URGENT HELP PLEASE!!!

Shiloh Rhoda

Hatching
Aug 20, 2019
5
2
4
HI Everyone,

I am a chicken farmer from South Africa. Been farming Broiler chickens for 3 years.
For the first 2 years and 8 months I had a less than 5% mortality per batch.
My last 4 batches in the last 4 months have been a complete disaster. Nothing has changed, every supplier of mine has remained the same.
If anything, I have increased my biosecurity in the last few months, and extended my house resting period, so things should be better, not so much worse. I have lost about 30% of each batch.
Everything goes 100% up until the 5th week, and then all of a sudden the birds start dropping dead, some are perfect, not a scratch, not a lump or bump, absolutely perfect, but dead the following morning. And something I have noticed is that by week 6 the chickens have started to peck at each others thighs and backs, and have massive lesions on their backs, similar to what you get when there isn't sufficient food, and the birds would fight, but - there is always more than enough feed, more than enough feeding containers, drinkers etc and they have never ever fought. So there should not be 1 scratch on these chickens.
I give vaccinations which are Newcastle/IB vaccines at day 10, day 16 is Gumbro and day 21 Newcastle/IB.
I have sent the chickens in for testing, and no issue or disease has come back. The tests come back with no disease or issues whatsoever.
I have noticed the birds behavior changes from when I move from Grower, to finisher feed.
The shavings are always fresh, never wet. there is sufficient air, and no extended lighting.
I am absolutely dumbstruck at what the issue can be. Please can someone let me know if you have experienced this, or similar. Your help, advice or theories are appreciated.

please find attached pics of the birds

your help will be greatly appreciated
 

Attachments

  • IMG-20190618-WA0004.jpg
    IMG-20190618-WA0004.jpg
    122.4 KB · Views: 17
  • IMG-20190618-WA0005.jpg
    IMG-20190618-WA0005.jpg
    131.9 KB · Views: 16
  • IMG-20190618-WA0006.jpg
    IMG-20190618-WA0006.jpg
    130.3 KB · Views: 14
  • IMG-20190618-WA0008.jpg
    IMG-20190618-WA0008.jpg
    116.3 KB · Views: 17
  • IMG-20190618-WA0009.jpg
    IMG-20190618-WA0009.jpg
    126.4 KB · Views: 15
  • IMG-20190618-WA0010.jpg
    IMG-20190618-WA0010.jpg
    135.3 KB · Views: 18
  • IMG-20190816-WA0001.jpg
    IMG-20190816-WA0001.jpg
    139.5 KB · Views: 16
  • IMG-20190816-WA0002.jpg
    IMG-20190816-WA0002.jpg
    116.5 KB · Views: 17
  • IMG-20190816-WA0003.jpg
    IMG-20190816-WA0003.jpg
    110 KB · Views: 18
  • IMG-20190816-WA0004.jpg
    IMG-20190816-WA0004.jpg
    122.9 KB · Views: 17
  • IMG-20190816-WA0006.jpg
    IMG-20190816-WA0006.jpg
    117.7 KB · Views: 16

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
39,566
56,484
1,342
Southern N.C. Mountains
And something I have noticed is that by week 6 the chickens have started to peck at each others thighs and backs, and have massive lesions on their backs, similar to what you get when there isn't sufficient food, and the birds would fight,

I have noticed the birds behavior changes from when I move from Grower, to finisher feed.
I'm sorry for your losses.

I wonder if someone like @Pork Pie may have an idea of what's going on?

You notice the behavior changes once you switch from grower to finisher feed, have you checked with the manufacturer or feed mill to see if they have made any changes to their feed? Just a thought there.

Do you have mosquitoes this time of year? I don't know what's wrong, hopefully others like @Eggcessive @dawg53 @coach723 and @casportpony will chime in with their thoughts as well.
One thing I found "similar" to those lesions is a cutaneous form of Dry Fowl Pox but I'm not seeing it on the face of your chicks, it rarely affects the skin (it's mostly found on the comb, wattles/face though, but it's something to look into. Fowl Pox is a virus transmitted by insects, mostly mosquitoes.

I'm sorry this is happening, I hope you find some answers, it will be interesting to see what others think.

upload_2019-8-20_15-7-5.png

Image Source gross lesions 11
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
61,207
53,496
1,322
southern Ohio
So sorry that you are having such problems. How much room for how many chickens at a time do you have? Do you keep the lights on in the coop for more than 12 hours a day. To me it looks like possible cannibalism from feather loss and pecking. Could there be rats or mice getting to them at night? I think I would look at the amount of romm they have, make sure they can get outside to roam to ease boredom, and increase the protein in the food by keeping them on grower or on an all flock feed. Once they are laying age, they will need access to extra calcium in crushed oyster shell.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,558
39,550
1,106
southern Michigan
So sorry! If necropsies aren't showing what's wrong, what about the feed? Has it changed in any way? Age of feed, % proteins, ingredients, anything?
New 'improved' genetics in your chicks, even from the same supplier?
Parasites, biting insects, weather? Excessive heat?
Have you consulted with your regional or national poultry experts?
All the best,
Mary
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,662
11,146
611
North Florida
My first reaction was the same, something in the feed has changed. You say that nothing has changed, have you looked at every single factor? Lighting, schedule of when things happen during the day, temperature, etc? If the feed is not changed, and nothing else has, then I think I would also try a different source for your birds. Even though the suppliers are the same, the breeding line may have changed. I'm so sorry, I'm sure it's frustrating as heck.
https://extension.psu.edu/poultry-cannibalism-prevention-and-treatment
 

Shiloh Rhoda

Hatching
Aug 20, 2019
5
2
4
Hi Everyone,

Thank you for responses and best wishes,
So sorry that you are having such problems. How much room for how many chickens at a time do you have? Do you keep the lights on in the coop for more than 12 hours a day. To me it looks like possible cannibalism from feather loss and pecking. Could there be rats or mice getting to them at night? I think I would look at the amount of romm they have, make sure they can get outside to roam to ease boredom, and increase the protein in the food by keeping them on grower or on an all flock feed. Once they are laying age, they will need access to extra calcium in crushed oyster shell.

So the spacing is less than the prescribed amount, so that's not the issue.
I don't do extended lighting hours either. At this age they only get outdoor light from 7am to 6 pm, which is about 11 - 12 hours max a day. I do not practice extended lighting.
There are no rats or mice either, as I have poison boxes all around the houses.
Im literally dumbstruck. Never had this issue in 50 batches, only the last 4.
Thankyou so much for your reply.


To answer your questions
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom