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9-mo Buff Orpington suddenly & mysteriously died yesterday!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by telehillco, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. telehillco

    telehillco In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2009
    Front Range, CO
    We're out of town and got a call yesterday from the neighbors watching the chicken that they found our 9-mo Buff Orpington chicken just keeled over and dead in the coop! No apparent trauma or signs of attack. She seemed fine the night before and was definitely out and about free-ranign for the last few days and seemed her normal self, and then suddenly...there she was dead! We have two other Rhode Island Reds who seem to be fine, so we're at a loss as to what might have happened. Does anyone have any experience with something like this? Is there anything we should be looking for?

    The only changes recently are adding a heated water bowl and putting both that and the heat lamp on a timer. It was probably a little warmer the night before she died than when we usually turn on the heat lamp, but it was still at or below freezing. I can't think possibly of what happened?

    We're very sad! Jersey was a real character and made us laugh as she would come bounding across the yard to us when we came outside. She laid two double yolkers in her short career.

    Will the remaining two chickens be ok as two? We really liked having three, but I guess will evaluate increasing the flock to 4 in the spring since we can't get just one chick. Still, I'm already worried. Our three with Jersey got along great. There was no pecking or problems between them and we really weren't even sure who was the dominant one. I hope that introducing more chickens won't end up being a problem in the future!

    Thanks everyone. It's nice knowing there's an understanding chicken community out there.

    Here's one of my last pictures of the three girls with Jersey on a snowy day.

  2. cherylcohen

    cherylcohen The Omelet Ranch

    Sep 18, 2009
    SF East Bay CA
    If you'd like you can send Jersey to UC Davis, they have a fabulous (and most of the time free) program where they do a necropsy and send you the findings. For me it's been piece of mind when one has died.

    I'm so sorry for your loss. She was a beauty

    Here is the link to UC Davis http://cahfs.ucdavis.edu/show.php?id=500
  3. KKatknap

    KKatknap Songster

    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    I'm so sorry. My heart is aching for you. [​IMG]
  4. snowflake

    snowflake Crowing

    Aug 21, 2009
    Belding Michigan
    Hi, sorry about your Buff, they certainly look healthy ! I'm a newbie myself but from what I have read on other posts Is it possible she got in to something poisonous the day before? or maybe a frayed wire? [​IMG]
  5. telehillco

    telehillco In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2009
    Front Range, CO
    It is possible that she ate something funky in the yard. She did tend to go off by herself while the other two mostly stuck together, but I can't think of what might have been poisonous. They've been free-ranging the yard for a while. It's hard not being there to look at her more closely. We're just going by word of mouth right now and won't be able to see her until Tuesday. Right now she'd in a bucket in our shed and with the cold weather over the weekend we think she'll freeze. It's seems such a morbid and strange question about what to do with her now, but trash pickup isn't until next Thursday anyway.
  6. If you are going to have her body examined, put in a clean plastic bag and keep cool. Possibly wrap the bag in a feed bag.
    If not, you could bury her and put a rock on top to keep predators out...very sorry to hear this. Might have been a trauma, neck damage, from change in routine- they are so easily set off.

    I adore Buff Orps, what a shame.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009

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