Sudden Death

by Alex


Sudden Chicken Mortality<: I bought 8 Moderns from a chicken show Saturday, they were slightly under weight.

But yesterday we found one dead, another had a swollen eye, and another was just moping around. I don’t know what’s going on? I have vitamins and antibiotics and have started giving. Any ideas?

Hopefully, if you have other chickens, you have quarantined this group when first bringing them home.

Anytime you show your own chickens and bring them home, or buy at a show, there are so many diseases they could bring with them.

It’s possible the stress of being moved to the show and to a new home, being underweight/in poor health to begin with, was more than they could handle without becoming ill.

Giving vitamins is good, but you want to make sure the antibiotic you give is the right one. Some antibiotics only target one specific infection or type of infection.

If they don’t need antibiotics or it’s the wrong one, it’s possible to do more harm than good.

I would supplement them with a heat lamp, so they can warm themselves when needed.

You might consider feeding them a chick start, more dense nutrition, until they recover and gain weight.

Since this seems to have affected the whole group, you might want to take a stool sample to the vet and find out if they have internal parasites, or virus, or infection.

There are products at feed stores specifically designed to help with shipping stress, generally a vitamin/electrolyte and sometimes probiotic formula – all together.

You probably have no idea what kind of situation these hens came from. Being underweight is a sign of neglect of some sort; even if it’s a parasite problem the previous owner wasn’t aware of and completely accidental.

The best thing for these girls will be to find out, through testing, what this is and to support them with excellent foods, including: greens, some fruit, grains, high quality feed, always fresh water, the vitamins and a good heat lamp they can all be warmed by.

If a vet isn’t available, you may be able to rule out all possibilities, one at a time. Be cautious medicating sick birds.

Choosing the right medication and following the directions is important. I wish I could tell you exactly what this is; it could be a virus, parasites or infection, or a combination of two or all three.

Or it could just be related to the stress and their depleted reserves.

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