18 wk male Silkie died- what could it be?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by annmarie33, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. annmarie33

    annmarie33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've only had chicks die of no apparent cause. I have about 10 chickens his age and I had kept a rooster and gotten rid of the rest. I kept the 2 silkies since a few weeks ago I still wasn't sure. Last week one started crowing. It didn't seem to be a problem with the other rooster. He is a sebright bantam- small but he is assertive as the leader. I hadn't seen them fight.
    I went outside and the male white Silkie was freshly dead, still warm and not stiff. I had just fed them raspberries earlier but they can have those right?
    I might not ever know but I didn't see any blood or markings of a fight. Could he of had a heart attack? Should I inspect anything to make sure there isn't a disease or give my current chickens anything just incase?
    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Howdy annmarie33 I am so sorry to read of your loss [​IMG]

    A few thoughts that come to mind .. he could have choked on a raspberry.

    Were they free ranging or in a coop/run? He may have been bitten by something tiny but deadly; we have a few culprits like that here in Aus.

    As you mentioned, it could have been a heart attack or stroke. What are the temperatures like where you are? Could he have gotten too hot or too cold?

    I would definitely be keeping a very close eye on the rest of the flock and if you can, might be an idea to send the rooster off for necropsy, the results of which may put your mind at ease.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
  3. annmarie33

    annmarie33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for helping! Yes they are free range. But he seemed to die about an hour or less after the raspberries. It is about 50 and windy right now during the day and at night 30- but I have heat lamps in the coops all day/night when it's cold. He seemed fine and normal as I watched him eating the berries. They were picking them apart so I'd be surprised if he choked. Poor little guy. We have had rabbits die from the same yard out of the blue. I wonder if there are weird plants or bugs that can hurt animals. I hope it doesn't happen to any others! I guess I could call my vet and see if they know someone who I can send it to
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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  5. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Yeah, I would definitely try the Vet first, see if they know where he could go for testing.

    It could be environmental, a plant of some kind but I would think it would have to be highly toxic to kill so quick with no symptoms. I am thinking it would either have to have been a huge amount to kill so quickly and if it was a gradual intake there would have been symptoms leading up to his sad demise. Mould is definitely not good but I am not sure of the symptoms and/or if it is a quick killer.

    I had a 5 or 6 month old Silkie hen who was fine when she went to bed but could not lift her head the next morning and was gone within two hours. I still have no idea why and can only think she ate something she shouldn’t have or got bitten by something overnight. The rest of the flock were fine and continue to be so [​IMG]
     
  6. WIchickens

    WIchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am having a similar problem with my silkies right now. They are all about 8 months old. They are housed inside due to the winter weather here in WI, although our winter has been rather mild until yesterday...-7 this morning! Anyways, I went out to feed the silkies and one of the blacks was dead! No warning, no symptoms, nothing. the other 7 birds seemed just fine.

    2 days ago, my husband went to feed them, and found Peanut (the small white one) upside down on her back. But he picked her up and she was fine. Now this morning, there she was on her back again. I brought her into the house for the day and gave her some electrolytes. She keeps leaning to one side...seems to be losing her balance. I just don't get it! I haven't brought any new birds into their coup since September and like I said they have been confined all winter.

    What gives? I hope it isn't the dreaded Merek's. I am going to try and give her some B vitamins tonight....got nothing to lose I guess. Sigh.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Hopefully it isn't Mareks, but it could be with some of the symptoms such as lying on the backs. Mareks can be common up to 25 weeks of age, but can happen later if exposed. The cold weather may really be a problem right now. Dehydration which can cause similar neurological symptoms than Mareks, could occur if they are avoiding the cold water, or if the water becomes frozen. I would think about bringing in the silkies to a basement or a room in the house during this cold spell. Silkies and other bantams can have a difficult time in temperatures below 15F. I raised 2 silkies in a mixed flock who did okay in cold weather, but we don't have the severe cold in the Ohio valley that you do in WI. Vitamins in the water, and a heat lamp if you can't bring them inside, might help. Your state vet can do a necropsy and test for Mareks if you lose another.
     
  8. WIchickens

    WIchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update - I have Peanut in the basement. She is eating and drinking like a champ. She did take a few drops of B vitamins for me last night and this morning. I also got some st john's wort and diluted it...but she wasn't having any of that!! ha ha. As you can guess she is still pretty spry, minus the balance issue. Anyways, so I ended up opening up a tablet and sprinkled it on top of her food. Hopefully she will ingest some that way.

    This morning she was upright - a good sign! She was able to stand and walk over to the water without falling, but really lifting her right leg high....like she can't feel where she is stepping. Almost like an exaggerated march.

    I put a heat light in with the other silkies outside. They must not be too stressed - got 2 eggs last night!

    If Peanut makes a full recovery I am a little worried about putting her back outside in the colder weather with her coop mates. I think she has acclimated to the warmer temps in the house.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Well it's good that he is doing better and eating well. It's amazing how sick chickens will sometimes perk up when they are inside and warm. You may want to bring him outside to the coop to have supervised visits every day, perhaps an hour before they go to roost, so that he remains a part of the flock. A few days away won't matter too much. Let us know how he is doing later.
     
  10. WIchickens

    WIchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry it has been awhile. Peanut made a full recovery and in back outside with her buddies! No one else ever showed symptoms.

    I guess the st john wort and poly v sol did the trick.
     

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