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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. About a month ago or so I lost one of my chickens, a white leghorn that was hatched in early March. She wasn't laying yet which I thought was a little weird, but since we got her (and the others) she was never the same as the other chickens. She was always slower to develop, her comb was smaller than the others and was smaller than the others. I thought she may have had something wrong with her from the start and didn't think much of her loss other than being sad that she died.

Today, my other white leghorn died. I checked them this morning and all was well, but my wife called me this afternoon and said the chickens were going crazy. She went over to check them and the other girl was in the corner. She also has not started laying and is nearing 9 months old. Her comb was full and red, very pretty, but now is almost colorless.

What can I look for? Is it my coop setup? Is it the feed? Is it an external factor - something getting in my coop? I live in the Baton Rouge, LA area. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have three more chickens that I don't want to lose! Thanks for your help, everyone.
 

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It might be that wherever the hatchery sourced their leghorns from might have had genetic issues.

Are you fermenting the feed? Are they on some sort of calcium supplement for egg laying?

The fact the others were acting crazy suggests there was something there that was a threat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I got 4 from Tractor Supply, but two ended up being roos so I gave them away. I was fermenting the feed, or at least trying but felt like I was doing it wrong so I stopped and have just been giving them the dry feed, Purina medicated start and grow until recently switching over to the Purina Layena as all my chickens are now 20+ weeks old.

I didn't have any calcium supplement, which could explain the lack of eggs. During the day, they are in a sectioned off portion of the yard and in the evening they are confined in the coop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The white leghorns were the same age. And I have a bantam silver laced wyandotte I bought at the same time. The other two were purchased later from a private seller, an Easteregger and a RIR, hatched mid April and early May. No eggs across the board.
 

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Chickens do respond to threats. Especially if the threat is perceived as an illness from another flock member.

I think your patient zero is that one funky chicken and your now named funky chicken may of caught something at the hatchery. It could be something else but this is my best guess. However, nine months past without the others showing any symptoms? So, it might be something new.

I would give them an electrolyte supplement and free choice calcium to start without knowing what exactly it is...

For electrolyte choices, your choice of water, food, hand, or free choice side dish. I prefer water and watch to make sure they will drink it and then if water fails free choice side also making sure they take to it. Hand is my last effort if the chicken is not doing anything on their own and not dead and still have some strength to drink.

For calcium, Oyster shells or washed egg shells are common forms of calcium supplements. I think it would cost under $10 for a 5 lb bag (rough estimate only). This can usually last a while depending on flock size. Be careful on it being palatable. Chickens can be picky.

I will need pictures to see if it is a setup issue, etc. Leghorns usually do fine at 75 degrees and I know you had rain recently I think but this shouldn't be a factor. For feed, I would add free choice calcium all the time. I worry about the lack of eggs however.

One concern I would have due to lack of eggs, lack of calcium, comb symptom, and age frame is egg binding. Here is a link for more helpful info http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/07/chicken-egg-binding-causes-symptoms.html I have no way of determining this however and it is only a concern.
 

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They should still lay. Starter is not so low in calcium that it would make them unable to lay.

I'd say the first one to drop was stunted. Likely from a Pullet egg or just generalized birth defect, can't know for sure of course.

The second one dying is a cause for concern.
The chickens were going crazy at her or in general? As Robin suggested, something may have been after them. On the other side of the coin, did she have any wounds to suggest the others were fighting with her? Were they being nasty to her before and she finally let the stress of the matter take her? Stress can be very fatal for birds and a day of being beaten up and run ragged could have just ended her.

I'd not bet on egg binding, there are more symptoms that would be apparent and its unlikely every hen came down with it, has been suffering for weeks to months with it, and you have not noticed.

How many hours of daylight are you getting?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all. The other chickens seem fine. The coop is 6x4 inside and raised and then I have a run that is 12x4 (with the additional space under the coop). They also had free range of the back yard during the day. I changed that just recently. Too much poop on the driveway.

Electrolyte supplements... Where can I get these and how does it help?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fiere - all the chickens seemed to get along fine. I looked very closely and didn't see anything that would indicate fighting.

They had free range of the yard but I just recently sectioned off an area. I'll try to get some pictures soon.
 

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OK, the birds you have left are just getting to be old enough to begin laying. They might lay through the Winter, then again, they might not. With birds new to laying it can be sort of a guessing game.

Without a necropsy there is no way to really know what happened to the other two. I kind of lean towards Fiere's thinking on the egg binding or internal laying.
 
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