Bantam pullet dead under roost

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TattooedChicks, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. TattooedChicks

    TattooedChicks Songster

    1,013
    1,202
    242
    Jan 21, 2017
    Kansas City
    Just found my Bantam EE girl cold and dead, face down on the coop floor beneath the roost bar when I opened the coop up. Everyone else looks bright eyed and bushy tailed. She laid an egg yesterday, and was almost a daily layer. She was alive at 9:30 last night when I locked everyone up. Crop was empty when I checked her body, but had been full last night. No apparent injuries, bird was in good weight and seemingly in good health for the last 11 months. What could make a bird drop dead like this? Anything I should be looking out for in my other birds??

    Everyone is fed Purina flock raiser crumbles, has access to oyster shell, fresh water cleaned daily, and lives in a 16x32 run on dirt, straw, and sand. I have 23 remaining bantams, some of which are her own chicks.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    14,532
    12,026
    702
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    There's nothing so upsetting than walking out to your coop in the morning and finding one of your chickens dead, especially when there were no indications of illness. Been there, so I understand the feeling.

    There are a number of things that can kill practically overnight, but there's no way to know for sure except to send the body to a lab for a necropsy, which I highly recommend.

    Genetic heart, liver, kidney issues, coccidiosis, toxic substances ingested, botulism toxin, and bacterial infection can all cause sudden death. Avian viruses can produce tumors that grow slowly but kill suddenly. Some of these things can affect your entire flock, so a necropsy would be in your best interest to have done so you know what you're dealing with.
     
  3. TattooedChicks

    TattooedChicks Songster

    1,013
    1,202
    242
    Jan 21, 2017
    Kansas City
    I’ll check some of the vets and vet schools around here and see if any do necropsies. I’m not opposed to doing it myself but my inexperience could certainly get in the way of finding out what went wrong.
     
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    14,532
    12,026
    702
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Good decision. Part of the necropsy examines slides of cell tissue for the presence of pathogens. That's best left up to the lab techs.
     
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  5. orrpeople

    orrpeople Grading essays - be back soon!

    4,595
    16,107
    672
    Jun 15, 2016
    State of Jefferson
    Yeah, I second the "necropsy" advice. Primarily, you'll want to know if whatever she had is contageous. It's not the end of the world if it is; in fact, knowing exactly what happened can often help you avoid other losses.
    I am truly sorry about your little girl - sometimes being a chicken owner is not very fun. :(
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    6,915
    8,094
    536
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I'm so sorry you lost one of your girls so suddenly.

    If you decide that a necropsy is too expensive (state ag labs are usually much cheaper than private veterinary practices) and want to take a look yourself, take plenty of photos. There are some of us that get to do necropsies and or have processed chickens and have a reasonable idea of what is normal and what is not. It is surprising how often you can pinpoint an internal problem that could or most likely has contributed to death. I will post a link to one of the threads where we share and discuss such photos and possible diagnosis.....

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...ntains-graphic-necropsy-photos.823961/page-40
     
  7. TattooedChicks

    TattooedChicks Songster

    1,013
    1,202
    242
    Jan 21, 2017
    Kansas City
    Thank you, I found one that would do a gross necropsy for free, but any other culture or tissue testing could potentially get very expensive. I’ll go over this link though, in case I decide to try it myself.
     
    Wyorp Rock and azygous like this.
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    6,915
    8,094
    536
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I personally find that I gain more from doing it myself than I would from sending them off because I learn from each one I do. I might not always figure out the exact cause but I gain a graphic memory of what I found inside to what I saw exhibited as external symptoms and I can then relate that to future birds with similar symptoms. Obviously, I am not able to do the microscopic or instrumental investigations that a lab can, but at the gross level it is surprising how often you can find something, even without any medical training. It is quite fascinating once you get past the emotional factor of opening up a lost pet.
     
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

    19,081
    19,377
    962
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    @TattooedChicks I'm sorry to hear about your pullet:hugs

    I agree with @azygous it is upsetting to go out first thing in the morning and find that a bird has dropped dead overnight. @rebrascora has made a good suggestion. Getting a necropsy performed or doing an informal one yourself will hopefully give you some answers. It does sound a bit morbid or gruesome, but I'm like Barbara, once you get past your emotions, doing your own necropsy can be educational.

    I am assuming your location - Kansas City is MO? Here's a link to your state lab-if you plan on sending her in, refrigerate the body http://agriculture.mo.gov/animals/health/diagnosticlabs.php
     
    orrpeople, TattooedChicks and azygous like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: