Mysterious Death - broken neck?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jubilee1111, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Jubilee1111

    Jubilee1111 Chillin' With My Peeps

    501
    12
    143
    Jan 8, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I am having my worst chicken day ever.

    This morning my chickens were very upset. I went outside to see why they were all squawking and carrying on and found my very favorite hen, a 2.5 year old BO named Stephanie, lying dead underneath the kitchen window, right up against the house under the carport.

    Not a mark on her. She was her normal self all day yesterday and I watched her go to bed last night. She wasn't sick at all. Never had a sick day in her life.

    The only thing I can think of was that she somehow broke her neck or had a heart attack. My dogs are great at alerting on and eliminating any kind of predator activity and one was sleeping near that window inside. If there had been an animal out there causing harm, he would've known it. They didn't alert on any predator smells when I let them out.

    I've heard of them breaking their necks from falling off the perch or running into a wall. They roost about 15 feet away from where I found her.

    The rest of the girls are still very upset. I hid her body from them with plans to bury her, out in the rain, as soon as I get my morning deadline taken care of. They calm down for a few minutes and then start back up again.

    Has anyone else had this happen? It is baffling and so sad.
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,708
    1,236
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I'm so sorry. Is it possible your dog "played" with her? Was the hen wet or slobbery?

    Yes, I've had a girl break her own neck. She was laying under the coop, got spooked and went to fly away and hit the floor of the coop.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  3. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    Soooo sorry! Poor girl..and poor you! [​IMG]
     
  4. Jubilee1111

    Jubilee1111 Chillin' With My Peeps

    501
    12
    143
    Jan 8, 2010
    Austin, TX
    Thank You. No, No way the dogs had anything to do with it. They were inside and they are very, very bonded to and protective of the chickens. The chickens actually run TO the dogs if they are scared. There wasn't a single mark on her, nothing. I keep going back to the possibility of a broken neck because it's the only possible explanation I can come up with. My vet isn't available for a necropsy because his terminally ill mom is having surgery today.
     
  5. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    5,916
    545
    341
    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    So sorry about your loss. One of my chickens keeled over right in front of me and died in my arms last year, and all I could figure was that it was a stroke or heart attack. When I posted about it, other members suggested that was the most likely cause.
     
  6. Jubilee1111

    Jubilee1111 Chillin' With My Peeps

    501
    12
    143
    Jan 8, 2010
    Austin, TX
    That's so sad. Was your girl older? Does age have any bearing on things like strokes, heart attacks, etc?
     
  7. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    5,916
    545
    341
    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Sorry I didn't check back sooner. Actually he was one of my roosters and he was about 2.5 years old, too. That's not really old but, maybe if they have a congenital problem it becomes more of a strain over time - that's just a guess.
     
  8. chicken guy

    chicken guy Out Of The Brooder

    80
    0
    39
    Mar 21, 2012
    i have not had that happen i have only 5 hens since 5 weeks ago 1 ran into the wire but all of the story it is very said and mabey she got in a fight with the other hens
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by