chicken died suddenly

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kimmyjay, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. kimmyjay

    kimmyjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2013
    Ok chicken friends I need your help. I lost one of my adopted chickens last night. We believe that she was an older hen. Last night upon going to lock up the ladies for the night I noticed her standing in a nesting box with her eyes closed. I walked over to pet her and noticed her wings hanging down. I picked her up
    and she just hung limp against my body. I set her down and she stood on her legs but had no balance.I checked her vent and she had a clear discharge with white coloring in it. Had my mother hold her under the heat lamp as it is freezing here in michigan. Her head began to get limp. I gave her water via eye dropper. She allowed this for 4 drops then began to regain some strength in her neck. Took her in the house and she just plummeted. She would no longer stand. Eyes closed and labored breathing. She passed away about an hour after discovery. Any ideas on what this could be.
  2. HeatherJY

    HeatherJY New Egg

    Feb 18, 2014
    Hi! Did you ever get any information on this? I just lost one of my girls yesterday and it sounds very similar. My girls came with our home, so we have no idea on their age. I would be interested to know what you learned on this.
  3. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    I'm so sorry to hear about your losses, both. Figuring out the cause of death without more symptoms or having the hen in hand is very, very hard over the internet, I am afraid...

    Birds are very good at masking illness. They evolved this way so that they have the greatest chance to evade predators until they are too sick to carry on. Unfortunately, this means that they often don't show signs to us, either, until something is very wrong indeed, which I am sad to say sounds like what may have happened, since your hen was so very weak when you found her.

    She may have been showing symptoms before, but they were subtle or hard to see.

    I'm afraid that there isn't enough information here to even venture a guess. There are dozens and dozens of reasons chickens can appear to "die without warning", and without having her here to examine, it'd be a wild guess at best. How are all your other birds? It would be very wise to check them all over carefully... feel them over gently, check their vents to see if they are clear, make sure they are eating well, listen to their breathing for problems, etc.

    Depending on where you live, you may be able to get a low cost or free necropsy (chicken autopsy) that can give you answers. If you live in the USA, you should contact your state's agricultural department, or if they have one, their poultry department. If you want to do a necropsy, here is some information on how to do it:

    If you are unable to send your bird away for testing, you can attempt a home necropsy, but that is a very personal decision and I understand that not everyone is willing or able to do this. Home necropsy is only likely to show very obvious problems, and I mean this with absolutely no disrespect, but people that preform skilled avian necropsy have many years of training on very subtle things to look for.

    Regardless, I am so sorry for your loss, both of you!
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    You mentioned she's long has she been at your place? New chickens are always suseptible to coccidiosis when moved to a new place. Other then that, yes, the only way you would get an answer is to have a necropsy done. There are just to many possibilities and anything we post here would be a guess. Sorry for your loss.

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