Sudden chicken death

ktsue

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jan 5, 2014
10
0
22
Hi all,

My husband and I have 7 chickens, who have been looking wonderfully healthy since we got them. When he got home from work today, all the chickens but one were out in the outside run. The other one was in the coop, dead. We hadn't seen any signs that anyone was sick. Any thoughts about what could have happened? I'm sure there are plenty? I suppose I could do my own autopsy, but not sure I could stomach it. I'm very curious. I, of course, hope it's not avian flu. I live in Massachusetts so it's nothing they've found around here, but it's worrisome, regardless.

Thanks.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,030
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
So sorry for your loss. Can you tell us a bit more about the bird - age, breed, how long you've had the bird? Have you made any recent changes to your flock by adding any new birds? Often, looking back, we can realize there were little changes that didn't register at the time that now seem more significant - for example, had there been a recent change in your overall egg production, were you going through more or less feed/water, etc. When was the last time you handled that particular bird and what was it's body condition at the time - do you remember it feeling heavier/lighter than normal, etc.? Had your coop recently had a different or unusual odor? Where in the coop was the body and what was the position? I realize some of these may seem like funny questions, but it's the little things that often become the pieces to the puzzle.
 

ktsue

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jan 5, 2014
10
0
22
This chicken was around 13 months old. We have noticed nothing different in the coop in the past few months. Egg production has been strong. All chickens have acted healthy and hungry.

This chicken was found in the coop, splayed out straight as a board.

I did a necropsy today with the help of a guy from the USDA. I can share the pics but don't want to gross anyone out. The USDA said it was inconclusive, but he had a couple of thoughts that maybe the chicken had yolks entering her body cavity where they're not supposed to be, which can cause problems. He also suggested that her liver might have been diseased by her eating too much fat (she had a lot of fat on her, and we feed the chickens lots of food that is left over after gatherings at work...clearly we need to stop that). He also couldn't tell from the photos I sent him whether something was a liver or a blood clot.

Just let me know if I should share. I really don't want to upset anyone with the photos.
 

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