unexpected death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by invalidsession, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. invalidsession

    invalidsession Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 30, 2008
    Over a period of 9 months, we have experienced a curious pattern of demise with our chickens. We started with a flock of 15 Buff Orpington pullets, and added 4 sex-links.The sex links showed an immediate propensity to fly the coop while the B.O's seemed to be perfectly happy within their realm.Unsurprisingly, we lost the Sex-links to overhead predators, but, we still have a steady decimation of our original flock to whit, we seem to be losing a bird at approximately 3-4 weeks regardless of our precautions.The coop is warm and dry, predator free. Does anybody have any indication as to what might be the problem? Just today, I went to feed the birds early this morning, and discovered our Rooster, Big Pappa, dead among the other chickens.

  2. the Old Rebel

    the Old Rebel Rest in Peace -2011

    May 12, 2007
    Hendersonville NC
    I don't think I can help you here, but hopefully someone will. I am soooooo sorry for your losses though.

    Are you examining your chickens?? Are there any wounds anywhere?? Do they have external parasites?? Look around the vent area for egg casings or moving things. Also flip the neck feathers up and look for tiny moving things. Also look under the wings.

    Check the crop. Is it hard or really full? Is there any sign of diarrhea or a clogged vent?? Is there meat on the breastbone??

    These are just a few of the signs of what might be wrong with a bird. Someone else on here (has Maxx in their username) has been having an ongoing problem with unexplained losses. I don't know if he ever found out what was going on or not. I'll try to find the post for you and pm you with the link.

    Good luck. I HOPE you find out what is going on. Every loss is just that.... such a loss!! I can empathize with you. I've had too many tragic losses this year myself.
  3. invalidsession

    invalidsession Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 30, 2008
    Thank you for your helpful insights. No sign of obvious attack or illness. Just a peculiar/random loss of birds. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the loss, in fact, it appears to be completely mysterious. The flock appear to be happy and content, it's just that every now and again, we lose a bird.[​IMG]

    Could it be random selection?[​IMG] i.e. the birds are forming a basis for survival given their surroundings ? But why would they choose to lose their leader ? Big Poppa was a gentle rooster who had a propensity to care for his flock and other than his natural instinct to attempt to breed was otherwise the perfect rooster and protector.
  4. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2009
    Seminole, OK
    Walk in your coop at night after the chickens have bedded down for the night. Listen very carefully for any wheezing or rattling noises. It could be a URI of some sort. Chickens don't usually show any signs of illness until they are pretty much right at death's door. I found that out the hard way... [​IMG]

    It might also be the best time to check for mites - they are sneeky little buggers! Chickens seem to be subject to a wide variety of issues - disease, predators and pests. I've had more trouble with this flock I've had for only a couple of months, than I had with the flock I had 20 years ago - and I had them for nearly ten years!
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009

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