First Chicken Death - Bury or Check for Infectious Disease?


10 Years
Sep 17, 2009
Northern CA

I'm new to posting here (joined last Fall and have received much helpful info...thanks so much). We are fairly new chicken owners with a 10-month old flock of twelve (until this morning). Sadly, I just found one of our Buff Orpingtons dead. She was, of course, one of our most favorite and friendly hens...a real lap girl. For the past two weeks she had been very listless with pale comb, slow movements, keeping to herself, runny white poop. It was strange that the other hens left her alone and didn't pick on her at all. The last few days she was moving around a bit more and eating. We were hoping she was getting better. Do chickens ever go downhill and then get better without intervention??? We were just about to worm the flock with the first dose of Wazine but hadn't yet.

My questions - do we bury her, or should we seek out the cause of her death? I'm worried that it might be infectious and will spread to the other ladies (who all seem very vigorous, healthy and normal at this point). She was lying half in and half out of the coop. How would you recommend I disinfect the area?

We've already had two expensive vet visits with a different chicken back in September due to a stuck egg (discovered after her insides and the stuck egg were coming out and other chickens had pecked her horrifically). Fortunately, we had a very happy ending and our beautiful Dominique, Harbor, lays almost daily now.

Thanks much for any and all advice.
Are you getting that done at the vet? You might check at your county extention office to find out if any of the nearby colleges or even the state offers free or lower cost necropsy. Some places do and others don't, but worth asking about.

Sorry about your hen, seems like it's always the favorites.
Yea, check with your county extension office, like Kittymoma suggested.

Sorry I can't offer any advice, but I'm so sorry about your loss. Hopefully it wasn't anything contagious, good luck!

It seems like it's always our favorites that go to chicken heaven too early!

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