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February 4, 2011
I've lost 3 chickens in 3 days, and it is a bit worrisome. I've read online about it, but it's not much comfort. You tend to want to have a reason. One was a Buff Orp, not usually considered a weak link, and 2 of my favs, the little Partridge Rocks with their feathered feet. The BO was dead in the nest box , both of the PR's were just lying in their yard, one in the daytime, but the other was out all night and I didn't know it. I do think she died before they all went in tho'. I just didn't see her until the following morning because we had gotten back late and closed them up in the dark. Now, here's the thing: we just recently started keeping them in their yard, all winter and into the spring I've been letting them out to roam where they wished. Could this be part of the problem? I never realized that oystershells were important until I read about it online, and I am wondering if that could be another reason. I figured they would get enough from their layer pellets.Over the winter, they have either pecked at each other's feathers or they are having a dreadfully long molt. Most are hen-pecked on their rears and lower back areas. They look kind of raggedy, but I kept thinking this would improve as the weather improved and they could get out more. If pecking at each other resulted in injury that might be another cause. Any of your thoughts or experiences would be really appreciated.Feeling blue.
August 30, 2008
February 27, 2011
I'm sorry you feel blue An occasional death here and there happen. Having three or more is worrisome.
I do not think that anything you have said – oyster shells, pecking, staying out all night, etc. are at fault, but of course I do not know. Which is my point, actually, you don't know and won't unless you have it looked into, so my suggestion is to have the bodies looked at by a professional. Your ag extension agent or a vet would best answer your questions, especially if there is any more death.
I'll send out good energy and hopes for a happy ending for you!
February 10, 2009
Good info on both counts from both Cat and Shari. I agree the feeding sounds fine… if not, mine are in danger because that's exactly how mine live! The layer pellets should be fine, though some free choice oyster shell is always handy especially when they free range a lot. All the lack of it would do is cause thin shells, not major health problems.
Not sure how old your hens are, or if they need worming. Calling your vet to see if you can bring in some fecal samples to have them checked for internal parasites is a possibility too. Not all vet clinics are willing to deal with chickens at all though so it may take some phone calls to find one who will. The extension office may be able to help you with that too, they are generally part of the main state college agriculture department and the veterinary school which is where they often do necropsies to help figure out what the problem is.
As another point, the three deaths may really be just coincidence. I admit it doesn't seem likely, but it is possible.
February 4, 2011
Thanks to all that responded. Knock on wood, all is well. No more losses. I now only have one of the Partridge Rocks left. Does anyone else have these? They seem more reticent than the others and "drop" eggs rather than lay them in the nest boxes. The one I have has feathered feet, so she always looks like she has on fuzzy little slippers. This brood is now almost a year old. Everything I've read suggests that this is a critical age for chickens who might not be "quite right." I will keep your suggestions in mind and contact the extension service. BTW, the rest are a mix of NH Reds, Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, and the one Partridge Rock(sounds like a song).
January 21, 2011
March 20, 2011
hdown, This is a long shot, but I thought it might be worth mentioning. Years ago when I moved to a house with an orchard I would let the chickens free range in it.
Then one year my husband and I got ambitious and dormant sprayed the old orchard. Our hens dropped like flies, but not all of them.
Even though dormant spray oil is "organic" it has copper in it and copper is poisonous to birds. (that includes copper bird baths)
I'm sorry you lost your hens. I hate not knowing why things happen too.
July 15, 2011
I would love to know if you've had any more losses, hdown. I am fairly new to having chickens – we have 9 hens and 2 roos. About a week ago one of the roos (a blue orpington) came out of the coop and staggered around. I removed him from the coop and have been nursing him the best I can. He would lie on his side in the beginning and I thought I should probably put him out of his misery but every day he gets better. He now tries to stand more often but will topple over if distracted. At first his poop was bright (dark) green but now it's a grayish green color and seems pretty normal. He eats and drinks. He talks to me. I really don't know what to do! Has anybody had this happen? Any ideas what might be wrong? I am so afraid that my others will get sick too!
May 13, 2011
About a week ago one of the roos (a blue orpington) came out of the coop and staggered around. I removed him from the coop and have been nursing him the best I can. He would lie on his side in the beginning and I thought I should probably put him out of his misery but every day he gets better.
Oh I'm having a similar problem with one of my girls. How are you nusing him, I don't know what to do for her I feel so helpless. I just posted a thread asking for help. Any info would be helpful. I'm hoping she makes it.
July 15, 2011
Sorry you are having problems too. I am keeping him on my breezeway in a dog crate and he leans against the sides when he stands. I'm thinking it might be Marek's disease. I've read that it's a very contagious disease and that sometimes they recover but most times they don't. I'm on the fence as to whether I want him to survive! I don't want to spread this to my other chickens. But for now I'm just feeding him his regular grower crumbles moistened with water and offering water that has electrolytes and vitamins in it. I give him cottage cheese and fresh tomatoes, whole grain bread once in a while. He seems to be eating just fine. It's the balance that's off. What are your hen's symptoms? Is she eating at all? He started with lying on his side the whole day, hardly could hold up his head and his eyes closed like he was exhausted. That lasted about one day, then he gradually got better and he's now sitting up alert, tries to stand whenever you walk near him or the dog or one of the cats walk by but he can't really stand for too long without leaning on the sides of the cage… poor thing. I hope your hen is better.
May 13, 2011
Thank you for getting back to me, I’m sorry your roo is still feeling under the weather.
My hen’s symptoms started out very similarly. We found her lying in the back of the coop legs out to one side and could barely stand. We put her in a cat crate in the house so she could be near food and water. The second day she acted like she wanted to move around so we gave her the option of going it to the old chick brooder, she came out but just laid around but she finally ate her crumbles which we put probiotics in and some yogurt. By that evening she was up and walking around a little trying to perch on things. The next morning she was acting completely normal, we found a huge hard poop in the crate, so I don’t know if she was constipated or what. I had checked her for pasty butt when we first brought her in, but she was clean. We put her back outside and kept an eye on her. Now she is back to normal. I hope your boy has a turn around. It so hard to watch them go through this.
February 4, 2011
Sorry I've been offline so long, but summer just got busy! Mary, just to let you know, I will put a pic of Fuzzy Feet on as soon as she's finished growing out her feathers. She went through a molt, looking mighty pathetic, but is growing new ones now.
Jamitysmom, let us know how your sick chicken fares. You've worked hard to keep her afloat, so to speak, so hope she makes it.
As far as publishing another article like "A Mother's Job" I am searching my files for something that works for CITR. Stay posted, I will get there!
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