Chicken died of fatty liver disease. Where do I go from here?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mousey129, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. mousey129

    mousey129 Hatching

    Dec 28, 2016

    I had a flock of 6 and there was only one that died. Normal behavior up until her death. An ameraucana born in March, just started laying in October. We fed them this morning and around 2pm I went out there to check on them and she was on her side at the base of the ladder to get up to the hen box, eyes closed, dead cold. No visible wounds. My hens all get along no one ever fights. She produced 1 large white egg every other day. Ate normal.

    Update: Uconn does free autopsies for CT residents. Here are the results:


    WHOLE BODY: Marked pallor
    LIVER: Multifocal intrahepatic hemorrhages and subcapsular hematoma
    COELOMIC CAVITY: Hemocoelom

    The sudden death reported in this chicken is the result of massive internal hemorrhage arising
    from the liver. This together with the abundant body fat and lesions in the liver are
    consistent with Hepatic Hemorrhage Syndrome (previously called Fatty liver hemorrhage syndrome,
    FLHS). Excessive dietary energy intake is believed to be a major contributing cause of this
    condition especially in actively laying birds. In addition to nutritional factors, genetic,
    environmental, and hormonal factors, or combinations of these, also have been proposed, but not
    yet proven, as the underlying cause.

    A 2.2 Kg, 9-month-old, gold and white, Ameraucana chicken hen was received dead. The body
    condition was good with well developed pectoral muscles and abundant body fat stores. The
    tissues were diffusely and markedly pale. There was a massive blood clot in the coelomic
    cavity adjacent to the liver. The liver was moderately enlarged, pale yellow-tan and markedly friable. Several hemorrhagic foci and a few variably sized subcapsular hematomas were present
    in the cut surface of the right liver lobe. The ovary was active with developing follicles.
    There was a shelled egg in the oviduct. The ventriculus contained abundant yellow and fibrous
    feed material and grit. The intestinal contents were normal.


    Nutrena layer pellet
    Rooster booster
    Oyster shells

    And I give them clover greens when in season. Fall and winter I give them one 12oz cup of cracked corn and seeds/fruits/veggies.


    I want to withhold the corn or maybe give them one 12oz cup a week. Strictly the layer pellet mix mentioned above and vegetables.

    Any other suggestions to lean them out? Thank you in advance.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Way too much corn. I'm glad you got a necropsy. That's great they are free.
    Your husband couldn't be more wrong. Corn provides little other than energy to the diet. Complete proteins contribute to ovulation. Corn is very low in protein and deficient in several essential amino acids.
    Corn is already the main ingredient in most feeds so adding more isn't a great idea considering its low nutritional value.
    If one reads the label on most chicken feeds, it will have a statement to the effect, "This is a complete feed and should be the sole ration, no other supplements are necessary".
    Fat hens don't lay well.

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