Sick chicken turned fatal

New2chickens18

Hatching
Oct 25, 2018
2
5
6
Hi. I am fairly new to chicken owning and just had one of my chickens die, but I have no idea what happened. Monday she was fine. No indication that she was sick at all. Tuesday evening I noticed she had separated herself from the flock and wouldn't go in the coop at dusk. I removed her from the flock. Yesterday morning, she had labored breathing- no wheezing, coughing or mucus coming from her nose, mouth or eyes. She laid an egg, but the shell was paper thin. I noticed she had green diarrhea and wouldn't eat or drink anything. By yesterday evening she wouldn't move and her comb had started to turn purple. She also started shaking, like a shiver. Like she was cold or scared maybe? Then suddenly she let out a weird sound and she stiffened and died. Any idea what she could have been suffering from? The coop and run is cleaned on a regular basis and just had a major cleaning last weekend. None of my other chickens are showing signs of being ill, yet. Google keeps coming up with bird flu, so I'm terrified.

Any advise or personal experience would be amazing!
 

PattyNH

Songster
Sep 13, 2016
348
889
222
New Hampshire - USA
Where are you from? If you are in the USA (or anywhere other than far-eastern Asia) I'm very confident in saying it is NOT " the bird flu" (aka avian influenza) so don't panic about that at least. Take a deep breath.

There are a lot of people who are very knowledgeable about poultry illnesses here so odds are that they will have some idea about what you're dealing with. @Wyorp Rock @KikisGirls @Brahma Chicken5000 @Eggcessive

In the meantime: Do you worm your chickens? If so, what wormer do you use? When were they last wormed? Are they vaccinated? What do you feedworked? Feed, grit, and snacks included.
 

New2chickens18

Hatching
Oct 25, 2018
2
5
6
I'll answer all questions here- I live in the US, Florida to be exact. She was a seven month old Blue Sapphire we bought from a local feed store. No prior issues to this. We did just recently add two, one year old Easter Eggers, but we quarantined them for 3 weeks prior to introducing them. We feed them medicated feed with 20% scratch mixed in. They occasionally will get watermelon, grapes or scrambled eggs for treats. I have grit and oyster shells in the run always. We have not wormed them.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Hi. I am fairly new to chicken owning and just had one of my chickens die, but I have no idea what happened. Monday she was fine. No indication that she was sick at all. Tuesday evening I noticed she had separated herself from the flock and wouldn't go in the coop at dusk. I removed her from the flock. Yesterday morning, she had labored breathing- no wheezing, coughing or mucus coming from her nose, mouth or eyes. She laid an egg, but the shell was paper thin. I noticed she had green diarrhea and wouldn't eat or drink anything. By yesterday evening she wouldn't move and her comb had started to turn purple. She also started shaking, like a shiver. Like she was cold or scared maybe? Then suddenly she let out a weird sound and she stiffened and died. Any idea what she could have been suffering from? The coop and run is cleaned on a regular basis and just had a major cleaning last weekend. None of my other chickens are showing signs of being ill, yet. Google keeps coming up with bird flu, so I'm terrified.

Any advise or personal experience would be amazing!

We feed them medicated feed with 20% scratch mixed in. They occasionally will get watermelon, grapes or scrambled eggs for treats. I have grit and oyster shells in the run always. We have not wormed them.
I'm sorry for your loss:hugs
There is really no way to know what happened unless you investigate further. If you still have the body, refrigerate it an send it the your state lab for testing. https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Bu...on-Animal-Disease-Diagnostic-Laboratory-BADDL
Alternatively, you can perform and informal necropsy yourself. If that is something you can do, post some photos and we can hopefully help you with what you see.

How long have you been feeding medicated starter?
How much scratch do you add to the feed?
In the US most medicated starters contain Amprolium, it is a mild coccidiostat, but if your birds have been on your property for a few months, they should not need a coccidiostat on a regular basis. They should have built resistance to the Coccidia where they live.

Scratch is considered a treat. Give that to them separately - scattered so they have something to scratch for. Scratch is low in protein and is carbs - it can pack on the pounds and make birds fat if they are given too much. Fat birds can have reproductive problems and complications of disease like Fatty Liver. Your birds may be picking out scratch and not eating their nutritionally balanced feed - so they could possibly be deficient in essential vitamins/minerals and protein.
Make sure you offer oyster shell free choice so your laying girls can get extra calcium if they need it. There is nothing wrong with using Chick Starter if that's what you prefer. Some people transition to layer feed once all their girls are laying or they use a Flock Raiser feed, which is what I use.

I would not worry about Bird Flu. Sometimes those chicken symptom checkers can come up with some scary stuff. If it were Bird Flu, the rest of your flock would already be showing symptoms and they would be declining rapidly as well.

Just my personal opinion - the symptoms you describe, I would be inclined to think she had a reproductive problem or some type of organ failure. Could have been a genetic defect of the heart or if she was a piggy and ate mostly scratch - Fatty Liver Disease.
https://the-chicken-chick.com/chickens-obesity-silent-killer-how-to/
 

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