Stress/Moving/Death

berkchicks

Songster
Jun 29, 2018
162
152
141
Maryland
Hey guys - so we moved and of course took our flock with us.

Our 17 chickens were transported in 2 separate xl dog crates with blankets over the crates to keep it dark inside.

The trip to the new house was about 40 minutes long and we let them all immediately out into their new home.

Everyone looked great, eating, drinking and exploring their new digs.

The next morning I noticed our tiny 6 month old backyard mix bantam was laying down like she was laying an egg.

I came back out later in the day and she was in the same spot so I wondered if maybe she was going broody - which I thought would be odd but possible. I picked her up and she grumbled at me (not like her) and waddled right back to the same spot (like she was broody).

I came back again another few hours and she was dead in the middle of the run. No injuries, no blood, vent was fine, etc.

The only noticeable thing was that she was about 3x her normal tiny size. Like super duper bloated.

Sad - she was one of my favorites (of course).

That was a few days ago and everyone else is still fine, and doing well.

There is NOTHING in the ground or that they could eat that would hurt them.

I know chickens are super susceptible to stress so I am wondering if this is what happened to our little Raisenette.

Can stress literally kill chickens?
 

berkchicks

Songster
Jun 29, 2018
162
152
141
Maryland
This 'super duper bloated' didn't happen overnight...and sounds like she was very sick already, before the move.
No it didn’t happen over night, it happened in the span of a couple hours.

I literally held her a few hours before this happened and she was her regular super teeny tiny self.

She was running around like normal, eating, drinking, laying, less than 18 hours before she died.
 

Kiki

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No it didn’t happen over night, it happened in the span of a couple hours.

I literally held her a few hours before this happened and she was her regular super teeny tiny self.

She was running around like normal, eating, drinking, laying, less than 18 hours before she died.
Do you know that each state has a diagnostic lab where you can send a bird to get a necropsy... To get a definitive answer as to why it died?


I highly recommend sending your next death in.
If it's not close enough to drive for you you can overnight ship.
https://mda.maryland.gov/animalHealth/Pages/laboratory.aspx
 

berkchicks

Songster
Jun 29, 2018
162
152
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Maryland
Yup! I’ve used our local lab before - very helpful and interesting in figuring out mysterious deaths.

I’m getting the vibe that you do not believe this was caused by stress.
 

Kiki

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Jul 31, 2015
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Houston, TX
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Yup! I’ve used our local lab before - very helpful and interesting in figuring out mysterious deaths.

I’m getting the vibe that you do not believe this was caused by stress.
Stress kills. There is zero doubt of that.

There is no way for any of us here to tell you exactly what killed your bird. I'm saying the lab could tell you.
 

Eggcessive

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It sounds like she may have been injured in the move in the crate. A leaking air sac or subcutaneous emphysema, is where a bump on the neck, back, or chest can cause air to gather under the skin from a leak in an air sac. The air can gather and put pressure on their ability to get enough air. If caught early and if mild, a needle can be placed under the skin, and the air pulled out with a syringe or pressed out with hands. Very sorry for your loss.
 

berkchicks

Songster
Jun 29, 2018
162
152
141
Maryland
Stress kills. There is zero doubt of that.

There is no way for any of us here to tell you exactly what killed your bird. I'm saying the lab could tell you.
I am aware that no one in the forum can telepathically tell me how my chicken died.

Was just putting it out there in case anyone had any similar experiences.

Thanks.
 

Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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southern Ohio

berkchicks

Songster
Jun 29, 2018
162
152
141
Maryland
It sounds like she may have been injured in the move in the crate. A leaking air sac or subcutaneous emphysema, is where a bump on the neck, back, or chest can cause air to gather under the skin from a leak in an air sac. The air can gather and put pressure on their ability to get enough air. If caught early and if mild, a needle can be placed under the skin, and the air pulled out with a syringe or pressed out with hands. Very sorry for your loss.
Ah wow thank you! I honestly haven’t heard of that! Definitely sounds possible!
 

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