cause of death unknown -- something I missed?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Casa de Chickas, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Casa de Chickas

    Casa de Chickas In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2009
    I'm hoping for some insight today since I looked out into the coop and found my chicken dead. :(
    She just turned 3 this past week. Barred Rock hen, no sign of trauma. There was an egg of normal size, color, smell in the laying box. No changes to diet had been made.
    She was one of 2 chickens I had, but as of last November the Rhode Isle Red died very similarly. (they were both the same age.) I was actually present for that -- she just jumped down off the perch, had a convulsion, and died within seconds. There were no predators. It was just a sudden thing. The Barred hen has been perfectly healthy, so I figured it was an isolated event. However, today she was just laying there dead. I saw her this morning being her usual self -- no signs of fatigue, good eyes, scratching, egg in the box, she was jumping up and down off her perches easily.
    I've been feeding them Purina's Layena and giving some oyster shell with the crumbles. Aside from that I gave her a partial head of cabbage yesterday, egg shells as I use them, and leftover bird seed that my dove doesn't eat. Nothing new.
    I was arranging to give the unused Layena crumbles to another person, but thought I should consult the forum for any insights into why this "sudden death syndrome" before giving away the food. Maybe there is something I missed? Some factor or variable that someone can point to? Would it be okay to give away the food or should I dispose of it some other way?
    Any wisdom on this is greatly appreciated.
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I'm sorry about the death of your hens. Considering that the deaths were months apart, I don't think they were related. Although chickens can hide illness well, it is not all that likely that the food caused the death. I think something like moldy food would cause a more lingering death. However, if she had a viral or bacterial infection and the food bag had any contact with her bowl then there might be a chance of transmitting infection.

    It is frustrating not to know the cause of death. I had a rooster happily crowing one minute collapse, convulse and die in my arms the next. The only way to learn more about the cause of death is to get a necropsy which can be free in some states
  3. Fenika

    Fenika Songster

    Sep 25, 2010
    Moldy feed can cause sudden death. Better safe than sorry. You can either compost the feed (preferably Not for your veggie garden, but for a tree or something...) or contact Purina with your concerns, politely, and ask if anyone else has reported losses that may be linked to feed.
  4. Casa de Chickas

    Casa de Chickas In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2009
    Thanks for the help. I guess it's all speculative. While I don't think it's the feed or my storage, I probably won't take a chance on giving it to other chickens. There are lots of birds out here in the woods on the property though and they might finish it off.
    I guess I'm no longer the "Casa de Chickas" so unless I decide to get some more chickens this it for me on the forum. Y'all have been a great support over the past couple of years and I've learned so much just reading the threads. Your help even pulled us through when the Red had an impacted crop last summer.
    Thanks again BYC.

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