chickens dying for unknown reason


In the Brooder
5 Years
May 15, 2014
Hi There
I am a small back yard chicken lover. I bought five 18-mo chickens from a local person whom I know. 4 Red Stars and one White Lace Wyandotte. Over the last 5 months since I bought them, one at a time they just drop over dead for no apparent reason within a 24-hour period. Fine one day, gone the next. NO trauma, no feathers. (WEll, one died because she was too young to be with the bigger hens and they pecked her to death. I did not even know they DID that sort of thing as I am new to this.) But the others got along fine. They have a nice CLEAN, moveable coop with pine shavings. They have freedom during the day in a fenced large yard with shade and shrubs and trees and dirt and grass. Feeding Nutrena chicken feed with a little bit of oyster shell and Manna-Pro vits mixed in occasionally. Clean water in a sealed tank. Meal worm treats every couple of days. Sometimes they just die in the yard, sometimes in the box. I am now down to one chicken - the Wyandotte, "Cruella" who is was my ONLY egg layer the whole time that I can tell. She seems fine and happy, even alone. Chickaletta died two days ago...again FINE and healthy, coming well out of her molt, and then found her dead the next morning in the nest. I took her for necropsy to OSU. The shrubs are large Rose of Sharon with some other drought resistant shrubs and one Crepe Myrtle in the porch area. It has cedar mulch, but it is well dried and aired out before I got the chickens. I rake and clean every day. Any ideas where I am going wrong? I feel like an idiot that I can't keep chickens alive, especially when I see how other chickens are living elsewhere. THANKS SO MUCH for any help.


Apr 8, 2012
Northern California
sorry to hear about your losses :( I would post on the Emergencies section to see if someone can help:


Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Sorry about your flock, X2 on try posting in the Emergencies forum, I hope you are able to figure out what is going on.


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 21, 2011
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
Hello there and welcome to BYC!

Oh, I am so sorry about all your birds! Definitely post this in our emergency section for more help. I hope you can figure out what is going on.

Yorkshire Coop

Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Aug 16, 2014
Hi :welcome Glad you joined the flock. Sorry to hear about your chickens dying. From what you have described it sounds like you have been taking very good care of them and providing them with all they need. You shouldn't feel like an idiot because of them dying it could be something that is out of your control :hugs I think I would I ask the person you got them from to see if they have any birds dying unexpectedly. Or if they have any disease in their flock which your birds could have also had. Also it could be something genetic with them that is bred into them unknowingly. With no symptoms it's very hard to tell so x2 on the posting in emergency disease injury section. Good luck with cruella and your future chicken keeping :frow
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drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture
It does seem odd that hens of that age would just die. Has anything changed since you've gotten them? Maybe neighbors spraying for weed control or bugs, or putting out rodent bait. You had one die by chicken , did any of the others have wounds or feathers missing, raw or bloody areas. Please let us know the results of the necropsy - want to learn why as badly as you do.


5 Years
Jun 8, 2014
Long Island, NY
Welcome to BYC!

You will find a lot of good information here. Keep on asking questions and you will get many good answers.

You may also want to read the FAQ below.


In the Brooder
5 Years
May 15, 2014
Hi There fellow chicken lovers.

First THANK YOU all so much for the love and kindness you all showed toward my problem. I did take Chickaletta in for a necropsy - still waiting for results. Cruella Deville and I are getting along famously - she is just fine, laying her one egg a day for me like usual. No problems. She now sits in my lap for her meal worm treats and lets me pet her all over.
I need to go look for/at your emergency section. Have to find it!
Thank you and blessings.
Not adding any more chickens until this is figured out, but do not want her to be lonely in her coop clucking to herself at night.


In the Brooder
5 Years
May 15, 2014
Hello again.
I did check with person who sold them to me. She has no answers, but I am not sure she sold me her best chickens. The fact that it was ALL the Red Stars that died is interesting, the Wyandotte is still clucking along. So the genetics idea was of interest. No spraying or any trauma that could be detected. Until get the necropsy will be a mystery, and might still be after!
I looked into Strombergs for new hens - they were very nice. They have adults. Any recommendations from any of you would be welcome as well.
Blessings again from Oklahoma!
Mimi and Cruella

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