Chickens Inexplicably Dying

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by afviolettes, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. afviolettes

    afviolettes Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2016
    So we've had 2 chickens "just die" in the last 2 months (roughly a month apart). I say "just die" because they showed no outward systems of being ill and were running around with the flock, eating and drinking right before death. Both chickens were from the original 6 we bought (we have/had 15). So they were a few months from being a year old.

    I've attached a video of the last one, its on my Red's sitting next to their ash box ... right prior to the start of this clip it had been running around and chasing one of my Golden's, sits down next to the box ... moves near the coop fence and then dies. The other chickens are constantly around her, pecking at her a bit (nothing serious).

    There's really nothing that I can see for why she died. Examining her body there's no apparent injuries, damage etc. None of the other chickens are acting "abnormal."

    Any inputs ?

    Thanks


    [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    St. Louis, MO
    There are lots of things that can kill a chicken suddenly, just like other animals. When it happens twice in short order, it's time for necropsy and some lab work. If you tell us what state you're in, we can give you your poultry lab/s.
    Otherwise, there is no way to know.
    Could be a heart attack or any number of diseases/toxins.
    Is there any ventilation in that building? Open windows, etc.?
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
  3. afviolettes

    afviolettes Out Of The Brooder

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    We are in West Texas (Abilene).

    Yea, 2 huge 2'x2' windows.

    The first one that died, died overnight, and was fine until the went to roost ... the flock prevented her from getting on the roost, and she died overnight on the coop floor.

    This one was fine all morning - well up to the point she died.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Texas has a ton of labs.
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    Texas

    Department of Defense, Veterinary Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory
    2899 Schofield Road Suite 2630
    JBSA Ft Sam Houston, Texas 78234-7771
    Phone: 210-295-4604
    IAV-A
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    Texas

    Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory - Amarillo (Branch)
    6610 Amarillo Blvd West
    Amarillo, Texas 79106-1706
    Phone: 806-353-7478
    IAV-A, CSF, ND, FMD, IAV-S*
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    Texas

    Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory - Center (Branch)
    635 Malone Dr
    Center, Texas 75935-3530
    Phone: 936-598-4451
    IAV-A, ND
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    Texas

    Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (Main)
    1 Sippel Road, Drawer 3040
    College Station, Texas 77843-0001
    Phone: 979-845-3414
    IAV-A, ASF, CSF, CWD*, ND, FMD, PRV, SCRAPIE, IAV-S*, VSV*
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    Texas

    Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory – Gonzales (Branch)
    1162 East Sarah DeWitt Drive
    Gonzales, Texas 78629
    Phone: 830-672-2834
    IAV-A, ND
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    Texas

    Texas Animal Health Commission State-Federal Laboratory
    8200 Cameron Road, Suite A186
    Austin, Texas 78754-3832
    Phone: 512-832-6580
    PRV, VSV*

    I've had 2 roosters die in minutes from heart attack. I wouldn't have known the cause if I hadn't had a necropsy. I took a lethargic hen for lab work. She died of cancer.


    It's recommended to have 1 sq. ft. of opening per bird.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
  5. afviolettes

    afviolettes Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the information - i'll check into the labs.

    The coop floor space is ~50sq/ft and the run area is ~350sq/ft.
     
  6. microchick

    microchick Overrun With Chickens

    Something I noticed on your film at about 45 seconds is that you have a hen that comes up from the bottom of the screen walking towards the coop and runs into the post in the center of the run before making her way under the coop.

    That isn't normal behavior. She acts like she just doesn't see it and boom, oh, hello, there's a post there.

    Could you have a toxin in your feed? Have you checked your food for mold? Worst thought. Any chance anyone could be poisoning your birds?
     
  7. ladyearth

    ladyearth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you said "ash box" Is that from fireplace etc, ash ?. That can be bad. I stopped that long time ago and started using construction grade sand. I think to this day couple of my girls having breathing problems from that FINE FINE ash...
    also can you let them out and free range SUPERVISED for at least half hour or hour before roost time ? let them find real grass, weeds and bugs?
    Mine died suddenly supposedly from fatty hemoragging liver>..Plus one a while back had balance prob.. used "Nutri drench" and limited extras...She the one soumds like she has "asthma" esp when shes upset..
    Now supposedly they got mites and worms again . IT never ends....I dont know why Nature makes those innocent creatures suffer so much...
    just my opinion.. Good luck
     
  8. afviolettes

    afviolettes Out Of The Brooder

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    I didn't notice that before, was staring in the corner at the red! I'll take a look and see how's she doing.

    As far as toxin's in the feed, I give them the Purina Layena and I offer some Oyster Shell on the side. I mix in some grit in the food since we on occasion give them greens etc.

    As far as letting them free-range ... theoretically we could... just haven't since I figured they would try and hop my fence, if they did ... they'd either end up in a neighbors yard or a feast for a coyote.
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    They don't suffer so much when allowed to free range and have big space housing with big ventilation.
    When they're confined with no forage is when the problems occur.
    I saw that too. But to me it looked more like she saw a bug on the post and jumped to get it.
    I would do the grit in a separate container. The only time I put it in the feed is sprinkling some #1 grit in chick feed the first week.
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Are they all laying? Layer feed should only be fed if everybody in the flock is actively laying. The high levels of calcium in layer feed can be very harmful to birds that aren't laying.
    I'm noticing some fairly pale combs in several of the birds in the flock. Could be a sign of anemia due to parasites, or organ failure.
     

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