My husband and I have had chickens nearly our whole lives and have never really had any significant issues. This spring we ordered a new bath of chicks and they have just started laying in the last 4 weeks. Over the last week we have found more than one that is dead and appears to have blown out their entire rear end. Various breeds..this one is a leghorn, but we have lost two Americaunas and one Red Star the same way.
We check all of our chickens daily and there is nothing we can see that seems to be "off" until we find them dead..they appear to just blow out and drop dead in a single moment...while eating or even from a roost.
This chicken has what I think is yolk, around where the vent would have been. Although the others were so covered in blood that we couldn't see anything. (This chicken was dead at least 3 hours before we found it, the others were still "fresh" when we found them) I can't seem to capture it in photos, but I can see at least 2 separate yolks down inside of this chicken. We didn't examine the others as closely, because we just thought it was a fluke. Now we clearly have a pattern.
Help! We have no idea what this is or what to do about it
Edited by goatstafson - 11/19/15 at 8:21pm