Help! Found Dead Pullet This AM!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mom23chicklets, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. mom23chicklets

    mom23chicklets In the Brooder

    May 31, 2007
    Please help me figure out what happened. This morning I went into the coop to let my flock out and found my 17 week old Cuckoo Maran dead on her back with her legs up in the air on the floor of the coop. She was close to the door of the coop, so she must have gotten down from the roost on her own. In another words, she didn't die and fall down from the roost.

    After freaking out for 5 to 10 minutes, went back in and her legs had dropped down. Does this mean she had just died when I first saw her? Her eyes were closed. No signs of injury or blood. All the other chickens are just fine too.

    I tucked all the chickens in last night. They were all fine and healthy, and up on the roost for the night. What do you think could have happened? Maybe a heart attack? They are all on a good quality feed, they free range hours every day, and are given fresh veggies and fruit. I'm so sad.

    Thanks everyone for your help.
  2. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    [​IMG] Sorry for your loss
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Sorry for your loss. It happens some times. I've had a few ready to lay pullets fall dead on me over the past years. No idea why, running around in the morning, then stiff by noon.
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    It's impossible to speculate. If you lose another in similar fashion, get it to the vet for a necropsy.

    Sometimes chickens (and goats) just die for no apparent reason; even with the best care you can give them. It's nature's way that these die off before they breed and pass along weaker genese. It's sad at the time, but in the long term it's for the better.
  5. jenichick

    jenichick Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    I'm sorry I had that happen too, I thought it might have been the heat.

    I hear it does just happen sometimes. More so with chickens that about any other livestock or pet.
  6. mom23chicklets

    mom23chicklets In the Brooder

    May 31, 2007
    Thank you so much to everyone who responded. It definately wasn't the heat in my case. It was in the upper 50s this morning.

    What does everyone think about the feet being straight up and then resting down on her body within 5 to 10 minutes?

    Well, I can take some comfort in knowing I gave her the best care and a lot of loving. I'm glad I was in there last night at dusk. I actually petted everyone twice last night because it was kind of dark and I couldn't get a good headcount.

    So sad [​IMG]
  7. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Rigor mortis...
    When all the muscles contract after death...after a while they relax...
    I'm sorry for your loss.
  8. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Awww, im sorry to hear of you loss. What a shame. I agree, sounds like her muscles just finally relaxed. Poor thing. I hope this is your only loss. If there is another, I would take it in for a necropsy as well.
  9. Quote:I had the same thing happen Saturday the 15th. Secured the coop Friday night, and everyone was perched and getting ready to sleep. Went down the next morning to let them out and found my 3+ month old R.I.R. pullet Stella dead on the floor of the coop. There wasn't a mark on her, or any apparent injury. Her body is at the UConn Pathobology lab for a necropsy because it was so sudden, we wanted to make sure the other birds wouldn't suffer the same fate. So far so good with the rest of the flock. The necropsy was supposed to take place yesterday, and we will get called right away if it is anything urgent. Otherwise we get the full report in 6 weeks. It doesn't cost much, and I was told that for casual backyard chicken people (not poultry operations or egg farms), the state has been paying for the necropsies for monitoring of avian flu. It may not cost me a penny.
  10. Im sorry to hear about your loss, did you handle her straight away, she would have felt warm and flexible if she had just passed, otherwise if she went in the night she would be stiff with no movement in the legs. My guess is that she had been gone about an hour!
    anyone else got any thoughts?

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