Barred Rock Suddenly Died Today

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mekwall, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. mekwall

    mekwall New Egg

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    Sep 13, 2015
    This morning my chickens seemed to be fine. The Barred Rock in particular was friendly and has not shown signs of illness though she was finishing what appeared to be a molt (i.e. losing some feathers and not laying for the last couple of months). This afternoon, I found her dead, lying on her side on top of 3 eggs in a nesting box. (None of the eggs were hers and she has not been broody in the past.) Her neck was bent at a funny angle into the corner, her legs were extended up into the air with curled toes, and her wings were both extended toward her abdomen as opposed to carried against her sides. There is no sign of injury, her nostrils are clear, her eyes are closed. I did palpate her abdomen to see if she was egg bound and felt around for other strange bumps or evidence of injury.

    Could this be "sudden death syndrome"? Or disease? Or a hen fight? There has been some squabbling this week over the favorite next box. Could death result from a squabble? I am worried this could be disease that will infect my other girls. Any ideas or suggestions would be welcomed!

    Thank you.
    Merideth
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    10,216
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    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Hi Marideth - I'm sorry to hear about your hen.

    Unfortunately , there is no way to know the cause of death without testing/necropsy. If you still have her body, you can refrigerate it and send to your state lab for testing.

    Here is a thread - the OP posted a video - it is a bit hard to watch - but we "suspected" sudden death - maybe a heart attack/stroke - who knows(?) If you do watch it, note that upon death, the muscles/nerves spasm and eventually leave the body in an "odd" position. So this could have happened to your girl - which may explain the position that you found her.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1121854/chicken-sudden-death-syndrome

    Necropsy and State labs
    http://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
    http://www.usaha.org/Portals/6/StateAnimalHealthOfficials.pdf
    https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahln/downloads/all_nahln_lab_list.pdf
    Independent lab testing:
    http://www.zoologix.com/
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
    1 person likes this.

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