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HELP PLEASE!!! Sudden Death, >7 hours from onset of symptoms to violent death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ErinKyae, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. ErinKyae

    ErinKyae Hatching

    Feb 7, 2012
    Please help I have exhausted my resources hear in my area (Athens Ohio), so I turn to you "back yard Chicken forum folk"...

    I have a small 20 hen 2 roo flock, of farm purchased laying hens... They live in a comfortable large coop with occasional free ranging, the conditioning's are very clean, always access to fresh water, feed scratch grains, layer pellet, lots of fresh kitchen produce... living the good life

    Saturday, all was well,

    Sunday morning, i went to feed and turn them out. One of my newest hens wouldn't leave the coop. She was breathing funny, labored gasps, raising her beak to the sky, and inhaling with her mouth open... she also had her feathers ruffled, and she seemed listless. I had my 2 babies with me, so the best I could do was observe her for 10 minutes and then move on with the kids...
    My husband later went down to shut the coop for the night, and walked in on her last few minutes of life with violent convulsions and wing flapping. she died less than 7 hours after i noticed her symptoms.

    today, Tuesday i observed 2 birds (one was the sister of the one that died) are suffering from labored breathing, ruffled feathers, and very swollen faces, swollen shut eyes. They are uncomfortable and the rest of the flock seems aware of their discomfort. also several other birds have not swollen, but squint eyes There is a very unpleasant smell in the coop, not the death rot smell I read about, but more unpleasant than the typical chicken coop smell.
    I spent all day trying to shed light on the situation and act accordingly. have spoke to all of the chicken savvy people in my area, and I have contacted our local vets, who have no chicken knowledge. I was directed by the vet to contact OSU vet dept., but I met a dead end there too...
    I am concerned that the sudden death aspect is not congruent with symptoms of the various respiratory diseases I have researched. Also, I have a 7 month old and a 2.5 year old so I am also concerned about any potentially contagious conditions...

    can anyone help... any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Gapeworm???? It kind of fits. It is easy enough to tell -- you need two people, a flashlight and a Qtip. But let me give you links:



    and general info on wormers:

    http://healthybirds.umd.edu/Disease/Deworming Birds.pdf

    The only other things that occur to me are botulism (or some sort of poisoning) and, because of the smell, coryza, though without respiratory problems I would doubt coryza.

    Is it possible someone is poisoning your birds? Unfortunately, you wouldn't be the first I've read of this happening to.

    Good luck!
  3. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg Premium Member Project Manager

    Mar 31, 2011
    Wodland, CA
    My Coop
    Hi and [​IMG]

    I got this:

    pathogenic form of avian influenza produces facial swelling, ... with a characteristic offensive odorfrom the nostrils, labored breathing,

    Check on treatment by searching within the forum.

    Also, check with either the State you live in or a vet teaching University to see if they will perform a Necropsy on your dead bird. Here in ca there are three labs you can send them to. It is free for Back Yard chicken owners.

    I hope you get this figured out!


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