Mystery illness killed my chicken in 2 days!

Pippin quail

Songster
Aug 19, 2020
265
447
116
Central Alberta, Edmonton area
So a little backstory, I posted a thread on here last week about one of my pullets who seemed to have wry neck. She couldn't hold her head up and had tremors in her neck and head. I isolated her, gave her vitamin E and selenium, fed her scrambled eggs and made sure she was drinking and eating. She's bounced back in a couple days and I put her back with the flock and she's completely back to normal.

Now this week on Thursday my daughter noticed one of our cockerels was huddled up with his feathers ruffled and not moving much. I went out to check on him and he was pretty indifferent to everything going on in the coop. He had no interest in treats at bed time and only moved when I tried to touch him. He his himself under the ramp to the pop door and put his head in the corner. I foolishly decided not to separate him..I thought maybe he just wasn't feeling well and would bounce back if he stayed with the flock. The next morning i noticed his beak looked wet, I thought maybe he had been drinking water. But upon closer inspection his comb and wattles also looked a little damp. He was shivering slightly and just looked miserable. I again tried to coax him into eating and drinking but he wouldn't take anything. I had some errands to do in the afternoon and again was dumb and thought, since the flock had already most likely been exposed, I'd just leave him in there. I was gone for the afternoon and evening. When I got home at bedtime i found him dead in the back of the coop.

Now when I put his symptoms in an online symptom checker it came up with many possible illnesses.. I clicked on avian influenza and started reading the symptoms and of course all of his symptoms were on there, along with others... Including wry neck and neck and head tremors. So immediately i started freaking out that Alice actually had that and gave it to him and now my whole flock is going to die or have to be culled.

Please tell me I'm wrong and what else it could be? Do you think the two things were related or am I just being paranoid? My husband said since it was just the one chicken that got really sick and died, so far, to try not to worry yet and if anyone else falls ill we'll get a sample tested and go from there. The rest of the flock seemed mostly normal today, although my daughter said they seemed quieter, like they were sad about Silver. Any insight or reassurance appreciated! I've had a stressful couple chicken months first with one having coccidiosis, then the wry neck (or whatever it was) and now this guy dropping dead! I'm just thankful my first chicken to actually die was my extra cockerel, as heartless as that sounds. I would be devastated about my hens and the thought of my whole flock is just 😱😭😭
 

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azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,413
38,583
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Colorado Rockies
Unfortunately, we can not tell you what killed this rooster. It appears there have been no recent outbreaks in Alberta, but it doesn't mean this isn't what killed your roo.

You do need to take precautions against this possibly spreading to your family, as it can affect humans as well.

You need to read this carefully, and scroll down to the bottom for contact info. These people will answer your questions, and perhaps it's possible to have your birds tested. https://www.alberta.ca/avian-influenza-reportable.aspx

Being informed will overcome fear. It will help recover your sense of control.
 

Pippin quail

Songster
Aug 19, 2020
265
447
116
Central Alberta, Edmonton area
Unfortunately, we can not tell you what killed this rooster. It appears there have been no recent outbreaks in Alberta, but it doesn't mean this isn't what killed your roo.

You do need to take precautions against this possibly spreading to your family, as it can affect humans as well.

You need to read this carefully, and scroll down to the bottom for contact info. These people will answer your questions, and perhaps it's possible to have your birds tested. https://www.alberta.ca/avian-influenza-reportable.aspx

Being informed will overcome fear. It will help recover your sense of control.
Thank you. I will read that.
And we try to be careful, everyone washes hands every time they come in from outside and boots stay in the garage, etc. I'm thinking there's more we should do, but that's our current rules. We also wash eggs before cooking.
Hopefully no more chickens end up sick and this is just an informative read and not something I need to worry about. Though I read that migratory birds spread it end we have had hundreds if not thousands of geese feeding in the fields around our property for the past couple weeks.
Thanks again for the article, I will inform myself and take deep breaths while I read it.
 

RosemaryDuck

Crowing
Dec 15, 2020
1,119
2,481
271
I'm so sorry for your loss. In the future I'd advise having a hospital set up available (small dog crate, wire crate you can bring inside) for any future cases on illness.

Birds hide sickness very well, and often times by the time they're showing symptoms it's pretty serious. They're prey animals, so any sign of illnesses would normally get them killed.

When one of your birds starts looking lethargic, sick, or just off in general, it's always better to bring them into the hospital set up and provide care then leave them outside. The elements are not kind, and the flock will sometimes go after them and kill them or peck them to death if they're sick.

I hope things get better for your flock and it isn't contagious. ❤️
 

Pippin quail

Songster
Aug 19, 2020
265
447
116
Central Alberta, Edmonton area
I'm so sorry for your loss. In the future I'd advise having a hospital set up available (small dog crate, wire crate you can bring inside) for any future cases on illness.

Birds hide sickness very well, and often times by the time they're showing symptoms it's pretty serious. They're prey animals, so any sign of illnesses would normally get them killed.

When one of your birds starts looking lethargic, sick, or just off in general, it's always better to bring them into the hospital set up and provide care then leave them outside. The elements are not kind, and the flock will sometimes go after them and kill them or peck them to death if they're sick.

I hope things get better for your flock and it isn't contagious. ❤️
Thanks! I do have a dog crate I've used for the previous two sick chickens. Unfortunately I listened to my husband who kept criticising me for isolating them. He seriously thought this pullet was just lonely and depressed because I separated her from the flock. (I separated her because she looked like this in the run) He obviously doesn't spend enough time with the chickens.

I will definitely continue the isolation and treating separately method for all future sick chickens. And hopefully that will be in a long long time! 🙏🙏
 

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