dead chickens : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hello, My neighbour has lost 2 hens in 2 weeks and hasn't a clue why. He said this morning he went into the hen house at 7 am and it was fine but he went in at 8 am and it was dead. He said the first one that died was wobbly on her legs and then wouldn't get up then died. Any ideas why this happening. They are about 5 mo old and just started laying and we have 6 of the same hens and ours are doing just fine. Help!

-- Megan (, June 10, 2000


I have chickens, but am not an expert and mine have never been sick. If you have microsoft, just type in ameraserve. It'll take you to a banner advertisement. Scroll down, on the bottom it says "return to poultry information exchange" click there. Once there click on "read messages". Then post your information. There are real experts there who are very helpful. They can even give you a site to an on-line vet. It's in the posts somewhere right now, but it's down quite far. Good Luck.

-- Jill Woods (, June 10, 2000.

Megan, I got a message that you had tried to e-mail me and it was sent back. Don't know what the problem is, but post here.

-- Jill (AZ) (, June 11, 2000.

Megan, not much to go on here. I'd make sure they had good clean fresh water, plenty of grit, and good food. Could there be rodent bait down that they got into? Is your neighbor poisoning rodents? Sometimes they get in to the coop before they die and the chickens eat them and the poison inside. I can only suggest you check on the food/water/grit at the neighbor's compared to what you're doing and see what if anything is different. If they're locked in the coop, they may be suffering from the heat build up. It may be too dusty, they may have picked up parasites at the neighbor's that you don't have.

If it doesn't stop, repost with more information and we'll see what we can come up with. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, June 11, 2000.

If they just started laying they might have prolapsed. Has your neighbour had a good luck at their posterior? Good Luck.

-- Doreen (, June 11, 2000.

Ask him if his chicks were vaccinated for Mareks. Mareks causes "drunk" poultry without any other symptoms and since it cannot be treated, death. When a flock is infected by this virus it will eventually take them all. Start the flock over in a new area with new birds, preferably vaccinated for Mareks.

-- William in WI (, June 14, 2000.

thanks for the feed back. All I know is that with the first chicken my husband wet over and it was dead but they opened her up and there was undigested crushed egg shells, so my dh thought maybe he wasn't giving enuogh grit. So with another hen dying the neighbour gave her extra grit and she recovered. Then another hen died the next week suddenly he went in at 7 she was fine then 8 and she was dead. I also thought about Mercks but I can't seem to find anything on it, but doesn't it affect mostly chicks?

-- megan (, June 16, 2000.

Were they heavy breed chickens? Sometimes, if the heavy breeds are fed too much, they gain weight too fast and their legs can't support their weight. Then, they go down, and can't eat or drink, and also, they get very stressed. Also, the heavy breeds, especially Cornish cross, are prone to heart attacks. If they end up dead on their backs, it's usually a heart attack.

-- Dan (, June 22, 2000.

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