Hen dropped dead!


In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 28, 2009
My year and a half old hen dropped dead. Found her laying on the ground this morning. She had quit laying eggs a couple of months ago, but no other signs of sickness. I tried to find a diagnostic lab in our area but no luck and none of the vets around here deal with chickens. I am afraid for the rest of my flock. What should I do??????????

Sudden Pullet Death happens. I lost a girl like that in her first year. No symptoms, no sickness, no cultural problems, just death within a day. I had to put it down to imperfect egg-laying organs or internal problems unrelated to illness.

I'm sorry you lost her.
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What state are you in? I have "The Chicken Health Handbook" and it has a list of each state's poultry pathology labs. It does give a list of things that causes sudden death: fatty liver, streptococcosis, malaria, botulism, cholera, erysipelas, gout, influenza, listerosis, marek's, newcastle, choking, pesticide poisoning, anaphylactic shock. Most of those would cause other syptoms though. So I would probably narrow the list down to fatty liver , gout, newcastle, chocking, pesticide poisoning, eating a poison plant, anaphylactic shock (from being allergic to something she ate or came in contact with), or maybe a reproductive issue like egg binding.
I am in Oklahoma, but the only lab I could find is in Stillwater which is way too far for me to take it. She was in a pen so she could not have gotten into anything poisonous, though there was a wasp nest in there. She had quit laying a couple of months ago after faithfully laying every day. A couple of days she seemed sleepy but ate and drank like normal.
The only see the Stillwater lab too. Sorry, it was worth a try. Since she hadn't laid in a couple of months, I would bet she was egg bound. If so she might have shown one or more of these: not eating, acting depressed, reluctant to fly or perch, abnormally wide stance, or persistent wagging of the tail.

I guess the other possibility is that she ate or agitated a wasp and got stung in the process swelling up her throat

Anyway, for now it doesn't seem like the rest of the flock is in danger of being infected.

Anybody else have a theory?
She did seem depressed, but thought that was because I had moved her and some other hens to a new pen.

The last egg she laid was quite a struggle for her, so maybe she was egg bound, but she sure didn't show the signs of it.

Thanks anyway:)


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