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#10062 - 09/17/08 12:40 AM Re: 20 birds dead in 3 months!
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Have you found out anything more? More deaths?

I read recently that the position of the bird tells you if it died of heart attack. Most birds, for most reasons, die face down. It is NOT normal for a bird to be on its back for any reason..unless death by heart attack. Apparently heart attack is almost 100% certain if you find the bird on his back. That's what I read anyway.

When I think about it, I have found dead meat birds on their backs. But all others who have died in the hen house were face down.

Once I saw a bird keel over backwards. A cockatiel. It was waddling along the hallway when the 2 year old I was babysitting snuck up behind it. The kid just tiptoed silently on her fat kid feet, the bird waddled on a bit then stopped as if it sensed a presence. The kid bent over low and I thought she was going to stomp on the bird. Instead, when she was about an inch away from the birds head she let out this huge scream. The bird just fell over. Plop. Little bird legs up in the air. Death by toddler! Kid just watched for a moment, bird got back on its feet and waddled off. Apparently this was not new to either of them. Only backwards bird I ever saw that got up again. eek

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#10063 - 09/19/08 09:08 AM Re: 20 birds dead in 3 months!
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
LOL!

Well, we DID find something out. Something else killed 2 birds. So we moved ALL the birds from the "Murder Coop." When moving the birds around, some were heavy as a bowling ball, and others were so light they should be dead by morning.

We took out ALL feed from Stillwater Milling. I hopped in my car first thing the next morning and found a new feed store that makes it's own feed right on the premises. I bought 200 lbs. of this feed. Now, I'm serious. The lightest of these birds, a HUGE RIR x whatever hen should have been dead within a day of moving her. Instead, she's got color back in her comb, is walking around and is being the boss again.

So, it's the feed. We're going to be taking a sample to Chelsea to get it analyzed by their nutritionists and see if they can't tell us what was missing.

The feed protein is up by 1% so unless something was missing in the feed...there's no reason for the 1% of protein in the feed to make that big of a difference.

Now the issue is, I need to contact Stillwater Milling. Too bad they won't pay for the birds I've lost!

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#10064 - 09/20/08 12:04 AM Re: 20 birds dead in 3 months!
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
Hope it doesn't turn out to be something like melamine in the feed. China is having yet more issues with it, this time in baby formula and NZ has been implicated because of a 43% shareholding. Unluckily for NZ, the Chinese Govt. didn't want a scandal during the Olympic games, so despite our good company trying to get an immediate recall as soon as they discovered it, it didn't happen.

Unless your feed has been sourced from local produce, then it could contain any number of harmful products. Interesting that your birds seem to have been starving on it.

I suggested an analysis back in July.

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#10065 - 09/20/08 01:07 PM Re: 20 birds dead in 3 months!
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
Yes, but see at THAT point we thought it was a disease. Because at some point I heard coughing and then nothing.

Now that we KNOW something is up with the feed, we will be getting that checked out pronto. After 15 years of using this feed, this is the first time we've ever had an issue with it.

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#10066 - 09/20/08 07:14 PM Re: 20 birds dead in 3 months!
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Anyway you can find out if others in your area, using the same feed have had simialr problems? Maybe a call to the local vet, asking if anyone has reported sudden poultry loses that they feel are food related? Even if you get the receptionist...I find the local vet receptionist has her finger on the pulse of the animal community. You might not be alone in this, and if you want the company's attention, strength in numbers. Good luck.

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