1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

new member with a problem!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by tigertitch, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. tigertitch

    tigertitch Hatching

    Apr 20, 2016
    I had 6 chickens, three of them 3 1/2 years old and three 1 year old.

    4 weeks ago one of the older chickens became unwell and died. She went downhill very quick and we didn't have time to do anything about it. She became listless and noticed she had a very dirty bottom and within a few hours she died.

    2 days ago another of our older chickens died. We noticed when we got home from work that she was making a funny noise as though she was chocking. She was still eating, but also had a dirty bottom, within 3 hours she had died.

    I don't think the two deaths are connected as the first one wasn't acting the same way as the second, however I am now concerned for the other 4 chickens who presently seem to be healthy!

    Does anyone have any idea what I should do and what might have been wrong with the chickens?

    Many thanks


  2. Ourpeeps123

    Ourpeeps123 In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2016
    I would watch them.
  3. bernadettelopez

    bernadettelopez In the Brooder

    Nov 19, 2015
    Lake Cowichan, BC
    Had a similar problem. As soon as you see one 'gasping' separate her right away!!! Not sure what it was but no other hens had the same problem. If you also watch the other birds pecking at one and chasing her away separate that one as well. The chickens know something is wrong. It looked like an unpleasant final death watching it(she was separated in a laundry basket wrapped in a blanket when she passed) so consider putting it down before the violent death. I hope you don't have the same problem I had but completely separate them to be safe! Also use your own judgement as to put it down or not if it happens again.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  4. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Chirping

    Apr 19, 2016
    American Southwest
    I agree that separating a sick chicken is the best thing to do, but this is hard when they hide how sick they are, which is pretty much always. It's difficult to diagnose a specific illness without a trip to a veterinarian, and the vet I talked to said most treatments are very disease-specific, even specific to the exact type of worm a chicken might have.

    I would look carefully for anything that could make them sick like poisonous plants or anything that might plug them up (my chickens love anything metal or plastic). Also check for any suspicious droppings. Many birds are carriers of various parasites, and adding some probiotics to their water can help and is cheap. Cleaning the coop and changing out the top layer of dirt can help control infectious agents too, which is something I would consider.

    I would get a book like the Chicken Health Handbook to keep on hand, which is what I did when a chicken started acting funny. It's helped me address a number of issues, including mites and a hen that was plugged up (soaked her in epsom salts for 20 min, problem resolved!).

    I'm sorry about your birds. It's never fun to see a sick one and know there isn't anything you can do [​IMG]
  5. Frindizzle

    Frindizzle Guitar Girl <3 Premium Member

    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Have you posted in detail at the "emergencies, diseases, injuries, cures," thread? Since they both had messy vents - you might want to check out "vent gleet," in the search box.

    It's best to separate chicks showing signs of illness but, sounds like they all would have been exposed.
  7. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by