Just lost one of our chickens; was acting sluggish

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Hampstead, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Hampstead

    Hampstead New Egg

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    Sep 15, 2011
    Our nearly 4 month old light brahma just died. [​IMG] She'd been acting sluggish. Standing in one spot for hours, eyes closed, wings down, head tucked in.

    I've seen her poop (normal), vent was clear. She would eat and drink but not as much as usual.

    I brought her inside to observe/examine her better. Don't know if it put her over the edge but with in 15 minutes she could no longer stand, her head was listing, she started a panting/retching type movement that turned in to loud bawks, then she sort of seizured for a minute and died. I was filming her behavior/symptoms and unwittingly filmed her dying. It happened so fast.

    She had acted like this for a few days. She was even acting like this 3 weeks ago but perked back up.

    They are on medicated feed and we use DE.

    I'm not sure if there is some preventative measures I should take for the rest of the chickens (there are 5 others) all of them seem perfectly normal.
     
  2. CluckCluck18

    CluckCluck18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so terribly sorry.......I know just how you feel. I lost my beautiful Betty, a French Marans a few months ago. Just like yours.....fine one day and really sick so fast. I never knew for sure but I think she may have had an egg peritonitis....her symptoms sounded alot like yours . Even the squawking and seizure like activity. She was only 1.5 years old and gone in 24 hours. I wracked my brain and tried everything. Please accept my deepest sympathy. [​IMG]
     
  3. Hampstead

    Hampstead New Egg

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    Sep 15, 2011
    Thank you so much for the kind words. Its been a long time since I've dealt with the loss of a pet and now I'm dealing with guiding my 5 and 3 year old boys through this. The five year old is taking it really hard. The symptoms do seem to match the egg peritonitis, I guess there is some relief in knowing the rest of the chickens will not be wiped out by an illness.

    I thought she was getting ready to lay her first egg... now I'm wondering if there is something I could have done to have prevented it. Diet change?

    I'm so sorry about your Betty, sounds like a beautiful girl, and thank you again for your reply
     
  4. CluckCluck18

    CluckCluck18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think you can do anything with egg peritonitis....it just happens. My girls eat organically and better than me..they free range and have beautiful living conditions. I think that's why it's so hard, you are really helpless to prevent it. I was planning on taking her to the vet but she was gone in less than 24 hours. I agree that it's better than having something contagious that affects the whole flock.I'm sorry that your little ones have to go through it. [​IMG]
     
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Did she have access to any mold?
     
  6. Hampstead

    Hampstead New Egg

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    Sep 15, 2011
    I haven't noticed any mold and they don't have complete free range (just a large sectioned off area of the yard).

    Or are you referring to moldy food? We don't give them moldy food but conditions here have been pretty wet lately.
     
  7. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2010
    I wonder if her crop had soured?
     
  8. Hampstead

    Hampstead New Egg

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    Sep 15, 2011
    She was rather puffy in the crop but when I examined her I didn't feel anything weird/spongy/hard. To be honest I'm only 4 months in to this chicken thing and so very far from knowing if anything was weird or normal. She did not seem distressed by me turning her over and feeling her, I was pretty gentle, but within 5 minutes of putting her back down that's when she started the heaving, barking thing. Its very hard to believe my actions didn't set it off, whatever "it" was.

    All other chickens seem to be doing well so that's been a relief.

    Lilly was by far the sweetest of our girls though. The kids want another one; I'm not sure I can handle the stress of adding new chickens right now seeing as I'm already paranoid about each one of them dying off.

    I will add for anyone else checking for reference some other background information.... She had been acting sluggish a few weeks prior. Just kind of standing off by herself, eyes closed a lot. She would perk up when I came near by, almost like a "see! I'm okay! no sick chicken here". That only lasted about a week and she perked back up so I thought it was the heat wave we had. Then she started being sluggish again, not running with the others, no major wing flapping, standing in corners with her eyes closed.

    I wish I had done something sooner, not that I know what I would have done, but still.

    Thanks again to everyone for input, help, and all!
     

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