I lost a hen - any ideas why?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mom2mnem, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. mom2mnem

    mom2mnem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2010
    We've had an incredibly cold winter as have many people. I don't know if the extreme cold brought this on or not.

    I have about 40 chickens in a coop. Thursday we didn't even let them out of the coop it was so cold. My son went up 3 times during the day and refilled their water and food. The last time for the evening, I went with him. I found my Buff Cochin hen was having trouble breathing. We took her to the house and gave her some VetRx in some water and kept her inside all night.

    The next morning she didn't seem to be doing any better. We pushed more water/VetRx and called the vet. She saw us two hours later. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to tell us much. She didn't seem to think it was an infectious disease. I have no idea if/how you can tell the difference. It was not a crop issue. She sent us home with homeopathic drops to push every hour and we were to call her the next day - today. Interestingly, while in the waiting area, the hen stopped making so much noise while breathing - we had hope that she might make it. The vet said it may have been due to adrenaline. But it happened again for a few minutes after we were home for an hour.

    Two hours after we got home, the poor hen suddenly jumped up out of her box in a panic. She squawked and gasped for breath, turned purple in her head and then she died. :(

    This is what she looked like Thursday night when she was breathing:

    [​IMG]

    This is her just before we took her to the vet:

    [​IMG]


    Here is my big dilemma. I can't decide whether to do the necropsy or not. I have her wrapped up and in the refrigerator in case I decide to do it. I am being advised that if they find something "reportable" that they may very well come in and wipe out my flock. I probably don't have to even mention that we have some well-loved family pets in the mix of birds that would be beyond devastating to lose in that way.

    It has been almost 48 hours since we found her ill. No other birds have any signs of illness. Could this really have been just a fluke? A pneumonia brought on by the cold?

    If this were something more serious/infectious, how quickly would it be expected to affect the rest of my flock?

    Does the video remind anyone of anything they've seen in their chickens?

    Thanks for any information.
     
  2. Jedwards

    Jedwards Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Berks County, PA
    If the vet didn't seem to think it was an infectious disease, I'd give that some credibility. If you do do an autopsy and think it's pneumonia check the lungs but to me it sounds like a respiratory problem.

    Here's a link to an old post maybe you could get some info from:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/806136/can-chickens-get-pneumonia
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Jedwards

    Jedwards Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 5, 2014
    Berks County, PA
    Sorry for your loss [​IMG]
     
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  4. marcus connor

    marcus connor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 23, 2014
    Eastern Texas
    1 or 2 chickens of mine do that of simptoms of goldie 1, but they have been doing it for months
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  5. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2014
    Central West Virginia
    Sorry for your loss [​IMG]
    I had a chicken start doing that, then a second one started doing it. I immediately gave them some antibiotics from the feed store and they all got better really fast. Luckily, it wasn't MG or any of the "big ones" that they would be carriers for.
    Since the vet says she didn't think it was contagious, I'd say she knows what she's talking about. Just watch and if any other birds start wheezing like that. I gave mine tetracycline (not the best, but all the feed store had in stock).
    Though wheezing can suggest a lot of different respiratory problems. She could have just gotten wet by accident and got pneumonia as a result, which is possible in this cold weather. I don't feel like an autopsy would be necessary unless a second bird is sick, but that's just my personal opinion.
     
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  6. mom2mnem

    mom2mnem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2010
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Much appreciated!
     
  7. leedyfeathers

    leedyfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2014
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    That is exactly how mine had acted and twice turnd blue I grabbed her bottom jaw and stretching her neck gave gental pulls as fast as that can without hurting her. I did have to grip the beack hard.i thought she would certainly die when i couldnt watch her. My co-op feed store lady told me to use antibiotic for Respitory problems. I noticed a difference the next day by the fourth day it had cleared up however she had gotten sick with something else and died a week later of what she started out with. I was hopping that the antibiotic would help every thing sadly not
     

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