Dead chicken, why, why, why!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by horsefeathers09, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. horsefeathers09

    horsefeathers09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2009
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I found my 8 month old LH dead in her coop this morning for NO apparent reason. No wounds or any sign of illness! She is my best layer and my favorite chicken, I'm so sad. I'm new at this, is this just something that happens or what? Concerned......[​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I'm so's always a shock when that happens. Sometimes, it just happens out of nowhere.

    There are so many things it could have been, and I'll tell'll drive yourself nuts over it if you're like me. She could have hopped down & hit her head or something. Could have had an internal laying issue that you didn't know about. Could have gotten some sort of infection that hit hard & fast. Unless you take her in for a necropsy, you'll never know for sure. I'm so sorry!
  3. horsefeathers09

    horsefeathers09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2009
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Thanks for the quick response, I was hoping to hear exactly what you said, "that it just happens." I can live with that, I just keep second guessing myself thinking my inexperience may have contributed to her death. Hope not.
  4. tweedle dee

    tweedle dee Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 17, 2008
    Northeastern, NC
    I also had a dead hen this AM. Buff orpington, also 7 months old.

    I noticed yesterday evening she was in the nest box - I figured she was going to lay but died sometime during the night:(
  5. keysfarmgirl

    keysfarmgirl Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 8, 2009
    Florida Keys
    Sorry about your chicken. I have been having issues with young chickens dying and thought because I am new at this maybe I was doing something wrong but I don't think I am.
    I bought 5 chicks that were 4 weeks old. After 2 weeks one got sick and we were able to nurse it back to health. A week later another got the same symptoms (lethargy, not eating, laying there by itself) and it died the next day. The day after that I put them up in the coop at 6:00 p.m. and went downstairs at 8:00 p.m. to find one laying on the floor dead--no signs of illness on this one. Now yesterday another one died after I found it listless in the coop in the morning. I am left with 2 (which I think are roosters and I can't keep if they are). But I am thinking "what the heck is going on???". I am convinced that they must have some issue that came with them; coxy or something.
    I called a vet about doing a necropsy but it is expensive. I did bring some poop from the coop in for them to test it for coxy because the vet suggested that (and it's cheap). I want to know what the cause is but can't spend a lot of money on vets.
    I read that this happens to many people with all different sorts of symptoms or none at all. That doesn't make it any better. I wish it were easier to figure out.
  6. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Wynette is right, there are many things it could have been. If she was in the nest box she could have been eggbound . . . or she could have even succumbed to fatty liver disease and passed very quickly.

    keysfarmgirl has a good suggestion with the necropsy, but even if you do not do this it is a good idea to keep a close eye on the rest of your flock and review your husbandry practices. Double check condition of feed and water, coop ventilation, check droppings of remaining birds, make sure all eyes and noses are clear, no wheezing or sniffling, no discoloration or combs/wattles, no off smells around faces, good vent condition, no mites or other pests, etc., and then just keep an eye on things and hope for the best.

    So sorry about your hen. Please keep us posted if you make any discoveries on this.
  7. jonesgirl

    jonesgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2009
    I'm sorry about your Hen!

    I had a bantam rooster die this winter... Out of the blue too... It's such a bummer when it happens!
  8. horsefeathers09

    horsefeathers09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2009
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Thank you all for helping me with this, all good advice, and I will absolutely keep a close watch on the others. So far the others are fine.
  9. horsefeathers09

    horsefeathers09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2009
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Tweedle dee - sorry to hear about your hen.
  10. vermontgal

    vermontgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    keysfarmgirl, depending on what vet you consulted, you might want to call your state agricultural extension agent to find out of there are resources for a necropsy other than a small animal vet. With more than one chicken dying, you should find out why. Your situation sounds like they have a disease, not a random case of chicken heart attack or egg binding that causes a single unexpected death.

    Sorry to hear about all your chickens.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009

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