Rooster died at night- was fine in the morning

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Avalon1984, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    Hello,

    I just lost one of my favorite birds, my rooster Fritz. I have talked to all the people I know who have chickens and nobody can help. Could you maybe help?

    ) What type of bird , age and weight.- Silver laced Wyandotte rooster, 9 months, maybe 3lbs?
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. he was acting normal in the morning, at night I found him laying in the snow, not moving, comb was dark blueish, purple, suspected frostbite. eyes closed, not wanting to eat, barely breathing, cold to the touch. once he warmed up his comb returned to normal color. He did start stargazing though.
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? was fine in the morning (8Am), came back at 5 and he was sick
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? Not recently but I did have a bird act like she had a stroke in midsummer. she too just laid there and was "stargazing". I euthanized her.
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. nope. not a scratch on him.
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. I have no clue. he lives with another rooster and 14 hens. never had any fights.
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. yes, in fact he was eating the morning thereof and his crop was half full at night. just your regular chicken layer grain.
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. little liquid, little bit of green in it
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? I force fed him some warm water and he took it before he died.
    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? Could I please know if you have an idea what this may be and if the others are in danger?
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. I do not but I have not buried the carcass yet.
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use Chicken house made out of wood. They have an enclosed dirt run that they are in to be away from other animals. We currently have ice and snow and they stay in most of the time. I do have a heat lamp going. They are on a screen. Using straw for nests. Bedding on the bottom (inaccessible to birds) is sawdust. I clean once a week.

    I did treat the birds with empethrine (I believe it's called) 2 weeks ago. I checked and could see no signs of infestation. Checked other birds as well and nothing. I am worried because of how fast this happened at what it might be. Once I got him into the house I put him next to a heater and he started to come around. He was unable to stay upright, lept falling over. No balance. Maybe he had a stroke too? He is on egg layer grain, oyster shell and crop supplements. always have fresh water. Could you please help me and maybe email me your ideas? I am so worried. Thank you!
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I am not familiar with empethrine. Could you please expound on this? It is an insecticide, yes? Or do you mean epinethrin?

    "Star gazing" is a symptom typically used to describe a Vitamin B deficiency. Have you tried some Poly-Vi-Sol (without iron)? It can be found at any drug store that caters to clients with infants. It may be helpful if you have seen this situation with several birds.

    The poop with green in it raises some red flags. If he hasn't been eating a lot of green stuff (vegetable matter), the green makes me think he may not been eating as much as you may think. Green poops generally mean there is a high bile content to the poops. Bile is produced by the body, and in the absence of digestible food makes poops green. Could he have had an obstruction?

    In cases of unexplained death a necropsy is a good idea. Unfortunately, most folks can't/won't chop up their birds to see if there is an obvious problem. How do you feel about necropsy? Do you live where there is a local extension office to find someone willing to do one? Or are you willing to do the deed yourself? Unfortunately, in your bird's case, I wouldn't even know what to tell you to start looking for, so maybe it's a good time for a professional to do the necropsy.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help.
     
  3. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry to hear about that. Maybe he ate something bad like a mushroom or got some botulism?
     
  4. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    Thank you for your help everybody. The dust we used to treat them was "permethrine". Sorry about the confusion. So far nobody else has shown any signs of illness, in fact the hens are really cranking up egg production right now. Everybody is eating and drinking a lot too. We will run to the pharmacy to get the Vitamin B supplement just to be sure. I did talk to the lady I bought him from and she gave me a good idea. Could it be possible that he got poisoned by bad hay? We have horses and the chickens get the occasional load of composted horse manure to find worms and "be chickens". I did throw them some older hay a couple of days before and they were out for a day playing in it. Might this be a big no no?

    I know that horses can get colics, I did not know that chickens could too. If I were to do a necropsy, could you tell me what I would be looking for maybe? I know with horses you can see that part of the intestine died off, would it be the same with out rooster? Thank you again very much, I appreciate your help.
     
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Botulism is the most common form of poisoning a chicken experiences. It has some pretty specific signs and symptoms. A search using the BYC search function will give you loads of info on botulism in chickens.

    I am wondering if your bird may have ingested some of the hay and it caused a blockage in the GI tract. Blockages should be easy to see during a necropsy. The crop or intestine would be stuffed full of undigested food matter up to the blockage point and the intestine may appear distended. You may or may not see necrotic tissue (dead black areas) in the intestines around the area of blockage. That would really depend on how long he had the blockage.

    I'd also take a look at his heart during necropsy. If you have ever done butchering you know what a normal heart looks and feels like. If the heart appears overlarge, misshapen, or spongy then it may have been a heart issue that killed him. Heart problems are not unheard of in chickens.

    I hope this helps.
     
  6. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    Sorry that it has taken me a little bit to reply. We figured out that he had found an old, deteriorating tarp next to the chicken pen and I believe that he had gotten into it and ate some of it. We removed it completely and hopefully it will never happen again. Rest in peace my poor Fritz.
     

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