Help Needed to Diagnose Cause of Death :(

duchessofnoodles

In the Brooder
Nov 23, 2020
5
18
29
MA
Hi BYC,

This morning in my rounds I found one of my beautiful 6 month old Buff Orrbington girls lifeless in one of the egg boxes in the coop. I am completely heartbroken :(. I am also scared for the rest of my flock as I have no real idea as to what happened as I'm so new to caring for them.

When I found her her comb was purple and she had mucus and some of the grass hay bedding in her mouth. Her vent looked purple and a little swollen with clear and a small amount of yellow rancid smelling mucus coming from it. I'm not sure if the mucus in her mouth was from her attempting to clean her vent or something else entirely.

I have seen a few instances over the past few days of seeing small amounts of clear mucus discharge in the run or the coop but I had chalked it up to the weirdness of the beginning of egg laying as they are all eating, drinking and acting normally. All of the girls are around the same age and some have started laying - we had a hard shell less egg earlier in the week so I figured that was what was going on. They are all on layer feed and free range for a few hours a day. Additionally I supplement their water with ACV.

Any ideas? I just don't want her death to be in vain - I know that these things happen but we were doing so well :(
 

duchessofnoodles

In the Brooder
Nov 23, 2020
5
18
29
MA
Could have been egg bound. Sounds similar to what a friend of mine experienced. His turned out to be egg bound.
Others may know...

That's what we were thinking but you get to googling and all the sudden it could be 100 different things! I'll read up more about egg bounded-ness. Thank you for your reply!
 

Overo Mare

🙄🤚Karen
Premium Feather Member
Aug 26, 2019
20,923
201,187
1,406
Small-town, Virginia
You could perform a necropsy or have her sent to your state lab for one. It does sound reproductive though. Foul smelling fluid sounds like infection.

I'm sorry for your loss. :hugs
 

duchessofnoodles

In the Brooder
Nov 23, 2020
5
18
29
MA
You could perform a necropsy or have her sent to your state lab for one. It does sound reproductive though. Foul smelling fluid sounds like infection.

I'm sorry for your loss. :hugs

Thank you :(

I did another once over and found a broken eggshell membrane in her vent - i'm guessing it broke and became infected and that was it.
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
62,462
55,478
1,322
southern Ohio
Sorry about your pullet. Is she still alive? If you are up to it, a necropsy at home can allow you to see her organs and might explain what was going on. If you do one, take some pictures of organs and what your find, and many here will try to give opinions. Here is a video with the organs labeled that might help now or later on if you lose another chicken. I have lost several over the years to crop problems, internal laying/salpingitis, cancer, and ascites. The pictures of the liver can give a few clues sometimes.
 

Bigtom Turkey

Crowing
Nov 29, 2020
1,773
3,170
316
Indiana
I don't think it was reproductive b/c I lost a roo last year with the same symptoms. My guess heat stroke that is what happened to my roo.
 

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