Mystery Death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cherwill, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. cherwill

    cherwill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2010
    McPherson, KS
    We've had our chickens for 6-8 months and they've all seemed healthy. The hens lay eggs regularly and the eggs look fine. Then a week and a half ago, we went out around 2 and one of the black australorps was dead. All the chickens had appeared healthy that morning, walking around and scratching and drinking like they always do. There were no marks on her, no discoloration on her skin. This morning we lost another black. They all appeared fine when they went in the coop last night and all the hens had laid an egg yesterday. When my husband let them out this morning, she didn't come off the roost. He said she was weak and her breathing sounded labored. In retrospect, he said paralysis was not out of the question. He separated her into a dog kennel and she died a little later.

    He spent all morning on the phone, and I've been googling and searching and we're just confused. There are no vets in our area who handle fowl. That surprises me since we're a somewhat rural area, but vet after vet said the same thing. Most chicken operations are large corporations who get their feed shipped from a corporate warehouse and who have corporate staff vets. A vet-tech friend suggested West Nile when we lost the first chicken because she'd heard Nebraska was having an outbreak of it. From what I could find, and what the vets remembered as typical chicken diseases, it could possibly be fowl cholera. We don't want to hunt down antibiotics if it won't help, but we can't seem to find out much of anything.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    anyone?
     
  3. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    I'm so sorry. I wish I had some info for you. Maybe some one with a little more experience will chime in. I find it odd that it happened all of the sudden, and that it affected more than one hen. Is it possible they were exposed to something toxic, in the environment or their food?
     
  4. Jarsheart

    Jarsheart Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2010
    I am sorry to hear of the sudden deaths of your chickens. I have had a sudden death too. I sent her body to the state for a necropsy and they said it was coccidia. In " The Chicken Health Handbook" one of the symptoms of cholera is "...mucus discharge from mouth and nose..." and that transmission is from contact with said mucus. My vet had initially thought of West Nile, because my county is having an outbreak as well, but I found very little info on West Nile infection in chickens. So it is possible that you have coccidia going on. It is so frustrating watching your chickens running around one day, and finding them dead the next. I suggest you go to www.firststatevetsupply.com which is the website of the chicken doctor. There is great info there on symptoms and treatment of various chicken diseases. Good luck !!
     
  5. cherwill

    cherwill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2010
    McPherson, KS
    My husband called the County Extension office a day or two after I first posted this and yesterday we finally heard back. [​IMG] The extension guy had been trying to get a call back from his chicken contact and finally got it. Not that it helped much. Neither of them could figure it out. He did tell me that he'd had three people (including us) call with similar questions about a chicken or two dying. His chicken guy said basically, if you have a flock, you can expect some to die. The extension guy said he'd come through the alley and checked out our set up and was impressed -- we had a secure yard with a good shelter for the chickens. He said he was pleased that we had chickens because he thinks chickens are neat. That was it. We haven't lost any more chickens, so maybe whatever it was is done with us.

    Thanks for the links and sympathy -- this board has been the best source of information for me.
     
  6. tofumama

    tofumama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am sorry for your loss ... [​IMG] I just went out this morning and found one of my hens dead. No signs of anything wrong, yesterday she was fine, this morning she was laying on the bottom of the coop. I am going to check out that site as well... [​IMG]
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  8. cherwill

    cherwill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2010
    McPherson, KS
    I'm sorry about your hen, tofumama. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it ends with that one hen.
     
  9. tofumama

    tofumama Chillin' With My Peeps

    ddawn, thank you for that link...very informative!
    Thank you cherwil, I hope we are all set...and I hope you find some answers...
     
  10. Land of Lost Toys

    Land of Lost Toys Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 30, 2009
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    We had a sudden death of one chicken last year. My hubby and the neighbor were sitting drinking beer watching the chickens, when all of a sudden one just fell over dead. The other chickens were standing around her almost kicking her to get up. Have no idea what happened. An old farmer friend said "probably a chicken heart attack." She was perfectly fine even gave me an egg that day. Who know...a mystery. No others died like that.
     

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