Ever have a mystery death? Can it be a normal thing for one to drop dead once in awhile?

DanIndiana

Songster
9 Years
Aug 27, 2010
156
1
101
Valparaiso, Indiana
We have about 120 chickens, with 25 young roosters from hatching. Processed 8 last week. The oldest are now 13 weeks. Since I processed, all seems very calm; a few brief standoffs; very little squabbling. Then yesterday, one of the 10 week old roosters is found dead. He was perfectly fine in the morning; also no signs of any trauma. I realize I can't know what happened, but is it possible another rooster took him out? Has anyone else gotten an occasional mystery death? I think we've had this 3 times in the last 2 years, which is probably not bad, considering how many we have. Maybe it's just the numbers.
 
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centrarchid

Crossing the Road
Sep 19, 2009
26,258
16,985
786
Holts Summit, Missouri
Dan,

Even my games can not cause death without obvious damage. Since death rapid and birds in fast growing lifestage, consider feed as first suspect. Are they getting acces to something that might be poisionus? Also heat.
 

Chickens&Ducks

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 5, 2011
20
0
22
Virginia
Yes, we had one last year. No reason, just found her dead in the bottom of the coop. No sign of disease, infection, attack. She was locked safely in the coop from predators. We watched the other chickens for disease and held the eggs for a few days. Everything was fine, still haven't found out why.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2009
8,376
9,582
596
western South Dakota
Yes, there can be unexplained deaths. A malformation of an organ, such as a heart, just like in people. Sometimes things just die. Looking at the list of the above poster is not a bad idea, but really most of those things would effect a larger number of birds. And except for the possible poison, you would see signs of distress in the whole or most of the flock.

If you start losing several birds, say 3-4 in a weeks time, you really do need to look at the environment, but an occasional, for no reason, so signs death, it is a bit discouraging, but does happen through no fault of the owner. It should not happen often, but it can happen occasionally. And a bit more often, when one has the number of chickens that you have.

If you are breeding and raising your own, you should be keeping careful records, and of course not breeding or raising up anything that is not vigorously alive and ages well.

MrsK
 
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centrarchid

Crossing the Road
Sep 19, 2009
26,258
16,985
786
Holts Summit, Missouri
Yes, there can be unexplained deaths. A malformation of an organ, such as a heart, just like in people. Sometimes things just die. Looking at the list of the above poster is not a bad idea, but really most of those things would effect a larger number of birds. And except for the possible poison, you would see signs of distress in the whole or most of the flock.

If you start losing several birds, say 3-4 in a weeks time, you really do need to look at the environment, but an occasional, for no reason, so signs death, it is a bit discouraging, but does happen through no fault of the owner. It should not happen often, but it can happen occasionally. And a bit more often, when one has the number of chickens that you have.

If you are breeding and raising your own, you should be keeping careful records, and of course not breeding or raising up anything that is not vigorously alive and ages well.

MrsK
Poster did not indicate genetics of what is being raised. If Cornish X and animals are being taken beyond age typically targetted for harvest, then organ developmental issues may very well apply. In that case, a restricted ration will enable better survival.


In respect to assessment that questions I raised would effect entire flock, that is not always so. Especially when there is some within flock variation with respect to tolerance of heat and nutritional status.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2009
8,376
9,582
596
western South Dakota
@ centrachid - I did not mean to offend. Without a doubt the questions you asked are valid questions. And you have a valid point about different breeds being able to tolorate different environments, and have different nutritional needs.

The way I read the post, it was a random death. The rest of her flock was doing well, I assumed. It can happen to any breed, and to any age group.

MrsK
 

NYREDS

Crowing
12 Years
Jan 14, 2008
5,644
427
303
More often than not, in the absence of obvious illness or trauma, a loss such as the one described is the result of a heart attack. It happens: we've all got to go sometime-even chickens.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,984
581
Southern Oregon
In the last ten plus years, I've lost probably 3-4 birds this way. Various ages, breeds and both sexes. Fine up until they were dead. Like Mrs K said, if you have multiple losses or birds acting off, I'd investigate but other than that, sometimes they just die. As also stated, a bird isn't going to kill another bird and leave no trace.
 

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