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Mysterious Chicken Death HELP!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by willowtreecreek, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. willowtreecreek

    willowtreecreek In the Brooder

    May 10, 2008
    All my chickens were fine this morning. This afternoon I found a chicken lying on her side, struggling to breath, legs extended and almost no use of her neck. It was just hanging and flopping like it was broken. I picked her up and placed her in cold water thinking she was hot. She wouldnt drink or anything. Several minutes later her eyes rolled back and she started having seisure. I ended her life because it seemed like she was not going to recover and I did not want her to suffer. My husband saw a rooster on her just prior to finding her in this condition. What happened? Could he have broken her neck? Should I be worried aout the flock? It seemed very sudden.
  2. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    Anything that is too hot should not be cooled down too quickly. It causes the body to go into shock. It can also cause a stroke. I wouldn't think that he would have broken her neck. The heat has been really bad. You might consider putting a fan out for them. You can also mist them with the water hose. You can freeze gallon jugs of water and put down for them to lay next to.

    I would keep an eye on the rest of the flock and see if they are showing any signs of illness.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  3. willowtreecreek

    willowtreecreek In the Brooder

    May 10, 2008
    By cold water I meant water that has been sitting in a bucket outside all day. Not really cold. I dont know if she was hot. They have a fan and mister and have access to lots of fresh water, shade and cool spots. We have never had any heat related issues before and it has been much hotter than it is today.

    But watching the flock is great but what is worng. If I dont know what the problem is than what can I do if I see others showing "signs". This chicken was knocking on deaths door by the time I found her.
  4. burquechick

    burquechick Songster

    Jun 13, 2008
    Sounds to me like a respiratory disease, but I can't be sure. It would be better next time just for you to take the bird inside and give her some quiet place to rest where it is cool and dark. I wouldn't advise putting them in water for the purpose of cooling either. I also wouldn't think that your rooster broke her neck. He was probably just taking advantage of her, which means that she might have already been displaying weakness long before she got to the point where you noticed her. It's not always easy to tell when chickens aren't feeling well. If you watch for 20 minutes or so, you might notice inactivity in one bird. If all the other birds are running around, pecking, drinking, etc., and you have one bird just sitting there all fluffed up, it can be a sign. Also, you might've noticed if she was gaping her mouth open on occasion? That would be a respiratory problem.

    Also, from my own experience, I had one bird die mysteriously once just like yours. When I found her, she was still alive, but having trouble breathing. She died shortly afterward. I let my chickens out of their coop and went inside for about 20 minutes. They all seemed totally fine. When I came back outside, she was lying on her side in a dark corner of the yard. Upon very close inspection, I noticed she had a puncture wound just up under her wing. I've never been 100% sure, but I think it was a hawk that just flew off right as I was walking back outside. This can happen too, and I almost completely missed the injury myself, so you might've had a predator attack... I can tell you that after that day, I caught a LOT of hawks in my yard harassing my chickens.

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