Dying chickens

Missy Hayes

Oct 23, 2020
I have had 3 hens die within the past week. No marks, no predator attacks, nothing. They are young hens. I go in and they’re just dead. Can anyone help me with what this could be and what I can do to prevent any more dying?
Are they showing any unusual behaviors? How old are they? Were they laying? Did they molt? What kind of feed do you give them? When was the feed manufactured (check the label on the bag)? Is the feed moldy? Do they free range? Have you checked for any signs of mites? Were they genetically related? Where are you located (so we know daylight length, temps, weather, etc.)? Please be as specific as possible, as there can be numerous things than can cause death in chickens. Any details that you can think of, feel free to add.
Can anyone help me with what this could be and what I can do to prevent any more dying?
Welcome to BYC! :frow

Sorry for your trouble. :hugs

We need to identify the cause.. Are you in the US? How old? Laying yet? What is fed regularly including treats and supplements? Any recent changes.. oils spills, new feed, rat poison, new birds added.. anything.. Any lighting source used? Where were they found and at what time of day? Do you happen to still have any body that can be sent in for necropsy.. If another passes please refrigerate and send to the lab.. often free or affordable to back yard keeper in order to protect our national food supply chain.. Links if you are in the US..
State poultry labs

How to Send a Bird for a Necropsy

How many birds are still left, and their ages.. in how much space, with what type of bedding? Check and double check that fees isn't moldy. Current weather conditions? What breed, all the same? From where, and how long have you had them? All questions are just to look for helpful clues. Any photos of your set up, or flock might help.

Exact age and other factors are needed to differentiate possible causes from nutrient deficit, to apsergillosis, coccidiosis. Marek's or more.

Bacterial (botulinum, e-coli, salmonella), viral (Marek's, AI, New Castle's), genetics ( lethal genes like ear tufts, creeper), environmental (fire, flood, hurricane), parasitic (mites/lice/worms/protozoa), poison (herbicide, pesticide, rodenticide), accidental (choking/injury/predator), Toxin (deadly night shade, oleander), Nutritional (all body function including requires certain nutrients including).. This list being off the top of my head without having enough information to give any opinion on suggested course of action beyond necropsy. :hmm

Hope you get answers and the rest thrive! :fl
Whew - three is tough. What are their ages? It sounds like sudden death syndrome, and I have seen it happen when birds get to be just about full size. An old chicken lady explained it to me as a small defect that did not have a hugely detrimental effect until the bird was near full size.

But how you described it, fine one moment and dead the next...is exactly how it has happened to me over the years. I have never had three at one time....until last year, and through a fluke, mine got poisoned.

Is there any rodent poison around?

Mrs K

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