Emergency: I think this chicken's dying, but what from?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gottsegnet, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2009
    Nebraska
    OK, well, I have pictures but of course the program won't load them on the computer.

    We came home to find one of our pullets laying flat on the ground, wings outstretched, eyes closed and panting. She had shade and plenty of water and it is only 83. I picked her up and she pulled her wings in but her head just flopped. Mostly she keeps her eyes closed, but will open them if you blow on her.

    She protested being put in the cage with some flapping and clawing, but her head remained relatively limp. You can put it in an upright position and she'll hold it for a moment, but then it just rolls to the side.

    I didn't know what else to do, so we poured some cool water over her, lifting feathers to make sure some got to her skin, laid her on the cool garage floor and put a cage top over her to keep her safe while she lays there.

    She was fine this morning when we left. She had a little feed left from the night before and drank when I gave her fresh water. I moved her to an outdoor pen so she could get some fresh air. This is actually our best cared for bird as my daughter was planning on showing her at the fair next weekend. She's been separated for awhile since the cockerels are pulling the feathers out of the pullets' necks and she's on premium feed.

    We couldn't find any evidence of an attack (we lost some goslings and a chick to weasels out of pens a couple months ago), and all her feathers are intact.

    We've also lost two other birds within the last two weeks to unkown causes. All seemed healthy the night before but were dead in the hen house in the morning. The hen was even in the nestbox as if she'd been laying when she died. She was the first, and I kind of wondered if she were eggbound or something. She was our best layer, hadn't laid in a few days, but seriously showed no signs of something being wrong.

    All of our other birds seem fine. I probably won't be able to get an accurate head count until evening. Everyone else free ranges.

    I'm really concerened but have no idea what to look for. Any suggestions or ideas?
     
  2. rhondaa

    rhondaa Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2009
    North Tx
    Im sorry for your loss, i have lost 2 hens in the last week also. It has been 103-105 every day for 3 weeks. They seem fine the day before and the next day dead.????? I hope someone knows whats happening!

    thanks
    rhonda
     
  3. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2009
    Nebraska
    It's been really hot here, and a couple days ago I would have assumed heat exhaustion. But it cooled off yesterday and is 20 degrees cooler than it has been!

    She's still breathing, but I don't think there's much hope. [​IMG] I've had chickens that seemed in much better shape die.
     
  4. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2009
    Nebraska
    Well, Nacho died not long after the last update. I'm not sure if what we were watching was really even symptoms, or just the death struggle.

    I really wish I knew what was going on. she was our prettiest bird and she and Dog Breath (our cockerel that was attacked by a dog) look the healthiest outwardly.

    The hardest though is that she was hand raised by my daughter who's been working with her every day to get her ready for show. The bird stood so nicely while my daughter went through her presentation, never struggled, and was very easy to pick up because of all the handling.

    Now I'm just missing the chicken and feeling bad for all my daughter's work. The barred rock that's replacing her looks all roughed up in comparison because of being with the horny cockerel. She isn't bad, but she isn't going to be in show condition by Thursday and Mouse put so much work into her project. [​IMG]
     
  5. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    Jan 27, 2009
    Enumclaw
    I am so sorry for your loss. [​IMG] for you and your daughter.
     
  6. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2009
    Nebraska
    While handling another bird, we got our first confirmation that they have mites. Of some sort. One ran off and bit me. I've suspected it for awhile, and we've treated the hen house a couple times, but could never find any direct evidence in the coop or on the birds. Just that I occasionally get little stinging sensations on my ankles after messing about in the coop and my 5 yo sometimes complains about stinging after playing with them.

    Last night I finally found one. Clear and fast and not a pleasant sensation. Still couldn't find any on the bird, but I'm going to the feed store to see what poisons I can bring home.

    I don't know if that could have anything to do with the death of a bird. She seemed healthy, and whatever infestation we have is light or there'd be some evidence besides an occasional stinging sensation after handling the birds (and that not every time).
     

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