Bantam pullet dead under roost

TattooedChicks

Songster
Jan 21, 2017
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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.
 

azygous

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Dec 11, 2009
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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.
 

TattooedChicks

Songster
Jan 21, 2017
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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.
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.
 

orrpeople

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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. :(
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
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Feb 14, 2014
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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
 

TattooedChicks

Songster
Jan 21, 2017
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Kansas City
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
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.
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
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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.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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@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
 

MANNA-PRO

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