Just found my favorite broiler chicken dead - one leg under, one leg out - heart attack?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by cocoloco, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. cocoloco

    cocoloco Out Of The Brooder

    May 31, 2016
    Hello folks - what a crappy way to end the year. I went to the coop this morning and my 5 birds were quiet, huddled around my favorite hen, Patti, laying dead in the straw. To refresh your memory, I'm the city girl who had 8 chickens dumped on her last May. My husband and I tried our best to make a go of it, only to find 6 were broilers/Cornish Cross and not supposed to live long. We got rid of one rooster, and then, one hen, that had been sick from the start, died July 4th. We have had the rest ever since and
    made it through the hottest summer in 80 yrs here in Mass. I am heartbroken. Patti was eating and drinking yesterday. They haven't left the coop in days because of the cold but they are active in the coop. I feel horrible because I awoke 5am - and decided to go back to bed for another hour. When I found her in the coop, she had one foot under her, another stretched straight out, as though she were walking and fell. Her head was turned to the side, eyes were closed and body was still warm when we found her. Her vent appears distended and has a bit of blood - is that from dying? I watch them carefully to see if any appear eggbound. They all stopped laying with the onset of winter -except for one - who lays once a week. I feed them layer feed with calcium. Do you think it was a heart attack? They are all meatbirds so we didn't expect them to live this long - still, I am hoping she didn't suffer. Here are more details - she was my sneezy hen - never a runny nose or eyes, but sneezed when I put hay in the coop and when she was eating (she would gobble the crumbles, put her whole face in them and sneeze). A month ago, I noticed her comb getting grayish. We started giving all of them VetX in their water and I put some vaseline on her comb. Still, I never had any chickens with a runny nose or eyes. They ate very well - lots of fresh greens. She never acted sick, her tail was always up. I am heartbroken - hoping it was a heart attack and quick.
  2. leoChickens

    leoChickens Just Hatched

    Dec 19, 2016
    St.pete florida
    Aw im so sorry for your lose. I dont know much but wouldn't you here her cry if she fell and hurt her self? So my bet is that it was a heat attack! Unless you make noise when u have a heatattack. Also somthing could have tried to pull her out of the coop. But again u might here her crying!(my coop is next to my house so i can here them at night, and here when they wake up. Mine are tru city bird's and dont wake up tell nine) but again im sooo sorry this happend to you. I hope 2017 is sooo much easier!!
  3. cocoloco

    cocoloco Out Of The Brooder

    May 31, 2016
    Hello. I did not realize I posted this same thread twice - and the other replies I received said it was most likely a heart attack. My coop is locked up for the night and off the ground so nothing can grab them. I did not
    hear a sound but my house is a bit of a distance away. I can hear crowing in the morning. I just have to accept it and
    move on. I thank you for taking the time to reply and for your kind words.
  4. RodNTN

    RodNTN Following Jesus

    May 22, 2013
    Serving Jesus
    My Coop
    [​IMG] I am glad you joined us!
  5. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    Sorry for your loss, that's always tough [​IMG]
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    you probably didn't post twice, the "submit" button has been misbehaving for many of us (YET AGAIN!!) - it's not your fault. I'm sorry for your loss but, on the other side of the coin, you probably have helped these birds live much longer than would be natural for them. They are born with an expiration date and despite best of care they will pass on sooner than layers, etc. Either their legs give out or they die of heart attack or stroke. They outgrow their organ capacity.
  7. cocoloco

    cocoloco Out Of The Brooder

    May 31, 2016
    Thank you so much - I have been wracking my brain wondering what I could have done differently but I think there is not much you can do - I like your response that they have an exp. date on them. As soon as I learned what they were, I pulled back their grain when they were young and only fed it sparingly forcing them to forage free range most of the day and giving them a treat of fresh greens and healthy leftovers every afternoon. I think that is how they made it through the summer but, now, with the cold and snow, they are not moving as much. We buried our hen yesterday, but, beforehand, out of curiosity, I weighed her - she was over 15lbs. Yep, these birds are BIG. It has been a hard year - I lost my dad last Spring - the summer was one trial after another, a good friend passed about 2 weeks ago - through it all, chickens were a nice distraction. When I found that dead bird yesterday, I just broke down - I quickly realized it wasn't just the bird, but all the other stuff from this hellacious year. I feel much better today - I just went into the coop to do my morning "wellness" check - LOL - yep, all still alive. My problem now - I have 2 roosters and 3 hens (2 broiler hens and 1 bantam hen). Horrible ratio, I know, but, remember, we did not acquire these chickens normally and knew nothing about them. We have been learning as we are going along and things were ok when the other 2 hens were alive. We have a dog cage in the coop - and the hens will go in there and in the nesting boxes when they don't want the roosters bugging them. Here is a question - Do you think I should get a couple of full grown hens to balance things out? I saw an ad on Craigslist yesterday - someone has 25 egg layers and can't keep them all. I thought it might help the ratio and add some excitement to the boring
    winter coop.
  8. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hello there, and welcome to Backyard Chickens! Thank you for joining us today, please make yourself at home and enjoy BYC!

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