Favorite roo dead - what to do now.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by louisagardener, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. louisagardener

    louisagardener New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Aug 11, 2010
    Gordonsville, VA
    The backstory:

    Tuesday morning I went out to check on my birds (I have 15 girls, 2 boys, all Buff Orpingtons, all about 6 1/2 mos old), and I thought I heard a hiccup. I looked around for the source, and I saw a pullet who looked like she was sneezing. I picked her up, and her breathing sounded a teeny bit rattly. Well, I thought, better safe than sorry. I brought her into the basement to isolate her. Set her up in a dog crate with some food and some water, gave her some scrambled egg for the extra protein. Tuesday and Wednesday go by, and she really seems to look/act/sound fine. I start thinking maybe she just got some dust in her nose and I overreacted, so maybe I have nothing to worry about.

    So, yesterday morning, I go out to check on the birds in the coop, and just like every morning, the chickens come crowding up to the door to greet me... except for one of the roosters, Señor Pollo. Now, this is really strange; he's usually right in the thick of everything. So, I get in the coop to do my morning chores, and I realize the waterer was empty (I know, bad me). I went and filled it up, and then put it back in the coop, and the chickens flocked to it and drank up. Again, with the exception of Señor Pollo. Highly unusual. So, I go over to where he is laying down, and he let me pick him right up. Most out of the ordinary. He usually takes no time in scooting away from me wherever I go in the coop. I'm starting to get a little concerned, but I had to go to work.

    Unfortunately, Thursdays are my long days at work, and so now I don't get home until after dark. I figured that the pullet in the basement was safe to go back to the coop, and the best time to do that is at night, so I get her, and stick her out on a roost bar in the coop. It was dark, and I forgot to wear a headlamp so I could see where I was going, so I just opened the door and stuck her up on a roost bar, and went back inside. I thought to myself "I have to make sure to check on ol' Señor first thing in the morning. He was acting so weird earlier."

    So, this morning, I went to do my morning chores, and I opened the door to the coop, and there was Señor Pollo, smooshed in a corner, dead as a doornail [​IMG]

    I looked up online how to do a necropsy, but the site said that it is only useful if you do it w/in a few hours after the death. I have no idea how long he was dead, so I don't know that it would even do me any good at this point. Should I maybe just do one anyway?

    My other question is about the coop: Do I need to shovel out all of the litter and sanitize everything in it with bleach, in case whatever got Señor was infectious? This will be a bit tricky since the chickens can't really go outside yet. (Long story, but the original plan was for the run attached to the coop to get built immediately after we finished building the coop. Then we discovered a large yellow jacket nest in the ground right where we need to dig for the posts for the run. Uncool. So, we're waiting for the weather to turn cold and the yellow jackets to move on before we resume construction. In the meantime, the birds are stuck in their coop all day. I realize it is not ideal, but we're doing the best we can.)

    Thanks for any help and advice.
     
  2. louisagardener

    louisagardener New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Aug 11, 2010
    Gordonsville, VA
    I just realized that I left out a couple of details. Yesterday, when I picked Sr. Pollo up, he did not have any discharge from his nostrils or from his eyes, and his breathing seemed to be fine. Since I didn't notice any obvious signs of respiratory distress, I did not think to isolate him, which is why he remained in the coop at that point with the others. (Of course, being new to chickens, I may just not know what "obvious signs" would be...) Then I put him next to the waterer, and he didn't seem interested in drinking. I picked him back up, and I put his beak into the water and forced him to drink. Even then, he was really reluctant to drink.

    And the body has now been disposed of, so necropsy isn't an option. I still would like some advice on whether I need to do a complete scrub-out of the coop, and what I should be looking for in the rest of my flock.

    Thanks.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by