Can a chicken die from hanging upside down?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lovemyprettybirds, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. lovemyprettybirds

    lovemyprettybirds Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 22, 2009
    I found one of my favorite (of course) roosters hanging upside down from a limb. He was dead and there were no other apparent causes of death. He was a very healthy 2 year old boy in perfect condition. I keep lots of roosters (wasn't my original plan, but there's something about them). Anyway, most of them are game breeds so I have to keep them on tie cords. It looks like he tried to roost in a limb of the tree above his barrel and overshot it. He had done this occasionally in the past, but I always found him right away and got him down. I was gone all day yesterday, so I don't actually know how long he had been hanging. But, I suspect he probably tried to get into the tree late in the evening (roosting time). I found him around 8:30 PM and he wasn't completely cold yet. Additionally, the weather conditions were rainy with thunder and lightning.

    I know being upside down puts them into a catatonic state, but would it kill them? And, if so, how long would it take for them to die this way?

    He was a Shamo, and a real beauty with a great personality.

  2. roz

    roz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2010
    This may be a silly question, but I know nothing about this and I'm curious...why do you have to use tie cords on them?
  3. lovemyprettybirds

    lovemyprettybirds Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 22, 2009
    Because they are very aggressive towards each other. If they can get close enough they will fight to the death. The tie cords give them their own little area and prevent them from killing each other. They have barrels for protection form the elements and normally this is where they go of their own accord, to sleep at night. I close them up in their barrels at night to protect them from predation and I turn them out in the morning. Occasionally, I let them loose individually, to strut around the yard. But only with close supervision.
  4. roz

    roz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2010
    Wow, thanks for the info...I learn something new everyday on this site. I hope you get the answers you were looking for. He was a great looking bird...sorry for your loss.
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I was hoping someone would come along that really knows the answer. I've read on BYC several times that a chicken can indeed die from hanging upside down, because of pressure on the lungs from other organs. But I've never seen anything that really felt like proof.
  6. Farmerboy16

    Farmerboy16 Rebuilding my Farm

    Dec 30, 2010
    Sparta, MI
    I have wondered about that too, for when I am moving chickens to different coops, and I hold the chickens by their legs, so they can't away from me, I worry when they are upside down too long, so I hurry around. Sorry about your rooster, he looks very nice.
  7. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2009
    I too have read that chickens can die from hanging upside down due to inability to breathe properly. I would say that you now have evidence to substantiate that. It certainly makes sense -- any animal that does not normally hang upside down is probably not adapted to cope with such a position. Perhaps tethering your roosters is not the safest way to protect them from each other.
  8. equinefaith

    equinefaith Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 7, 2011
    Sacramento Area
    SO sorry for your loss [​IMG] What a beautiful guy.
  9. dolly85

    dolly85 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2010
    Yes a chicken and any other animal will die if hung upside down for an extended period of time. I don't think it can take along, 15 minutes or an hour maybe? I suggest either moving your chickens away from trees with low branches or shortening the rope so they cannot fly high enough to perch. This can and will happen again.
  10. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    The answer is YES. And I do know it to be correct. I have a friend who lost a rooster because he forgot to trim his spurs and he found him hanging upside down by one of his spurs in the morning dead. Chickens cant breath correctly when they are hanging upside down. Then all the added stress..... [​IMG] He was a beautiful boy So sorry for your loss [​IMG]

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