and the other today. In all they don't look like they were bit, pecked at or hurt. All feather seem to be intact. It looks like they just fell over and died. My Red Comets don't seem to be effected by what is going on other than no more egg laying. I use straw in my coop when I first started and had the idea that shredded paper would be a good supplement in the coop also. After the second rooster died I thought that the paper my be having effect on the coop so I removed all paper and straw and added fresh straw alone. A week later my last rooster died (today). The chickens have a 6'x6'x6' coop with 4 nesting boxes access to outside and a fenced area of about 64'x 36' area to be outside. Any ideas on what might be going on? They are being fed hen and chick feed from Southern States.
     
  2. cedar post

    cedar post Chillin' With My Peeps

    509
    2
    141
    Feb 19, 2009
    Seymour,WI.
    I had this same thing happen last winter. For me my roos were eating the shavings and plugging up their system. If your useing straw that's not an issue for you. Someone also told me something about calcium and useing oyster shells and roosters. Hopefully someone can help. Mike
     
  3. LeonKowal

    LeonKowal Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Jan 22, 2011
    Brentsville Va
    Thanks, I'll try the oyster shells and see if anything else comes in.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    70,310
    6,150
    721
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    I really don't think the roosters would eat the oyster shell. It's extra calcium for the hens and they only use it when needed. What are the ages of your roosters? Could you do a necropsy to see what might have gone wrong internally? Sorry for your loss [​IMG] what dod their crops look like, just had a person have to do crop surgery on one of their hens because they had an impactation from eating straw.....
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  5. LeonKowal

    LeonKowal Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Jan 22, 2011
    Brentsville Va
    I'm new to raising chickens, what do you mean by crop? I can do a necropsy but don't know what I would be looking for. The first rooster was almost three years old and came from a brood from my neighbor, he hasn't had any problems with his brood. His brood is in a enclosure with three goats and a pot belly pig. The other two came from a friend whose friend had so may he was looking to get rid of the two roosters, so I don't know how old they were.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    70,310
    6,150
    721
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    When your chickens eat the food goes down the throat into the crop, if you look at your chicken start on[face to face] on the left side of the chest below the neck you should see a bulge if the chicken has eaten good usually it's largest when it goes to roost after eating all day. In the morning it should be flat. If it stays large and hard or squishy then theres a problem in the crop either sour crop which is usually first, you'll notice a smell coming from it's mouth, if it has had sour crop for a while with no way to relieve it, then it will turn into an impactation of the crop, where not much of anything food or water can get through. It's very serious.... I am not saying this is what your roosters died from, it could be numerous possibilities, but after reading about chickens eating straw and wheat, I would not use either for bedding. I use pine shaving. there are other types of bedding also. Heres a site you can look at and it my help you solve this. I would look at the crop of the younger ones first. But the older one my have just died of a heart problem which happens in roosters. If your hens are of laying age I would be sure they are getting the proper amount of calcium and protein, it could be their not laying also because it's winter and shorter day light hours. Which should start to change soon. I'll try to find the link I'm talking about and post again... Be sure to keep a close watch on the rest of your flock just to be sure this isn't anything contagous [sp] heres the link that shows chicken anatomy
    http://poultrykeeper.com/chickens/health/digestive-system-chicken.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  7. LeonKowal

    LeonKowal Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Jan 22, 2011
    Brentsville Va
    Thanks for the advice and the link.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    70,310
    6,150
    721
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    There was a poster not to long ago that lost 2 roosters that died and they did a necropsy and found one of the roos had part of it heart was blackened, which was probably a heart attack or blood clot. but sometimes just by looking you can tell if an organ is healthy tissue or not.. Again sorry for you loss.
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Roosters die of heart attacks more often than hens. They have a high stress job and are always on alert. Other than just dying because they die, I'd look at lice/mites, which can kill a bird and are hard to spot unless you really look closely.
     
  10. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Quote:I have to say, lice/mites - my thoughts also. They (lice/mites pests) are sneaky buggers and winter is the time that they really, really thrive. They can and do suck a bird dry. For some reason, they really like the fluff on roosters. Also, I do not think that roosters dust bathe as often as hens/pullets - so winter when a good dust bathe can be few and far between, the bugs really multiply.


    Two really good, informative articles about lice/mites.

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html



    http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8162.pdf
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by