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Mareks and now sudden death? What to do? :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tofumama, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. I posted recently about culling, as I had 2 chickens with Marek's I had to put down, after a 3rd died (on her own).
    This morning, I went out and found one of my silkie's dead on the bottom of the coop. She is over a year old, and yesterday was fine...as far as I can tell. It looks like she *may* have died in her sleep but...I don't know. She does not appear to have been injured, her feathers are nice, her crop seemed empty and can't, in my newbie-ish wisdom, find anything overtly wrong...she has not layed in some time, that I know of, but my girls all molted recently and are just starting to lay again.

    My question is- could this be related to the Marek's the other 3 had? I am looking out at my other girls and roo in the yard all behaving normally, looking good. The only girl not there is my other silkie, who did not want to come out of her nesting box this morning...which could be because she is broody(she is ALWAYS broody, lol) or...something else...

    Please, if you have any thoughts, I would appreciate it. This is the 4th chicken in a month and I am starting to fear going out to the chickens in the morning for fear of what I will find. I am super careful about keeping my coop clean, I feed them well, they get plently of free range time, treats, fresh water, and I am just at a loss for why this is all happening [​IMG]

  2. Suzie

    Suzie Crowing

    Jul 9, 2009
    Sorry, I have no explanations for this sudden death - you are having so many problems and my heart goes out to you! I have had sudden deaths here without any symptoms or warnings and it is such a shock to find one of your babies dead - please do not feel that this is any of your fault - I have been along that road and despite all of my reservations it CAN happen for no particular reason that we can understand NOR IS IT OF OUR DOING.... I do hope that you can come to terms with what has recently happened and you continue to love and care for your chickens - you obviously do your utmost to care for them all.


  3. slackwater

    slackwater Songster

    Feb 1, 2010
    Unfortunately, I think these things just happen. It sucks. I thought I had Mareks in my bunch, but it turned out to *possibly* be leukoid leukosis. I still lose birds from time to time - usually none for a month or so, and then 2 within a few days of each other. Birds are funny creatures, though, and sometimes they can be harboring something forever, looking fine, that they just succumb to, seemingly overnight. Or, they get something that you *think* you can fix (like worms or cocci), and they die anyway. I came home from a week-long trip to Taiwan for work, and one of my chickens was hiding and skinny as anything, and two more looked iffy - DH didn't notice, b/c they aren't *that* far off from normal (and there are too many for him to have noticed the one hiding). Long story short, it seems to have been worms - but I lost two figuring that out. Then, one of my chicks just up and died - no apparent reason. Now I'm treating EVERYONE for worms.

    Ugh...I didn't mean to drag on that long. I just wanted to say that sometimes, despite the best you can do, they get sick, and the only way that you know that they're sick is when they die [​IMG]
  4. Sigh. Thank you both [​IMG] I am still fairly new to chickens, just over a year of chickenhood now, and I am still learning. I know that sometimes things happen and there is no explanation. Doesn't make it any easier, but I know that it is part of life. My kids are adjusting to this far better than I though...
  5. aymer

    aymer In the Brooder

    Jul 17, 2009
    san francisco, ca
    i just recently found out you can send your birds to get an autopsy. i am on the west coast and UC Davis does backyard chickens for free. i am not sure where you are but i am assuming other teaching schools do this too.

    it stinks losing birds but at least you can find out why and treat the rest of the flock.


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