6 month hen dead no trauma sign of disease

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dgh, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. dgh

    dgh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sad. one of the beautiful birds I bought as chicks in the summer is dead. there was no food in its crop. all the other chickens are eating and seem healthy, do you have any suggestions?
     
  2. BrooklynBirds

    BrooklynBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    There may be no discernible reason at all. Harvey Ussery in his book "The Small Scale Poultry Flock" talks about what he termed JCOS -- "just crapped out syndrome." If all your other birds are fine and have been eating the same food, I would chalk it up to that.
     
  3. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Was she very thin?
    Was she acting strange before?
    If there was not any sign of wounds, pale comb (could indicate mites or worms), or starvation, then, can you do a necropsy? She may have had an obstrustion.
     
  4. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] That's one name for it. I've seen it several times. Usually it is something internal, obstruction, organ failure, etc. One bird I found just dead, upon closer look, had a broken neck for no apparent reason.

    I have also had JFD, Just ****** Disappeared.......
     
  5. dgh

    dgh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had birds die of no apparent reason. young otherwise healthy birds. I think sometimes there may be inbreeding which can cause strange internal or unusual ailments. These birds,4, were from a very good private breeder. they are the first "Show quality" birds I have owned and they were beautiful, blue and black orpingtons. 2nd generation from English birds,. I will check for an egg in her vent. she looks healthy. she may have been on the floor of the barn last night when I went in to check on them. I did pick one up who I thought had fallen off the perch. now I think it may have been her. I will be watching carefully, btw, I have seen birds fly off their perch directly into a wall and fall down dead of a broken neck. there are almost more reasons for them to die than to survive.(gallows humor) joking.

    btw, when it was affordable I used to bring birds to have a necropsy. I had 2 die of cancer or tumors, they were young and healthy too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi. Really sorry to hear about your hen.

    The best way to find out is to send her body off for a necropsy or do a post mortem examination yourself. It is not difficult if you are not squeamish and can be really interesting even if you don't find the cause of death although, so far I've been lucky and it has been obvious from the few I've done. I find it easiest to remove the head and pluck the bird first, so it no longer looks like your pet hen.

    It really is best to find out the cause especially in a young bird, so that you can hopefully prevent others in your flock from suffering a similar fate.
    Chickens are very good at masking being ill, so sometimes you don't see any real sign of them being poorly until it is too late.
    Questions that are helpful are
    Had she started laying eggs yet? Could she have been egg bound or internal layer?
    What breed is she? Some heavier breeds get too big too quickly and can have heart attacks.
    Had she died in the coop overnight (fallen off the roost) or in a nest box or in the run?
    Is it in decent condition or emaciated? Feel her keel bone and compare to how your other healthy chickens feel. If it is pronounced/sharp, then that would suggest that she has had a problem for some time and lost weight. If it is well fleshed out then that indicates that it is probably something more sudden and most likely not digestive tract related.
    Feel inside the vent to see if there is an egg there that might have been stuck.

    Perhaps with answers to these questions, experienced people may be able to make a more educated guess about what happened to her.

    Best wishes

    Barbara

    I see that there have been other posts since I composed mine and that you have previously had necropsies done but don't have the funds to spare on it now, which is not unreasonable
    I would suspect that the previous young birds with tumours may well have had Mareks Disease and even if these chicks were vaccinated against it, Mareks is still a possibility. It can linger for years in a location. Sometimes you see lameness, or eye problems but it can come on quite suddenly too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  7. dgh

    dgh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The bird had almost no breast at all. very full feathers and I never noticed any off color or behavior. If it is Merricks, there is nothing I can do anyway. all my other birds are vaccinated for what it is worth. these 4 were not. I am afraid for the surviving 3 . I have about 60 chickens all together. Necropsy is $180.00 now. it used to be $60.00.
    I think she was weeks away from laying for the first time. I will feel her vent tomorrow. she was dead in the coop this am.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  8. KYTinpusher

    KYTinpusher Master Enabler

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    How many roosters do you have? I have seen pullets that are reaching POL be so chased by cockerels and roosters, that they can't even eat or drink. They waste away very quickly and it is hard to tell because of all the feathers. When it gets cold out, they have no meat on them to keep them warm. They either starve to death or freeze to death.
     
  9. dgh

    dgh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have one ancient rooster I found in the woods. too old to crow.
     
  10. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Is that necropsy fee from your vet or your state poultry lab? My avian vet charges an arm and a leg but in my state the poultry lab does them for free and does a better job. But not all states do them for free.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014

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