help identifying cause of death?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gruntle, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. gruntle

    gruntle New Egg

    May 24, 2010
    friday night/saturday morning i lost one of my hens, i've been googling her symptoms and can't identify any obvious cause.

    she was about 30 weeks, not laying (still looking very immature, not sure if thats a factor at all), smaller than the others and has generally been a quiet girl from day 1.

    thursday night she didn't go back in the coop like usual, so i picked her up and put her in. didn't think anything of it. friday early evening i took some treats out. since she's the quiet one and often doesn't get any treats if i'm not careful, i opened up the coop and gave some to her directly (quite normal for her), but she wouldn't eat. never having seen a chicken refuse grapes (bearing in mind, i've only had chickens a few months, and only three of them including this one) i thought that was odd, so i got her out and sat her on the ground, where she promptly fell over. she could stand, but only if i made her, and always with her wings slightly spread as if she couldn't get her balance. crop was empty, not sure if she was dehydrated (but i made her drink anyway) i tried her on some pellets & some other treats but she didn't show any interest. so i put her in a box overnight with a hot water bottle, and would have taken her to the vet on saturday, but she didn't make it. its almost like she just gave up and died. no breathing problems, nothing physically wrong with her legs. no massive weightloss, but then she wasn't very big in the first place.

    my first thought was someting similar to what i've seen i've seen in other pets (fancy rats, as it happens) sometimes you just get one that only grows to a certain point, fails to mature then dies. usually some kind of congenital deformity (often heart issues). but being rather paranoid, i saw one of my other hens spend a lot of time sat down and fall over, this afternoon and i'm worried it might be contagious or some kind of poisoning or worse. my birds are semi-free range in a suburban garden with lots of wildlife in it.

    any ideas?

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