Sudden death in my flock!! HELP!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rhchick, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. rhchick

    rhchick In the Brooder

    May 13, 2008
    This morning I went to let my chickens out for the day and my 5 month old leghorn roo was laying dead in the pen. No injuries, no feathers missing, just laying dead like he went to sleep. I just went to check on them and one of my hens was laying inside the pen dead.

    When I picked them up they are heavy and healthy. In fact the hen that I just carried out looked like her feathers had dust in them like she just finished taking a dust bath and walked into the chicken house and died.

    Help! I have no idea what is causing it. There have been no signs of illness at all. Just sudden death.

    I have no vet close by that knows anything about chickens. What do I do? Could it be the heat? It is cooler today than it has been and they are allowed to range all day so they have plenty of places to get cool.

    PLEASE give me some suggestions. I am in central Illinois and I would send the dead hen off to be checked but I don't have any idea where to go with it.
  2. nccountrygirl

    nccountrygirl Songster

    Jul 31, 2007
    Sanford N.C.
    Could it be heat related. Some times birds die when it get so hot, I hope you can find the cause of it and prevent it from happening again.
  3. my first peepers

    my first peepers Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    South Western VT
    [​IMG]I don't know anything about this but I am so sorry for your loss!
    There is a post at the top of this topic about finding state vets for necropsy that you should check into though.
  4. rhchick

    rhchick In the Brooder

    May 13, 2008
    Where is the info on finding a state vet? Thanks for the support. I am just so scared that it is going to happen to more of them. If it is just a freak thing that is heat related or something I can handle that but if it is going to be something that goes through the whole flock that will just be devastating!!

    My son cried this morning when his roo was dead. My son has been on a farm all of his life and typically does not get attached to the animals because you never know but the roo was his baby and his favorite. I just hate to lose any of them and not knowing what is causing it is so hard to deal with.
  5. ahad

    ahad In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2008
    This is SDS(sudden death syndrome).
    is a metaboloc problem that exactly is unknown what causes that, but most specialists says its because of fatty acids and totally lipid metabolism, lighting system, avilable space per each bird and some other ... .
    you can prevent that with feed restriction, lower dietary energy, lower light density and adding vitamine supplementes(E , B complex)
    I reccomend you to appy feed restriction.
  6. rhchick

    rhchick In the Brooder

    May 13, 2008
    Talked to my local vet and the state vet and they both had no answers. They suggested looking to see if it was from black flies and or an electrical issue. They both died in different places in the chicken house so I doubt if it was electrical. I checked the underside of the wings of the hen and no signs of black flies.

    The local vet just said if one more dies to put it on ice and get it to them so they can send it to the state lab for a necropsy. I guess I just sit and wait to make sure no more deaths in the flock.

    Thanks for all of the suggestions and support. Again, the problem is not knowing..........[​IMG]:mad:
  7. cockadoodlemom

    cockadoodlemom Songster

    Feb 25, 2007
    I have lost three to the Texas heat. Hope we don't loose anymore.
  8. illinichick

    illinichick Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    SE Il
    If you're in central Il then you must be pretty close to the Uof I, vet school. Have you called them, I know they help with any kind of animal problems.
  9. rhchick

    rhchick In the Brooder

    May 13, 2008
    I talked to my local vet and the state vet. The state vet gave me the number for the poultry specialist at the U of I but he did not answer yesterday when I called.

    My local vet said if I have another one die to put it in a cooler and get it to them ASAP and they will pack it and ship it to one of the state labs to have a necropsy done to determine what is causing it.

    The state vet was also very helpful but he didn't know lots about poultry. He was more concerned that if I lose a lot of birds to call him back and let him know so that they can track it if it turns out to be something serious and/or contagious.

    I have only lost the two from yesterday. Everyone was still ok last night and this morning when I checked on them. So far so good.

    I am so thankful that I took pictures of my roo that died the other day when he was still here and happy. I will try to get them posted sometime soon so you can all see how beautiful he was.

    Thanks again for the support. I really appreciate it!![​IMG]

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