Multiple sudden deaths!!!!

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Multiple sudden deaths!!!!

Postby atikin » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:38 pm

I have already lost 5 of my chooks suddenly. They have all been absolutely fine and healthy then suddenly sick and die the same day

The first one was a 3 year old araucana cross, then three died at same time,then three, 3 month old campines and then today a wee 3 month old boy died suddenly just like the others. Have all died within two weeks of each other

The chicken coop does have red mite( will do a huge clean up to reduce numbers) and i am treating my flock for worms tomorrow

Does anyone have any idea whats going on! Im really worried about loosing any more birds

Any help is appreciated, thanks so much
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Re: Multiple sudden deaths!!!!

Postby Marina » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:53 am

Oh no, Atikin - that's devastating. So sorry to hear about this.

Did they die on those very hot days we had? Can you tell us a bit more about the symptoms? Or did they just drop dead?

Possible symptoms could be: rattly breathing, any facial discharge, unusual poos, fluffed up, eyes closed and the age of the birds could give a hint, too.

Also - where do you have your water. There has been a lot of toxic algae around and it can be carried by wild birds. In the heat we had it can grow very quickly so fresh drinking water is essential.

Without knowing more it's difficult to say what could have caused it.

Will you come to the Rare Breeds Auction on the 13th of March at Willowbank? The Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club will have a display there and there will be plenty to see.
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Re: Multiple sudden deaths!!!!

Postby atikin » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:21 pm

The three campines died on the hot days, i was away for the weekend and came back to dead chookies :( but the other two died on nice cool days

there have been no symptoms, they fall ill overnight, and isolate themselves in the coop in the morning, pale comb, hunched over sitting on floor then i come home rom work same day to dead chooks :(

the water is inside the coop, and another one out that back under all the bushes and trees

i have moved all the young ones on to their own away from others

I plan to go, will be good :D :D
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Re: Multiple sudden deaths!!!!

Postby sewren » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:30 pm

Oh no, so sorry to hear that about you chooks :( Crazy that they go downhill so quickly - I hope you manage to work out that cause before you lose any more. Any chance of sending one for an autopsy....? Might be worth it when it's so sudden and if you can't identify a cause.
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Re: Multiple sudden deaths!!!!

Postby atikin » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:40 pm

So far no more deaths :)

Where do you organise autopsy's and whats the cost?
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Re: Multiple sudden deaths!!!!

Postby seatil » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:12 pm

If you want a professional to do a necropsy, you're looking at a vet. Here it's even more expensive ($100) to have a dead chicken examined than a live one ($55). For that though, my own vet (who is familiar with my flock) examines the chicken thoroughly and sends me a report on her findings (or lack thereof; and it usually is a lack of anything interesting).

You can do your own necropsy if you wish. Page 77-79 of volume 1 of How to Care for Your Poultry has information on how to do this, plus the sort of things you're looking for.
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Re: Multiple sudden deaths!!!!

Postby atikin » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:12 am

Awesome thanks ;)
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Re: Multiple sudden deaths!!!!

Postby Marina » Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:17 pm

That's great news that there haeven't been any more deaths.

If you lost 3 on that very hot day I'd say it was the heat that caused those deaths.

For the others there are a number of possibilitis like poisoning or eating something they shouldn't have eaten like a nail or screw that has been dropped. If it was a persistent problem (which would benefit from being cleared up by a biopsy) then you would have lost more by now.

Fingers crossed it's a one-off (well, 5-off :cry: ) and no more dead chookies.

I've done necropsies on quite a few, one has been done by someone who's done hundreds, if not thousands - and it's not often that something obvious is found. I've found a few tumors, once a blocked entry to the gizzard due to swelling (insect bite/sting after insect has been eaten?) and that's about it. Never a worm that I could see.
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Re: Multiple sudden deaths!!!!

Postby Kracka » Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:17 pm

the other option is to contact Neil Christensen - Avivet - and check with him if he is available to do an autopsy (we've couriered frozen birds/bodies to him) - he's not always in the country, so you have to time the delivery carefully - catch the courier at the latest time to be picked up & let Neil know its coming
if you've got several, freeze the first ones to die & then use the frozen bodies to keep the fresh one cold - there's some tests which can't be done once they've been frozen

I've lost a few lately, think its a combination of older age, heat, travel stress, new environment - nothing conclusive in the autopsy, which in a way is good (I don't have an outbreak of anything) - haven't had the invoice yet either!
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