Two dead birds with no signs of sickness-spiders?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LCARTER87, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. LCARTER87

    LCARTER87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2011
    Phoenix, Arizona
    In the past month we have lost two birds, one bird was approx. 1 1/2 she was always super healthy and one of our top birds, we were on vacation and our friends said she was fine in the morning, they came home and she was dead in the coop, our second bird we hatched ourselves and was maybe 6-8 months old, I noticed her acting funny on Tuesday, and by funny i mean that normally she would run from me to pick her up, but she just stood there by herself on the side of the house and let me hold her. Come Wednesday I found her also dead in the coop.

    Today I went to grab one of our birds out of the coop because she is broody and a small brown spider was crawling on me, i instantly killed it out of instinct but then I started looking around and noticed that there are some small webs in the coop. Could it be that my birds are getting bit by spiders and this is what is killing them?

    -Its not the heat, they have a substantial about of water and food everywhere, and get fresh greens everyday
    -Our older bird never showed any signs of sickness, no sneezing, not eating or separating herself from the flock, she was fine, we orignall thought that she possibly fell off the roosting bar just right and broke her neck but now I dont know.
    -The younger bird was completely fine up until about a day before she passed away, she was always super healthy, she was sneezing but I highly doubt a respiratory infection took her that soon.

    -If this is spiders, what can I do to protect my birds? I was thinking of cleaning it extremely well, pulling out all of the straw and investigating it, cleaning out the nesting boxes, (we just recently put new one's in, maybe this is where they are??)

    I know chickens are hearty to venom stings from scorpions but spiders?

    What should I be cleaning the coop out with? Should I just dust the whole place with seven dust? I cant loose another bird this whole expierance of loosing them has been taking a toll on me

    Any help would be so much appreciated!!
     
  2. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When you have sudden sickness & death, the only way you will really know what caused the deaths is by a necropsy by your state poultry pathology lab. When I am completely mystified (and if I have the time), I immediately refrigerate the body (DO NOT FREEZE: ONLY REFRIGERATE). I take to my State's lab. For a nominal fee, they thoroughly necropsy the bird & run the tests. I normally get two reports, one from the initial examination and a later more detailed report. I have called with more questions and obtained more answers. Usually, what I believed was wrong. I drive mine to one of three labs as it is not that long a drive.

    Chickens are very good at hiding illness. This is a survivor mechanism -- hide sickness/ injury so one is not picked on by flock-mates. By the time you notice something, it is too late.

    Anything someone could say on here would be speculation. I seriously doubt it is a spider. I have Black Widow Spiders galore (I find them everywhere & must be careful where I put my hands), but to my knowledge have not lost a bird to them (I do not know what you have in AZ).

    One of your State labs appears to be:

    Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
    University of Arizona
    2831 North Freeway
    Tucson, AZ 85705
    (520) 621-2356
     
  3. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    I agree with cgmccary, I don't think spiders caused the deaths of your two chickens. I would also note that scorpions definitely can be a problem in Phoenix. Many folks on our BYC AZ thread can share horror stories of chickens being stung by scorpions. Having said that, lots of things can cause sudden death in chickens. Did you notice any other unusual symptoms prior to the death of the second chicken?
     
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    spring hill, florida
    I just lost 2 a week apart. No symptoms, just found dead. No idea why.
     
  5. LCARTER87

    LCARTER87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2011
    Phoenix, Arizona
    The second chicken was sneezing before she passed away, but she didnt have runny nose, or foggy eyes, she looked fine! Besides that she was keeping to herself, she normally has a little friend she is always with.
     
  6. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    When a chicken keeps to themselves away from the larger group it usually indicates they are not feeling 100% and are trying to avoid the flock killing them which can and does happen.

    So it pays to keep a special eye on birds that stay off from the rest.
     
  7. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    It doesn't sound like spider bite to me (or scorpion). You would expect to see either neurological symptoms (neurotoxins: paralysis, weakness, shaking, seizures) or severe necrosis where it was bitten (hemotoxin: rotting of the flesh around the bite).
     
  8. JD4570

    JD4570 Chillin' With My Peeps

    A spider bite can be undetected if the chicken ate the spider without killing it first. Lost two roosters and a hen that way. I've since remedied the problem.
     
  9. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    Were the birds necropsied? I've spoken with entomologists before and essentially based on what I've been told, that the USA, this seems highly unlikely.
     

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