dead 12 week old chicken, not sure why

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by siouxbee, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. siouxbee

    siouxbee Songster

    May 8, 2007
    Hi all --

    We have a small flock -- 7 adults from last year, and 9 babies hatched at the end of July by one of our hens. Yesterday, we were outside having a halloween party in our back yard, so I grabbed the bag of peanuts I wanted to toss around the yard for the game and lured the flock into their run (they usually free range most days). Didn't stop to count, just seemed like everyone was in.

    Later during the game, as it got darker, we noticed one chick still outside, heading down the hill toward the coop. My son went to pick her up, she stood perfectly still and let him (first sign of trouble that she didn't run away). He brought her to me saying she was really cold. I felt warmth under her feathers, but held onto her since it seemed important to him. When it was time to go inside, I put her back in the coop since she'd fallen asleep inside my coat.

    It was then that I noticed that she couldn't seem to walk properly (tho I hadn't noticed her having trouble before walking toward the coop). Her legs seemed to fail underneath her. I put her up on the flat board they roost on and shut the door, planning to keep an eye on her today.

    My son let them out this morning, and came in crying that Hazel was dead. Sure enough, out in the coop, we found her stiff, cold little body on the floor. There were no signs of trauma, blood or anything else that I noticed to indicate that she wasn't healthy.

    What the heck happened? I'm watching the rest of the flock today and they all seem fine. No limping or other signs of trouble. With so many birds, and with them having the freedom of our yard and the surrounding woods, it's hard to notice who pooped where and what it looked like. I did notice one wetter than usual poop on the deck stairs yesterday, but that happens occasionally and hasn't seemed anything to worry about.

    We have chick starter and laying pellets in the coop for whoever wants what. I toss out scraps from our food as well. They drink from their waterer, but I do see them drinking from things under the deck or playscape that capture rain water.

    Any ideas? Should I be worried for the rest of my chickens? Should I do anything?


  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    It's so hard to say without a necropsy. Sometimes they just die, as sad as it sounds. I've had two or three die and the necropsy results showed some sort of birth defect.
    I'm sorry to hear about your chicken. [​IMG] Keep an eye on everyone else just in case, and if you have anyone else come up sick, seperate them from the rest of the flock.

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