We have 9 month old BO's, and this morning when we went out to replace the water and put more food out, one was dead in the dust bath area of the run. There were no apparent injuries at all, and my husband, who was the one that picked it up and put it in a bag, said that it felt good and frozen.
What do I do now?? I have a good friend who works as a vet tech, and she is going to find out when she gets in to work this morning whether or not they test chickens. I'm afraid I did something wrong and that we are going to lose the other 4. It has been snowing and/or raining here almost non-stop for over 2 weeks, and I've been doing my best to keep things clean and dry but I've been worried about all the moisture. The coop has stayed dry, but the run has been mud for 2-3 weeks.
I know we won't know unless a vet tells us, but does anyone know what the possibly likely diseases are, and what the chances are that we are going to lose them all one by one? Or the possibility that she just didn't head back into the coop before it go too dark, and just wouldn't move because she couldn't see and froze to death? She wasn't splayed out or anything, she just looked like she laid down and never got up.
I've been trying to check their feathers for signs of bugs, I sprinkled some DE in the dust bath dirt last week after reading that article about worms and parasites. They have always been weird about sleeping....none of them roost, they just huddle at the coop door and sleep there all night. That area gets pretty poopy, so I make sure I clean out the coop weekly and replace the pine chips.
What could have happened? Does anyone know how much it usually costs to take a dead chicken to a vet? We really don't have extra money to spend, but I don't want to lose the rest of the chickens :-(
And should we refrain from eating the eggs until we know why it died?