Second Death in Flock of Similar Style

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chickymommy45, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. Chickymommy45

    Chickymommy45 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 27, 2016
    Hi all,

    Today we buried my 9-month old black australorp Sidney. Early last week she had seemed lethargic- usually the boss chicken, she was not showing her usual leadership capabilities. I was gone for work during the week, and was woken on Saturday by the fiance saying she looked very ill. She was even skinnier than earlier in the week, and was breathing heavily. She was still alert, but was taking every opportunity to rest.

    We brought her inside, gave her mashed up food (corn, mealworms, whatever she'd eat) along with electrolyte spiked water. I even got some de-wormer and added a drop to her water just in case it was worms. Her poop was very watery and was very dark green/black. I don't have a microscope so didn't do a fecal float (I work in the animal industry so I more or less know what to look for) and there were no worms in her stool (at least not to the naked eye). We woke up this morning to find her not breathing and her eyes closed in the basket we tucked her into the night before. She's pooping on god's shoulder now.

    I'm sad, but think we did all that we could have given the circumstances. But here's the kicker- about 5 months ago, when we were new chicken parents, my Wellsummer, Madison, met a similar fate. It was mid- summer and she was bigger than the other chickens. She was pooping white liquid, stopped eating or drinking, and was separating herself from the flock, sitting down and breathing heavily. None of the other birds at the time showed any symptoms.

    Is there something wrong with my flock, or a latent infection of some sort? These deaths happened a half year apart so I don't suspect a virus or even a heavy parasite infection, otherwise all the girls would show signs. My three remaining birds are clucking along without a care in the world.

    I've added de-wormer and electrolytes to their water just in case.

    What sayeth the chicken community? Do I have a cursed coop? Also, since I'm down two birds, I was thinking of getting two more peepers to grow and introduce come Spring.

    Say a little prayer for Sids- she's laying golden eggs in heaven.
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It is not uncommon for me to lose a hen once or twice a year in a flock of 30 chickens ranging from 3-6 years old. It would be good to send her body in to your state vet or poultry lab for a necropsy. Crop impaction and egg binding are common problems, mites, internal organ failure such as heart, kidney, liver, or reproductive tract, and unknown viruses can be possible problems. Some people do their own at home to rule out worms, crop or gizzard blockage, egg binding, and egg peritonitis. There is a lot of info online on what to look for. Sorry for your loss. Here is some info about state vets:

    Missouri Department of Agriculture
    Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory P.O. Box 2510
    701 North Miller Avenue
    Springfield, MO 65802 Phone: (417) 895-6861
    Fax: (417) 831-4766
    Missouri Department of Agriculture
    Animal Health Laboratory 216 El Mercado Plaza
    Jefferson City, MO 65109 Phone: (573) 751-3460
    Fax: (573) 751-5279
    School of Veterinary Medicine
    Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory University of Missouri
    P.O. Box 6023
    Columbia, MO 65205 Phone: (573) 882-6811
    Fax: (573) 882-1411​

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