Rhode Island Red found dead. Why? Please help.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by apsheri, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. apsheri

    apsheri New Egg

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    Nov 26, 2012
    I have 5 very healthy free range chickens and they are all about 3 years old. This morning I found one of the Rhode Island reds dead on her roost. She was fat, healthy and it doesn't look there were any injuries on her or any stray feathers around. (no sign of a predator). It looks like some "throw up" was around her beak and possible some diarrhea around her tail feathers. The temperature last night was normal, around 45 to 55 degrees. No storms. And the other 4 chickens were fine.

    Does any one know how she could have died? Is it normal for chickens to just keel over at the young age of 3? Could she have choked?

    If anyone has any insight - it sure is welcome here. It's heart breaking - they are like family members. So it sure would be nice to have a possible answer so we can avoid it with the others.

    Thank you.
     
  2. kellysmall87

    kellysmall87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry for your loss.[​IMG]

    It seems like maybe she could have choked from what you are describing. Could you do an autopsy to see if this was the case or would it be too distressing? I don't think I could do it, but it may give you the answer you are looking for. I guess you need to make sure it's not some virus that could spread to your other birds.
     
  3. apsheri

    apsheri New Egg

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    Nov 26, 2012
    Hi Kelly, Thank you for your input. If it is a virus, how can I tell?
     
  4. kellysmall87

    kellysmall87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm not sure to be honest, but I have been searching BYC for diaroea and sickness in birds. Hope something will come up that will tell you something. Do you still have the deceased hen? Can you feel her crop? Abdomen? Had she laid an egg recently?
     
  5. kellysmall87

    kellysmall87 Chillin' With My Peeps

  6. kellysmall87

    kellysmall87 Chillin' With My Peeps

  7. chippysmom327

    chippysmom327 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm really sorry about your loss... I couldn't imagine finding Chippy like that. Maybe when spring rolls around you can pick out a new chick at Tractor Supply? [​IMG]
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Sorry for your loss... I've had several die at same way as yours, but no two have died of the same thing, yet. I'm in California and residents get free necropsies on backyard flocks, they even let you use their FedEx account number to save on shipping. Maybe there is something similar in your area?

    Here is the California Lab info:
    http://www.cahfs.ucdavis.edu/services/lab_locations.cfm
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Your best option is to have a lab do a necropsy. You would need lab equipment and training to identify a virus, I would think.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Vomit is often part of the dying process, I doubt she choked to death.
     

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