Apparently healthy chicken one minute, the next... Dead! :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lady_destiny, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. lady_destiny

    lady_destiny New Egg

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    Jun 12, 2011
    Fairly novice chicken mama..
    We have (had) nine chickens of a variaty of breeds. We have experienced and learned quite a bit about raising healthy and happy chickens (not as easy as it sounds) in the past two years since our flock began. Unfortunately, I apparently have a lot more to learn... I let my little flock out into the backyard today. We have done this many times before and they are always supervised. Nothing unusual happened. After they scratch, dig, run and play a bit, they all go right back into their own run and house. Today, after they all went back home and I checked their house, water and food.. all was happy and calm. A couple hours later, they were raising a ruckus so I went to check and found my Black Sexlink hen dead, literally it appearred that she died as she stepped into their house from their run. She was in the doorway. I looked her over and she seems to be in perfect health! Poor girl. She was hand raised ffrom 1 day old. She was 2. She started laying about 6 months old and layed HUGE eggs daily for months. Then she had a problem when she layed one of the large eggs and I had to help her by putting 'her' back inside where her parts belonged. She didn't lay for a while and then started laying again. Large eggs, not enorous and once a week, not daily, but she seemed to have pulled through her crisis wonderfully. That was months ago. Like I said, she looked great. Acted totally normal, and in closer inspection after I found her, she seems to have been a very healthy bird. Any ideas as to waht happened to her? I thought about something environmental cause they were in the yard today, but nothing has changed in our yard and no one else seems sick (but then she didn't appear sick either). Are there common yard things that could poison my birds? Any other possibilities that I am not thinking of?

    sad chicken mama
     
  2. Squishypuff

    Squishypuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What are the temps around you? Could it be the heat? Around here it's been brutally hot and the animals are not feeling great as a result.
     
  3. lady_destiny

    lady_destiny New Egg

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    I'm in Washington state and temps have actually been decent. Calm, mild, warm, not hot and not cold.
    She was one of my large hens too. We have bantams and specialty little ladies that are very affected by temperatures and they seem to be okay.

    Must say I am worried by the suddeness. I hope I can stop anything else from happening to the rest.

    Thank you for the question on temps; I had thought to add that info when I posted earlier but forgot.
     
  4. Squishypuff

    Squishypuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have any other ideas, but hopefully someone more experienced will chime in! Sorry for your loss [​IMG]
     
  5. smokeykk

    smokeykk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could she have been eggbound?
    [​IMG] I'm sorry that she passed [​IMG]
     
  6. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think they can have heart attacks just like humans, and I believe I read once when doing some online research into egg laying breeds that this is quite common in Isa Browns, which is one of the breeds I have. This happens because of the calcium demands the egg laying process places on the bird's system messes up the birds electrolytes, in particular the calcium/potassium balance, and when that is out of whack, the heart can go into fibrulation and viola, heart attack.

    Of course, there could be all kinds of reasons, but its a possibility.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Quote:I am so sorry for your loss, they have a way of hiding sickness very well and most of the time we don't know about it untill they are so far gone there isn't much we could do. It's very hard to say what could have caused it, just think on how much of a good life she had and sounds like it was a nice one. Watch the others for a while just to make sure it isn't something contagious. [​IMG]
     
  8. lady_destiny

    lady_destiny New Egg

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    Thank you all for your replies! It is sooo helpful and comforting to discuss it with others.

    It is possible that she was egg bound. She hasn't laid for a few days but then she was only laying once a week since she recovered from expelling herself with the huge eggs she was laying. We had another do the same thing, Red, our Rhode Island Red. She recovered but only laid a few times after that and then I do believe we lost her to egg bound. Link, our SexLink, didn't show any similar signs of distress. Of course, they do hide illness and maybe she was better at that then Red had been.

    I'm very interested in the heart information. That actually rings a possibility with Links history. I'll watch the calcium and other nutrient intake of the rest the flock just in case and maybe I will inadvertently avert a similar episode.

    Thanks again for all your comments, suggestions and thoughts!
    So GREATLY Appreciate the help!
     

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