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sudden death in chickens

zluxtonzluxton Junior Member
edited August 2009 in Producers and Vets
Hi, A client of ours has a large number of laying chickens. The other morning she found 20 of one of her small fancy breeds dead. They were 12 weeks old and absolutely fine the previous day. The weather in the night had been quite rough and wet but they had good shelter in their box in the yard. We are not poultry experts so any ideas would be much appreciated!
Thanks all. Zoe


  • LJLLJL Junior Member
    edited January 2009
    Three days ago I went to let the chickens out 3 were dead, from that time we have had another 6 die. The vet was notified after the first 5 and suggested poisoning, as we had recently wormed our horses. All our chooks are free range. Two that went down responded to antibiotics that I keep in our fridge and are back to full health. The symptoms are similar to coccidiosis or botulism. The last chicken to go down, we have sent to the Dept of Primary industries. If it is poisoning I am wondering why they are responding to the antibiotics. Sorry, this probably isn't much help, it is very distressing to see so many birds go down in such a short time. I hope you get an answer soon
  • skoobyskooby Junior Member
    edited January 2009
    You say large number, approx how many?, where all the deaths in one area e.g. could it have been a smother, have there been any more deaths?
  • zluxtonzluxton Junior Member
    edited January 2009
    thanks guys. There were 20 dead, not all in one place, some in the yard, some in the hen house. No further deaths that I know of so I am not sure if it is worth treating any of the survivors.
  • BackYardBeautiesBackYardBeauties Junior Member
    edited May 2009
    I did a google and found that you have toads in the Falklands ( please correct me if Im wrong)young healthy birds ( seems to be only the young affected as my more mature ones survived) will drop dead over night from toad poisoning. Im not sure from your description if that is what happened, that they were fine and then found the next day dead all over the yard, but if that is the case I would suspect a toad in the water bowl.

  • from field to forkfrom field to fork Senior Member
    edited May 2009
    How extraordinary!

    It could be worth getting one of the bodies autopsied!
  • blondeblonde Senior Member
    edited May 2009
    chances are it is not poisoning but a bug that your chooks have picked up so hence they are responding to antibiotics.
  • phoenixlipophoenixlipo Junior Member
    edited May 2009

    While tucking the chickens in the coop the past two nights, I noticed one of my Golden Penciled Hamburgs in a nest box. I thought she might be starting to get broody, but this morning when I let the chickens out of the coop I found her - dead in a nest box. She was one of my soft shell layers, and I checked her vent just last night. There was dried yolk and egg white on the feathers under her vent, but the vent itself was clear.

    Phoenix Lipo
  • from field to forkfrom field to fork Senior Member
    edited May 2009
    Is this a sign of the "egg binding" that we hear about a lot on this forum?
  • blondeblonde Senior Member
    edited May 2009
    Are there any poisonous spiders in your area. I would be really worried If I was losing this many chooks...supposedly for no apparent reason. I would be looking down the coop at night to see what I could see with a strong torch or spot light. I would also be possible moving all my hens to another spot on the farm. At least till I could ascertain what the problem might be. I would also be getting a vet involved just incase it was not something really serious....just a few thoughts.
  • from field to forkfrom field to fork Senior Member
    edited May 2009
    There are 15 or 20 chicken ailments which can cause sudden death. The odd thing is that it happened to 20 at once.

    Did the birds die on their backs or on their sides? ]Yes it does make a diffeernce. Did they display any signs of nervousness or paralysis before death? Any muscular shivering? Marked loss of appetite? reduced feed consumption.? Drops in egg production? Depression? Coughing? Nasal and ocular discharge? Swollen face? Cyanosis [blueing] of comb/wattles. Diarrhoea (what colour)?

    The symptoms are as you can see pretty complex. If your friendis in commercial production she should be seeing her vet.
  • flintstoneflintstone Senior Member
    edited June 2009
    There is probably a section on this site that covers all of the above and it is probably a case of read up on the site. Ask questions later. I also agree a vet should be on board if she is a commercial grower. If not then a vet should be consulted anyway with that many birds dying over night
  • anandikavanandikav Junior Member
    edited August 2009
    i think that is happen due to virus attack only.
    climatic change didn't kill huge numbers at a time
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