I just went out to put the chickens back in the barn and found one of my Rosters dead. It looks like he just dropped dead where he was. There are no signs of a fight (no feathers around, no blood pooling around him). What could have caused this?? What ever help you can give me that would be appreciated, I just don't what to have this happen to my others.
Sadly, I have a thread under this same topic name. I lost one of my best hens this weekend, apparently to some kind of poisonous bite or sting. However, she lasted several hours after the sudden onset of sickness. How old was your roo? Had he been free-ranging beforehand? How was the coloring of his wattles/comb or had the color already faded out when you found him? I don't know that the mystery will be solved, but more information always helps!
He was just under a year old. His comb and wattles were normal color. He has free ranged since he was about 4 months old.
Dang it--not much help there. It is warming up and snakes are coming out. My girls love to kill and eat snakes, and so it's possible that your roo tried to do the same, but got hold of a poisonous one. But I would think he would look...unhealthy...not just dead. In fact anything poisonous--a sting that closed up his throat, inedible plants--should have made him sick first, even if it did kill him quickly. Was he a nervous chicken? Could something have scared him to death? I have had that happen to RIR's. They get chased by a dog, and even though they didn't get a scratch, they just go into shock and die.
I was thinking a heart attack also but don't know what would have done that cause he was in the barn and our dogs can't get anywhere near the barn. From what I know we don't have very many/ if any poisonous snakes here in this part of Wisconsin. He was not a very nervous chicken but he was not the dominate roo, so could the other roo chase him till he had a heart attack?
It's a possibility, but in my experience, roosters fight and leave evidence of it. A submissive rooster might stay away from another rooster, but wouldn't be scared to death of him. However, anything is possible and maybe the other rooster just wouldn't leave him alone this time. You appear to have a genuine "locked-door" mystery on your hands, unfortunately.
Thank You for all your help! It seems like it will always be a mystery.