Answer to why my hen died


14 Years
Mar 10, 2007
I had a light braham. Maybe 3 years old. I saw no signs of illness. No standing around looking miserable. Ate the treats and looked good. Free ranged yesterday and was on her roost at bedtime. Found her dead this morning. Her comb was very dark. It was sopping wet under her. Her backside was clean, so the liquid came out of her mouth.
Just want to make sure I don't have to worry about the other hens. Any idea/help would be appreciated.


7 Years
Mar 7, 2012
I just had a rooster go from being bright and perky one night to being paralyzed the next morning, then dead by the afternoon. I have no freakin idea what killed him, but I sent his body into the state lab for a necropsy. (They do free necropsies in Calif. for backyard flocks owing to concerns over avian influenza, etc.)

In my rooster's case, I suspect an atypical presentation of Marek's. But there are so many things that kill them suddenly, so who knows. I had another hen drop dead recently out of the blue, and necropsy showed liver disease. Another one had a bacterial infection that I had no idea was present before it killed her.

If your state vet does necropsies as a service to backyard flock owners, it would be worth the $55 to Fedex her body (packed in ice) overnight to find out what killed her, IMO. (Don't freeze body, just refrigerate.)


10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
California, central valley
No idea, could be many things and all we could do here is guess. Chickens are hard to diagnose on a good day, a dead chicken with no prior symptoms is anybody's guess. A necropsy will give you a definite answer so you will know if you need to be concerned about the others.

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