Chicken didn't come outside this morning died within hours! Help! thats number 2!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Mitch1990, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. Mitch1990

    Mitch1990 Hatching

    Oct 7, 2015
    Hello all,

    I am a first time chicken owner. Having said that, in April of this year I purchased 10 Rhode Island Red baby chicks. I kept them in a brooder for several week, all the way up until I put them outside in their forever home. Everything went smoothly until these past 3 weeks. The first time something happened I opened the door in the morning and I noticed one chicken just laying there covered in chicken feces. I presume she didn't hop up on the roost the night before and her sisters, well you know. Anyways I brought her inside and cleaned her off in a warm bath. After that I dried her off, placed her in a cardboard box with some hay and water. She became more lethargic, immobile, and lifeless. I was google searching for a long time and my final presumption was that she had a blocked crop. I seen some videos and forms on unblocking it using the massaging method (quite contradictory I may add). Anyways, myself and my fiancé took her outside and began massaging her crop and trying to force her to vomit. Long story short, I am an amateur, I didn't let her vomit everything up before I sat her back up to breath. SAFE TO SAY that was a bad memory. She died because of it. SO now here I am two weeks later. I woke up to let the girls out, and one was on the roost just not moving. She stared at me and looked quite lethargic. I came back a short while later and she hopped down and went towards the watering bucket. I let her be for about another hour, then I checked again. She just looked lifeless laying under the watering bucket. I brought her inside like the last one, put her in a box, and put some luke warm water in a container for her to drink. The crop did feel a little spongy, however I am not entirely sure what I am even looking for. Anyways, I left her in the dark for a bit, until I heard some weird noises. I went in to check on her and she was almost vibrating. She looked very distraught. I let her be for about 15 minutes longer, until I heard a bang. I went in and it looked like she was having a seizure. She was banging her head off the walls and flopping around. Kinda like the floppy chicken I guess you could say. Anyways, she fell over and stopped breathing. I am quite upset about this because I keep my chickens as happy as I can. They are in an above ground coop, with a elevated watering system, along with food that is accessed by PVC piping. They have plenty of room to roam around outside, Its about a 10x16 run, and the coop is about 9x9. They get to free range once in a while, the last time was on Sunday, so it would have been 3 days ago. They were in my garden picking weeds and eating tomatoes that fell off when I harvested. Everyone of them seemed fine Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Just this morning there was one like I mentioned earlier. I noticed when I brought her inside she did poop, it was kind of runny and mainly white without any black. She didn't drink any water that I noticed. I just switched recently to the Egg laying hen food, its from a very reputable supplier in my area so theres no worries there. However I did keep the feed bag in the coop all summer long, It never got humid in there as I have good ventilation, but I did remove it because I worried the food was getting moldy even though I couldn't see anything. The rest of the chickens seem to be doing just fine, they are outside having a wonderful time. I live in Canada, it gets down top freezing at night now, it seems to warm up to about 13-17 degrees celsius on a nice day. Chicken coop is well insulated, although I am not worried about them being cold. If anyone has suggestions please let me know.

    Ps I never noticed any worms or any dislocations in the poop. I do have a dead chicken now, so if there is some sort of way to find out what happened I am willing to handle the deceased (that is if I get quick replies).

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    What province of Canada? They likely have a poultry lab for necropsies. That's the only way you will know what is happening. Contact them to see how they want the bird delivered. First off, if a dead bird, soap it up with some dawn dish liquid and refrigerate it till you can pack it for shipping.
    If you have a sick lethargic bird, send that one off for euthanasia and necropsy.
    0C is not cold for a healthy chicken. In fact 0-15 is the sweet spot.

    Here's the number of one in Alberta. Perhaps they can direct you to the right place.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  3. carolinasculpture

    carolinasculpture Songster

    Mar 21, 2010
    X2 for getting her checked if you can. So sorry to hear about your chickens! Do you have a lot left in the feed bag? I think I'd go ahead and get new feed...just I case. Oh, and if it is an impacted crop, it will feel like a golf ball is stuck at her throat. You won't be able to miss it!

    BBQJOE Songster

    Sep 25, 2015
    Void where prohibited.
    I wanted to read the OP, but dag nabbit, I need paragraphs.
  5. Mitch1990

    Mitch1990 Hatching

    Oct 7, 2015
    I apologize, I was in a hurry to write it, never really did any sort of check on it.
  6. Mitch1990

    Mitch1990 Hatching

    Oct 7, 2015
    Thank you for the information. I got new feed out there now, the other 8 seem to be doing fine.
  7. liz72703

    liz72703 In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2015
    Fayetteville, AR
    x2 on replacing that feed, I think carolinasculpture is onto something there... especially since you recently switched to this feed. I'd probably put some electrolytes/vitamins in their water for good measure as well. Is this a local company that mixes their own feed? After hearing about the seizure/convulsions I'd make sure it's nutritionally complete...

    Edited to add link.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015

  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Sorry for your losses... The seizures were probably part of the dying process, and there is a very good chance that the crop was full of food because the dying process had started.

    Now is probably a good time to check all of them for lice and mites and make sure they haven't ls weight. You might also want to place a bunch of fresh poop in a ziplock bag, stir well and have a vet chck it for worm eggs and coccidia.


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