Lost My First Chicken; Have A Couple Questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Laurajean, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Haven't been on in a while, busy with work and other things. Today I came out and found one of my chickens, a Partridge Silkie, dead near the run door (just inside the run). I was absolutely stunned, mainly because this is my first loss and I was not expecting it, but also because she was young and healthy as far as I know, and I am not sure why she died. She was only a year and a half old. [​IMG] No health problems or anything odd that I ever noticed, in the past or recently. She seemed fine yesterday. There's absolutely ZERO chance of any sort of predator. My run is like Fort Knox, there is NO way anything got in, trust me on that. I won't get into a grand explanation of my run, but trust me that is is 100% secure from anything but perhaps a bear. Everything was intact, the other chickens seem okay, although they just stood around me, a few feet away, watching, and almost, well, I swear they looked sad. I am hoping I can post this without anyone feeling the desire to scare the heck out of me with disease stories of mass deaths, etc. But I am also wondering if I somehow caused this or did something wrong. Everything seemed to be in order, plenty of food, water, clean surroundings, etc.

    Do young chickens just die? Could they just have some sort of condition and drop dead or is it only a sign of disease that could spread through the flock? I don't want to start freaking out and worrying about my whole flock, but on the other hand, I am just baffled why a young chicken would die so suddenly. No visible injuries by the way, and I inspected her pretty well.

    Someone please tell me that this can happen, that is doesn't mean my whole flock is in danger (I've read too many horror stories on here), and that I didn't do anything wrong.

    I feel so sad. She was special in her own unique way. When she was a chick I didn't know what she was so I called her "Speckles". Then later the speckles disappeared as she changed color. A carpenter was building my chicken coop and his little boys were playing with the chicks and I told them they could name one of them. They chose her and proudly announced that they decided on "Rachel". I thought that was the strangest name for two little boys to come up with for a chicken, but my word was my word, and so Rachel it was. Visitors liked to point her out because she looked different than the others, with her distinct black had and reddish brown body. I'd say, "Oh, that's Rachel" very seriously and watch their look of amusement at her name.

    It's a sad day. I know people lose chickens every day, but I only have a handful and they are dear pets to me, and I am just very, very sad and so worried about *why* she died.

    Goodbye Rachel.
  2. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    So sorry [​IMG] did she feel thin was anything in her crop?
  3. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2011
    Madison, CT
    So sorry to hear about your chicken :[.

    Yes, sometimes chickens do just die and we don't know why.
    There are alot of illnesses, cancers, and other internal things that could have went on that you were not able to see.
    Maybe even eggbound...but i think you would notice here acting uncomfortable.

    There is always a risk of it being contagious so if you can, try to rule it out by figuring out what exactly killed her.
    I know sometimes you can bring a bird to a state vet to get a necropsy. So they can find out how and why she died.

    But yes, chickens can die randomly like that.
    It happens alot.

    Sorry [​IMG]
  4. mrsbrcant

    mrsbrcant Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 6, 2009
    Escondido, California
    I have had this happen before. One day the chicken seems perfectly healthy, the next day you find them dead. It has always been with hens, never roosters (except for a really old rooster). The first time it was one of my super layers, the second time it was a young hen that never started laying (egg bound?). I think the first hen that died might have had a heart attack, I have heard that it can happen. I have noticed that the rest of the flock will mope a little when one dies. When we found our old rooster dead, two of the hens he was housed with were settled in next to him in his crate where he slept. I never had any disease that spread to the rest of my flock though. Sorry about your loss.
  5. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Quote:Thank you. The others really did seem very unusually calm, somber. Even the jerky rooster didn't bother being a jerk, didn't crow at me as he always does, they all just stood in a quiet group and watched me take her. I really sensed they felt the loss.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I've had this a few times over the years. Young, apparently healthy hen just dead. No predators, no apparent cause. No one else got sick or died. Sorry and best of luck to your flock.
  7. flockof4

    flockof4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2010
    Webster Groves, MO
    Sorry for your loss. I haven't experienced this type of chicken death, but it sounds like it's somewhat common. Hope the rest are happy and healthy.
  8. debryman

    debryman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2011
    Joshua Tree CA
    I'm so sorry to hear this. I have not had any losses yet either but your story will hopefully make me a little more prepared in case it does... [​IMG]
  9. CCourson05

    CCourson05 Popping like kettle corn...

    Jan 5, 2011
    Hickory Flat, MS
    One time, I heard a commotion in one of my coops, but I was worming another coop at the time and didn't respond right away. My guineas started freaking out, and they are the best indicators of anything going wrong. Lol. Anyway, one of my Delaware breeding roosters had jumped from the roost pole and broke his neck on the ladder for the girls nesting boxes... Luckily, he commited suicide on a day of buthcering... [​IMG]

    I have had some die of trauma to the head too. Not die instantly, but I think they bled on the brain until they died...
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  10. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your chicken. [​IMG]

    While I'm not veteran of chicken raising, based on what my grandfather told me, it seems that sometimes they do just up and die. In fact, when I first told him we had gotten chickens the first thing he asked was, "How many did you get?" followed by, "How many have you lost?" When I told him we hadn't lost any, he looked genuinely surprised. When I asked him why he asked he said, "Oh, you just tend to loose some over the first year or so for no good reason. Sometimes, they just up and die on you. We used to see that quite a bit growing up."

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