Do Chickens Just Drop Dead?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cmedeiros17, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. cmedeiros17

    cmedeiros17 Chirping

    May 17, 2012
    I'm not sure if this is the right area to post as she's already passed.......but I came home yesterday to find my silver laced wyndotte deceased :( She was completely fine prior - no signs of illness. She was eating/drinking fine. Active and healthy looking. Stool normal I found her in one of the dustbathing holes. It looked like she had been dustbathing herself and passed. She was lying on her side in the hole. Stiff as a board when I found her. I checked her over as best as I could and could not see any signs of wounds or anything. I'm just worried about the rest of my flock now. She was only 2 years old. Is it common for birds from hatcheries to only live this long? I had lost her sister (same breed) but that was months ago. And she had been ill prior to passing. I had taken her to the vet and everything but lost her anyway :( The vet suspected she had eaten something that punctured her internally. I'm so sad to have lost my beautiful girls.

    I did a thorough clean out/disinfection of the coop. I wasn't sure what to do about the run area, but I did take a shovel and dig it all up and turn over the soil. Picked up all the poo as well. Washed/disinfected all the bowls.

    I only had two wyndottes (the rest of the flock is leghorns, buff orps and silkies)- could they have just been bred badly? I just find it odd that they are the only ones out of my flock that I have had issues with.

    Thanks for any insight you can provide.
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Sorry for you loss! Chickens can die from no apparent reason. Heart attacks sometimes cause chickens to suddenly drop dead. Other diseases can kill quickly without warning, but if your other birds seem healthy, it was probably just a heart attack or another strange ocurrence.

    I once had a runt chick that started off small but eventually started growing normally. She ate great, drank fine, got along with the other birds, and appeared normal. One day, I checked her early in the morning, and about 30 minutes, I went to check her again. She was dead, lying on her back. Sometimes chickens just die and we can't figure out why.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  3. cmedeiros17

    cmedeiros17 Chirping

    May 17, 2012
    Thank you for your reply. I'm keeping a close eye on the others- just HOPING it is not anything serious that will be spread.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Yes, unfortunately they can just drop dead with no prior warning or signs. Maybe something like a stroke or heart attack. Just like some people have medical issues with no outward signs, so do some chickens. Some of them also injure themselves, maybe breaking a neck when they bang into something when trying to get away from a pecking order fight or something like that. If yours looked like she was dust bathing I’d think more in line with a heart attack or stroke.

    I would not draw any correlation to the other one. That other one probably swallowed a tack or screw, something that punctured her gizzard when she tried to grind it up. The way chickens will eat practically anything, it’s surprising a lot more don’t have problems with tacks and screws, but I guess she was just really unlucky. With an internal injury like that she would show signs of not being well. Totally different than your second one.
    1 person likes this.
  5. cmedeiros17

    cmedeiros17 Chirping

    May 17, 2012
    Thanks Ridgerunner.
  6. Gingerj

    Gingerj Hatching

    Sep 18, 2013
    We just had a similar thing happen. We've got 4 buffs, 2 wyandottes, and 2 BRs. One of the buffs just dropped dead. But now another buff is acting very sick, and I have no idea what's wrong. I'm worried that whatever it is will spread to the others. She's the youngest though, and the others are larger and appear healthy.

    Sorry you lost yours.

    I'm hoping mine pulls through.
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I don't want to hijack this thread but you might want to post a new thread in this same section, describe any and all symptoms you are seeing and maybe we can help you sort it out.

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