Sick chicken died within a few hours

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sarah, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. sarah

    sarah Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 14, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    Greetings Everyone.

    This morning all is well in the coop. We have 8 Hubbard Golden Comets, all the same age and got all at the same time as pullets. They got along well, eat organic layer mash and forage in their run. This afternoon, I noticed one of the hens in a nestbox, eyes closed and head cocked to the side. Her comb was floppy, but the same color. She was very listless. I could pick her up and hold her flopped on her side in one hand and she didn't care.

    I separated her and did an extensive search on the forum about her possible illness. As she sat alone in a little cat crate (no food or water until I figured out what happened to her), she died about 45 minutes later...already stiff and cold...poor thing.

    I called all the folks who got eggs in the last couple days and asked them to dispose of the eggs, though by our count it's unlikely she has laid in a day or so.
    A cursory check of her revealed none of the typical things and since she seemed fine this morning, I have no poop to check. I did not feel an egg in her vent while she was alive, but haven't gone up in there. Eyes were clear, beak fine, no injuries and no pain reactions as I prodded around. Crop seemed normal. She just felt bad a while and died!

    Any ideas out there? This is our second flock and the first one who died (on her own that is).

  2. l'abeille

    l'abeille Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2009
    Berkeley, CA
    wish I could be of some help. I just lost a hen a few minutes ago, too, so I just wanted to extend some sympathy. I hope you find out what happened.
  3. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    I hear what you're saying. [​IMG] I've lost some in the past just like you described. I wish I knew what they had wrong. [​IMG] I'm sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
  4. sarah

    sarah Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 14, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    Thank you both!
    I actually found a phone number for the USDA here in town and one of the doctors wants me to bag her and store her in the fridge (I don't know about that) to await a necropsy.
    Before she died, her vent looked fine. After though is another story. It was red, swollen and lumpy. I inserted a finger gingerly and broke an egg shell. One I had not detected when examining her before.

    Maybe egg bound? I still don't know--maybe it was just tomorrow's egg hardening up. I have no idea how long that takes and at what stage they are in, during the laying day.

    But IF I keep her for the doctor, I'll report the results. I think a deep hole near the compost is a better idea [​IMG]
  5. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2009
    Central PA
    I am sorry you lost your hen, Sarah. I had this same thing happen to me just yesterday. My hen was a little over a year old. She had no visible symptoms whatsoever until yesterday morning when I let her out of the coop. She was lethargic, stood around fluffed up with her eyes closed. She did not appear egg bound and there was nothing obviously wrong with her. She died within a few hours. The rest of my hens seem fine so far - I hope yours are too. So sorry for your loss and good luck with the rest of your flock.[​IMG]
  6. wyandotte freak

    wyandotte freak Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 13, 2010
    Lost a RIR hen last monday. Found her dead in the coop when I got home from work. No ideas as to what caused it . Did not notice any symptoms, but with around 20 birds, it is not feasible to thoroughly observe each one every day.
  7. dlaciv12

    dlaciv12 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 12, 2008
    Brockton, MA
    I have lost three like this this summer, last one just this morning. All three I could kinda' see it coming. They were behaving oddly, staying alone and staring into the corner of the coop. Each of them found dead in the morning sitting in the coop like they feel asleep and never woke up. Please update if you hear anything. It is getting difficult for us.
  8. willowbeam

    willowbeam New Egg

    Oct 18, 2010
    I've lost 3 this way as well. 1st 2 I never noticed a thing wrong but found them in their nesting box stiff as a board. They died several months apart. The last one, just last week. I noticed she was definitely not doing well and thinking maybe she was egg bound but could not see or feel anything. She didnt make it through the day. I also have a hen that has lost so many feathers...she looks like a hot mess! She seems fine except for that, altough I dont think shes been laying like she should. Is this molt? Should I be nervous about eating the eggs after these hens died so mysteriously?

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