2nd dead this month :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MaineChix, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. MaineChix

    MaineChix Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 7, 2014
    I'm hoping that you all can help me figure this one out!

    I just went out to the coop this morning and one of my 3-yr-old Buff Orpingtons, PomPom, sitting near the waterer that the girls share. I tried to get her up but she didn't really respond other than to look at me. Her eyes weren't bright and alert like they typically are, but they were still open and she was still breathing. I moved her over to a drier spot and when I came back to check on her about 20 minutes later, she was dead. My kids had checked on the chix yesterday and all seemed well, according to them (they usually run to tell me if one of the hens is acting funny).

    Something similar happened to one of our other Buff Orps about 3 weeks ago. On Friday, Bernie looked a little sleepy but was still moving around, but then when I checked on her the next day, she was dead. Nothing has really changed about their diet or living conditions, other than that it is finally getting warm (ie, above freezing) here in Maine. Why might they be dying all of the sudden? I cleaned out their coop right after Bernie passed just in case there was something nasty in there that did her in...

    My only thought is that my kids have been in charge of refilling the girls food and water lately and may have forgotten to add the vinegar to the water?

    Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated! Especially since we have 6 new babies who will be joining our current 4 as soon as they are big enough...

  2. MasAhora

    MasAhora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2016
    I hope a more experienced BYC member answers you with some thoughts, in the meantime....can I suggest that fresh clean water without any additive will never kill any human, chicken or other animal, ever. Perhaps give them water in two bowls, one without anything added. Let them select what they need.
    If you are seeing the same symptoms resulting in deaths 3 weeks apart, something is going wrong -check the dead chickens body for anything obvious. Sorry, I am no expert, but my thought is that before you bring in any chicks you might want to figure this situation out.
    Perhaps the condition is contagious or something.
  3. MaineChix

    MaineChix Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 7, 2014
    Thanks! I check the girls over periodically and they've all looked fine from the outside - no outside parasites, good comb coloring, their parts feel ok, etc. I'm hoping that it's not something contagious but am also hoping that someone can offer a few possibilities of what this could be? (I realize that an autopsy is probably my best bet, but I didn't think of it until now)

    We do use a big watering container with nipples (keeps the water cleaner and much easier to keep from freezing in the winter) and refill it a couple of times per week. Maybe I'll try refreshing the water daily and see if that helps.

    I'd love any other ideas if anyone has some!

  4. coach723

    coach723 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2015
    North Florida
    In a three year old bird the possibilities are too numerous to guess at.
    First bird could have been the same cause, or totally unrelated. No way to know without a necropsy.
    I'd recommend that you have a necropsy done if you lose another bird. Won't answer the questions about the 1st two you lost, but will answer if you have an issue that may be spreading, at least in regards to that bird.
    Here is a list of labs by state, you can contact: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahln/downloads/all_nahln_lab_list.pdf
    You can also learn to do one yourself to look for obvious abnormalities in the organs, etc., but you will not have pathology to identify specific virus's or bacteria.
    I'm sorry for your losses, and hope they are isolated and unrelated.

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