goodbye martha.


In the Brooder
6 Years
Jul 31, 2013
Had to say goodbye to my favourite bird Martha who passed away in the early hours of sunday. She had not been right for a few days and it got to the stage where she could not stand or move but she would eat and drink. We had another bird die of same thing a month or so ago. Not sure what the cause is. Any insight and advise would be great.
So sorry for your loss, it's always hard when you lose a favorite chicken.
From your description it sounds like your flock could have coccidiosis, here's a link from BYC on the symptoms and how to treat it.
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Sorry for your loss!
Could you explain her symptoms more? If you fill me in on the symptoms more, I'll try my best to help you find the cause of Martha's death. Did she have any loose or bloody droppings? How old was she? Was she unable to move, or was she just lethargic? Was there any discharge/sneezing/coughing?
Thank you both for you kind sympathys.
Well both Lilly ( the other bird who died) and Martha went very downhill pretty much overnight. its hard to describe but initially they were standing in one place ALOT like it was an effort to move then they would be unbalanced and tend to fall over (to the left in both cases) and spread the left wing out. When I picked them up and put them down again they would pretty much lose balance and plop straight into sitting position.
in the end Martha wasn't moving at all but would still eat and drink as i put the food and water right next to her. I doubt she would of been able to get up anyway. i did noticed that her poop was yellowy in colour and smelt quite bad (much more smelly that usual poop) as far as i am aware there was no sneezing/ coughing etc.
we recently have had an outbreak of redmite but that has cleared up by using diatom, but when we gave Martha a bath (to clean her poopy end up a bit) we noticed some lice on her and on our other birds.

Hope this info helps
The rapid onset of the disease and the symptoms make me think that they could have experienced Botulism. Botulism is poisoning that can occur when a chicken eats a dead animal infected with the organisms that cause Botulism, or comes into contact with it by scratching in an infected area. Botulism causes paralysis, lack of coordination, sudden death, inability to stand, a limp neck, and droopy wings. Botulism also sometimes causes the feathers to easily be pulled out. It generally kills within three days. The treatment for Botulism consists of "flushing" a bird with something that will draw out the poison and get it out of the bird's body quickly. An Epsom salts flush is common, as is a Molasses flush.

It might be something else, but this is what I thought of first. Is there any place that your birds could have scratched around in near a dead animal, or moldy food? Or, could any of their feed have become moldy? Sometimes they can also get Botulisum from wet litter when they scratch around in it.
aw martha sounds like a real sweety:( sorry for your loss chicken losses are just as sorrow as when a dog dies or a cat, one tip of advice don't get another chicken fo the same breed and expect a martha the 2cd. You had memories with the bird and you should probally accept it and get a different breed. I lost a hen named dosel 4 years ago to a neibor dog along with a barred rock. i got some more and now i have new memories.

I had a chicken that randomly died 2 years ago from sickness, i think it was cold and thats why.
Thank you wyandottes7 i shall keep this information at the top of the list incase this happens again which i hope it doesnt. My first thought when lilly came down with it was that she had had a stroke due to her falling to one side but botulism would make sense.
we have 3 ducks in the run with the chickens and they are quite messy with water splashing everywhere but we have recently upgraded to having sand on the floor.
Martha was my fav bird as when we first got her she would follow me around the garden and let me pick her up for some fuss. Byebye martha
I'm so sorry for the loss of Martha, Lilly and Leah

I also lost my favorite hen and know how hard it is. I will miss my sweet girl but I like to think He has greater plans for Mrs Peach and Martha

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