Dead backyard chooks

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by BEALE, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. BEALE

    BEALE Junior Member

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    Hi all

    New here and hoping to get some info ref our poor Polly and Deliah......

    We were given three chooks by some friends whose sons breed them to point of lay for pocket money. All were in good condition. We had an old aviary (aluminium style with half solid, half mesh sides and solid back) which we have positioned on some old pavers with a section in the middle for the birds to scratch and dust bath.

    We have three laying boxes and a perch not higher than 60cm from the ground.

    We let the girls out every second afternoon if not every afternoon for a couple of hours and then lock them up on dusk. We have a decent sized backyard (1/4 acre) in which they can roam.

    We give them vegie, porridge, bread scraps every couple of days.

    We have wormed and sprayed the chooks.

    Unfortunately, we first found Deliah dead on the bottom of the chook house and now, three months later Polly has followed her. Polly was our only chook for a while as we also lost our other girl to the dogs.

    The only thing we have done differently the last two weeks is that we got two more chooks from the same friends.

    Can anyone help us with why our chooks are dying????? Any suggestions would be very welcome......
     
  2. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    "We have wormed and sprayed the chooks..."

    What kind of stuff did you use? Was it meant for chooks?

    Did you feel their breast bone? Were they thin?

    Did they show any symptoms before they died?

    Do you know what diseases (if any) were in the aviary you put them in?

    Chooks seem to be susceptible to many conditions and diseases that end in death.

    Sue
     
  3. BEALE

    BEALE Junior Member

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    DEAD CHOOKS

    Hi Sue

    Just asked B what the spray was and he advised that it was some child friendly stuff from the pet shop to treat ticks and lice?????

    I didn't feel their breast bones, however, in comparison to the other chooks we just picked up, Polly was definitely looking very healthy - glossy feathers, red comb, good coverage.

    The night before I found her, she was sitting in her nesting box and I actually thought we might have had a broody hen.........Later, when talking with B about what might have caused her to die, he mentioned that she had seemed a little quieter the last day or so.

    The aivary was only ever used as a holding pen for our dogs when they were in heat and then later as a garden shed.......
     
  4. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    I wonder if she could have been egg-bound?

    Sue
     
  5. Tamandco

    Tamandco Junior Member

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    Hi Beale and welcome!

    When did this happen? How long was she in the nesting box for? How old and what breed was she?

    Do you still have the carcase? It's really hard to determine what caused her death without a post mortem. Most of your vets will carry one out for a small fee. If I have a suspicious death here which I fear could threaten my other birds, I'll refrigerate the carcase asap and arrange for one to be carried out. Anything else would be purely speculation, especially as they appeared healthy leading up to their untimely departure.

    Young birds coming into lay can have problems with becoming egg bound, especially smaller more compact birds bred to lay large eggs.

    If the deaths had occurred in Melbourne during the last week, I'd say it would've been from the heat. We often do lose birds on really hot days like we had here on new years eve. I don't think you guys get the extremes in temperature that we do here though so doubt that this would've been the cause.

    Tam
     
  6. BEALE

    BEALE Junior Member

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    Hi Tamandco

    Have just got back on to the computer.......

    Had a look at a couple of sites and heard mention that if the perches are 60cm or higher then the chooks might end up with a broken egg inside and peritonitis can set in.......our perches were a little higher than that so have lowered them.

    Also, we have had some hot days up here so that might have been the cause.......

    Thanks again for all replies......
     
  7. LittleFish

    LittleFish Junior Member

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    Hi Beale, welcome to the forum
    I had friends who used to keep cockatoos in an old tin and mesh aviary and they also kept losing a large amount of birds. The problem was eventually traced to the fact that the birds were chewing on the wire mesh and swallowing a gret deal of zinc, arsenic and other heavy metals from the plating on the wire.
    I doubt that chooks would chew at the mesh in the same way, but could metal or paint flakes be finding their way into chook feed?
    just a thought, good luck
    Stephen
     
  8. bella

    bella Junior Member

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    I've had 3 chooks do this over the 3 years we've had them. Could never link it to anything - last one got quiet for a day before she died, the others may have - didn't notice. I always feel guilty like I've missed something important and am not caring for them well enough...

    Sorry, no advice, just wanted to say that it's happened to me too and I understand your concern... :(

    Bel
     
  9. BEALE

    BEALE Junior Member

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    Thanks bella....exactly how we felt.....very young daughter ended up with a lesson in life about death as well.....steep learning curve for all of us.

    She wanted to know why we couldn't go and get another chook from our friend and call her Polly (not that we couldn't, just didn't want to confuse her any more than she already was) - all well now and talks about Polly fondly and how she died and isn't sick any more.

    Two remaining chooks going well. One laying and both debugging our yard quite admirably.
     
  10. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Chooks aren't the smartest animal around. If I let them, mine would spend all day eating styrofoam, and starve to death. I wonder how big a chook brain actually is? Like a marble?

    Sue
     

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