I am looking for someone with decent knowledge in raising chickens to help me with this one... I have been raising chickens and ducks for over 15 years and I have never seen anything like this before.
About 3 months ago I purchased 21 assorted breed chicks from Tractor Supply Co. All were happy healthy pullets who never had any signs of sickness at all. Two days ago, I woke up to find 20 of them dead in my yard with only one left alive under a tree; barely breathing and unable to stand. All of them were scattered around like they had died suddenly on the spot-some on their sides, some curled up in a ball next to each other, and some face first in the dirt. No markings or signs of injury were found on any of them. It was the most shocking thing I have ever seen.
Now the strange part: I have 5 other older chickens and 2 ducks kept in the same yard, but all of them are fine. They are all fed the same feed and drink the same water. This is why I do not believe it was bad feed, or anything in the water since the other chickens and ducks were unaffected.
The only difference between my pullets and the other chickens is the area in which they sleep. But during the day, they are all together. All are kept in a secure fenced area as well, so I am sure it was not an animal that killed them. Plus as I mentioned before, none had any injuries on them.
The one that survived I am keeping in a box on my porch to monitor. She does not have any function in her legs or body, and can only lay on her side. She cannot move except to eat and drink slowly, and occasionally kicks her legs. However, she seems to be getting better slowly, which is why I am worried that this may be a horrible disease of some sort.
To add to the worry, my brother found two dead birds earlier this week in my yard while cutting the grass.
So please, I am in desperate need of some help from someone who has maybe heard of this happening before or knows of any diseases that could possibly wipe out a whole flock of perfectly happy, friendly chickens in one night. Its the strangest thing I have ever seen in my life and any help would be greatly appreciated.