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Help....We had our first chicken death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by swmalone, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. swmalone

    swmalone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 30, 2011
    Northern Utah
    I went to let the chickens out this morning and noticed our year and half year old black sex link just laying in the coop. She wasn't moving and when I reached in she was hard. I don't know what happened to her and I was hoping maybe I could get some ideas from you guys.

    She had been our first layer when we got our chickens last year and she laid great all summer but then stopped in winter and since then has laid very inconsistently, and most of her eggs have had a very soft shell even though we provide oyster shell.

    She had one pupil that was shaped like a tear drop and seemed to have a bit of a balance problem. We spoiled our chickens and I had to go out every night and put her on the roost because she would try to sleep in the egg box. When I put her up there she would seem fairly wobbly but would stay on the roost through the night.

    When I found her this morning I checked over the body but it was pretty stiff. I noticed that the vent was slightly prolapsed. I did not notice this yesterday, but it is possible I just didn't see it. I also don't know if this may have happened after the death. Is it possible that a prolapsed vent may have been the cause of the death or a symptom? The body in general was so stiff that I couldn't really tell if there was was an egg bound up in there. She had laid a very soft egg two days ago.

    Any thoughts on what might have happened or what I should check the body for would be appreciated. My wife is going to be extremely upset and I want to make sure that it isn't something that may be contagious so that we don't lose our other chickens.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry for the loss.

    Since she had several symptoms related to her reproductive system, I think it's most likely this was the cause of her death. Those types of problems are not ordinarily contagious. If the rest of the flock seems fine I definitely wouldn't worry about it.
     
  3. swmalone

    swmalone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 30, 2011
    Northern Utah
    The rest of the flock is running around and laying on a regular basis. The weird thing was that she was running around acting like a happy chicken yesterday and then was dead this morning. It just seemed so abrupt and it caught me off guard.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Chickens are very good at hiding that they are ill. Unfortunately, many here have experienced this.
     
  5. swmalone

    swmalone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 30, 2011
    Northern Utah
    Well I hope that it isn't something contagious. We spoil all of our pets, and we include the chickens as our pets, so it is very disturbing when something like this happens. My wife is so upset that she has so no more animals she can't handle it. I appreciate the feedback. Is there anything I should inspect on the body just to be sure? Like I said it seems that the vent is slightly prolapsed I didn't see any bleeding, mites, lice, etc. I couldn't tell if she was egg bound because of how stiff the body is, and I don't intend to cut her open to look. Is there anything else I should check?
     

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