Chicken Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have raised chickens the best part of my 75 years. Have something I have not encountered until recently. My chicken house is clean, I throw dust on around, no mites, plenty of fresh clean water, feed 28% grower and 16% laying pellets. Rhode Island Red hens I purchased from a hatchery (hatched 4/1/22 do not lay, at all. I have feeders full, check every day. I have lost a lot of pullets, find them weak or already dead, pick them up, and have less than a pound in my hand. Breast bone has nothing on either side, (no meat), just a sharp breast bone, no weight at all. The ones the were weak I took out, put down food and a little water with honey, they took it, yet died. No roosters have died, today I had a what was a full grown hen down, like picking a feathers on skin? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

· Administrator
Joined
·
25,039 Posts
With this kind of wasting I would call the state vet and ask them to necropsies on any other birds that die without outward signs.

If they're that thin that means they haven't been eating for quite a while. Which I'm sure you're aware of.

The other is to look at if their feed. Is it all the same feed from the last time you bought it? Sad to say it's not as unusual as we'd like to think that the feed could be the cause. Being pellets I don't know what you'd look for other than anything on the surface that doesn't look right. With crumbles you look for clumps of feed as well. Does the feed smell fresh?

I've had it happen that bad feed killed only my girls and not the boys. Luckily I caught it early on and only lost two.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
You said “rat poison out”….Remember it is possible that other animals can move the poison bait to stash it for winter. So it may not be where you put it. My wife had placed some poison under a horse matt and some animal moved it to where one of our dogs got some and almost died. We have stopped using any poison on out ranch…..period.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I’m following this thread, because I have the exact thing happening as OP. Started with chicks from Spring 2021. I had 14. Ten where chicks my hens hatched out, and 4 store bought. All but 2 of them died between the ages of 4 - 12 months of age. None of the pullets ever laid a single egg and all just slowly wasted away. Three little roos included. This Spring, the same thing with 7 chicks. Only two pullets are left and one seems to be starting to fail as well. They are almost 8 months old now and have not started laying. We don’t put poison out. I looked through the Chicken Health Handbook, but couldn’t figure it out. I’ve raised chicken for decades and have never seen anything like this. We even pulled up all our azalea bushes, since those can be poisonous, but made no difference. We changed feed too. I’m considering taking one in for necropsy if this continues. I’ve never done that before, but I’m at my wits end trying to figure this out. When it first started happening, I tried to save many of them, by putting them in a hospital cage, indoors, and encouraging them to eat, but it made no difference. Very disheartening.
 

· Administrator
Joined
·
25,039 Posts
@J.B., you really need to contact your state vet. Have a necropsy done. There are just so many things we can do without further intervention, it sounds like you're way past anything we can suggest.

I dealt with our state vet many times since I raised show birds and they had to be tested annually. They were wonderful people and if you can get the vet chatting when on the phone can be very informative.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I’m following this thread, because I have the exact thing happening as OP. Started with chicks from Spring 2021. I had 14. Ten where chicks my hens hatched out, and 4 store bought. All but 2 of them died between the ages of 4 - 12 months of age. None of the pullets ever laid a single egg and all just slowly wasted away. Three little roos included. This Spring, the same thing with 7 chicks. Only two pullets are left and one seems to be starting to fail as well. They are almost 8 months old now and have not started laying. We don’t put poison out. I looked through the Chicken Health Handbook, but couldn’t figure it out. I’ve raised chicken for decades and have never seen anything like this. We even pulled up all our azalea bushes, since those can be poisonous, but made no difference. We changed feed too. I’m considering taking one in for necropsy if this continues. I’ve never done that before, but I’m at my wits end trying to figure this out. When it first started happening, I tried to save many of them, by putting them in a hospital cage, indoors, and encouraging them to eat, but it made no difference. Very disheartening.
I share your frustration. A few of mine have started laying but I will still change their food when what I have is gone. I do not know what neck of the woods you are in, I am in East Tennessee (Elizabethton) and we have been loaded in the sky with chem trails all summer. No idea of what is being put out of the planes. The county water has a high level of metals in it (75ppm) and flouride. Good luck and hope you can find out, seem very odd, two years in a row.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I share your frustration. A few of mine have started laying but I will still change their food when what I have is gone. I do not know what neck of the woods you are in, I am in East Tennessee (Elizabethton) and we have been loaded in the sky with chem trails all summer. No idea of what is being put out of the planes. The county water has a high level of metals in it (75ppm) and flouride. Good luck and hope you can find out, seem very odd, two years in a row.
I am in East Texas. Maybe someone else will come across this post that has had some experience with this mystery wasting condition. I really am confounded after so many years raising healthy flocks. I think I will contact the state vet if it continues.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am in East Texas. Maybe someone else will come across this post that has had some experience with this mystery wasting condition. I really am confounded after so many years raising healthy flocks. I think I will contact the state vet if it continues.
I hope someone does read these and offer ideas.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
What comes to mine with young and wasting is mareks, cocci or lymphoid leukosis. I’ve had mareks in my flock and it’s hard to pinpoint since it’s viral and it comes and goes. There are different kinds and the tumorous kind doesn’t show outwardly symptoms like the paralysis and ocular strains. It affects digestive and immunity so putting them on Corid might help. It’s worth a try to save them and won’t hurt them if they don‘t have it. Hope that helps.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top