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Rooster's death - looking for input on cause of death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SIMZ, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    My healthy 8-month-old Marans rooster just died. I'd appreciate some ideas on what could have happened. Thanks in advance!

    He was fine yesterday morning when I let the flock out. He was running around and I saw him mate a hen before leaving for the day. My husband locked them up last night and he was on the roost.

    This morning at 7, I found him hunched up in the corner of the coop. I easily caught him. His comb was purple-ish and he was breathing heavily - not out of breath, but long, deep breaths.

    *No signs of injury or mite infestation.

    *There was some bloody poop on the board around where he roosts - not sure if it was his

    *Died at 10 a.m. - so within 24 hours from appearing fine.

    *Died with a squishy crop (wouldn't eat when I brought him in, so this was food from before)
    - I opened him up to see the crop and it was full of squishy, partially liquid-ized food. It seems that it would be from yesterday to be that smashed up - sour crop? Crop not emptying?

    Can sour crop kill a chicken that quickly?
    Could it be cocci? Could a rooster that old get it?

    Thanks so much! This was a shock and definitely sets back next year's breeding plan. [​IMG]
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    It's certainly possible it could have been coccidiosis. Any new birds or chicks brought in recently, even if not in the same pen? That would probably be my first suspicion since you saw bloody droppings but without a necropsy of course all we can do is guess. Older birds often are able to fight off and also hide the early symptoms of coccidiosis much longer then young chicks do and then they suddenly die when they are just too overwhelmed by it.
     
  3. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    Thanks for the input! No, I haven't added any new birds. The last ones were him and his brother when they were still chicks about 8 months ago.
    About a month ago, I came home to find a dying hen in a nest box. I wasn't sure how long she had been sick since it's not unusual for chickens to be in nest boxes during the day. In my 5 years of keeping chickens, there have only been two other times I found dead or almost dead chickens in my laying flock, so this concerns me.
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Any chance of sending the rooster off for a necropsy? Some state poultry pathology labs will do them for free.
     
  5. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    I've never done that, but I'm going to look into it. Thank you!
     

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