sudden Chicken death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by oreandra, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. oreandra

    oreandra New Egg

    Feb 20, 2012
    Howdy folks,

    Joining the forum under coop emergency... I found my big hen dead in the coop this evening.

    Her breed was unknown, she was red with a large comb and looked for all the world like a rooster--even occasionally crowing, but layed amazingly huge brown eggs. She was a rescue bird. She had leg mites, but had gotten over those before I got her and was on the mend. She had to be given calcium to fix the shelless egg problem she had when I first got her. We also had to worm/relocate the flock in fall due to an obvious infestation of multiple parasites. We used natural remedies which seemed to clear it right up. She was docile and would come when called, better than a dog. My poor girl cried for her.

    She was caged with two speckled hamburg banties which is what I'm worried about now.

    I saw her in the morning when I was collecting eggs from my morning layer. She was fine. She looked like she was going to peck the egg though so we had to push her away.

    I came back from errands hours later for my late layer & let them wander and she was dead! She had one night where she stood all night on the coop floor looking woozy. When she roosted back up the next night, I stopped worrying. We had noticed that she was sneezing a few months ago but that seemed to clear itself up. She had poo trouble a few days prior, not expelling w/ pressure so she had mucky butt, which we washed.

    I did a basic necropsy (sorry no images). The liver looked pale, yellow marbled and spotty. The kidney looked fine. The ova where what I've images of. I opened her crop (mushy) and gizzard both where just packed with mud! There was barely any food present in her digestive tract(I give organic soy free layer feed and grain/ fruit/veggie house scraps, she was always first in line for the goods!). She also had very scanty fat stores and diminished breast muscle. Over all she was very thin. Her heart had a white covering which I am unsure from the documentation (being black and white) whether this is normal. I found a fluid filled clear sac about an inch long near her vent. I found numerous lumps attached to the outside of her intestines/viscera covering, some as big as my thumb nail. These where brown outside, and orange inside mostly ovate. She had no worms, but several white rice looking items in the intestines that gave me pause. The nerve in her thigh looked normal. Lung... it wasn't white but yellow. very few mites/small external parasites noted upon exam.

    We did not eat her, though I hated wasting the meat, what of it there was.

    Any ideas what could have happened or whether my banties are at risk?

    Any experienced folks who know what I'm dealing with here...?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    She was likely a production red, of some strain. I'm sorry her passing upset your daughter, but keeping live animals comes with experiencing the full circle of life.

    Hens die. Especially a hen who's life was unknown to you. You don't even know her age, I assume, nor her diet, her breeding, her habits, or anything else about her. It happens. Chickens die. Often, there is no way of knowing with any specificity. Again, sorry she's gone, after all you did for her.

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