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 New Egg

    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 True BYC Addict

    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 Chillin' With My Peeps

    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 Chillin' With My Peeps

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

    Mitch1990 New Egg

    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 New Egg

    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 Out Of 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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