Sudden death in otherwise healthy Silkie...now what do I do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by toritori, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. toritori

    toritori Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2011
    Saranac Inn, NY
    Went out to tuck the girls in tonight (1-2.5yr Silkie, 2-1.5yr Wyandottes, & 3-1.5yr Brahmas) and my Silikie seemed funny. She really didn't move much when I went to pet her, even when I reached under her (normaly I get a peck or too and she'll switch boxes) she barely lifted. I crawled in the coop and called her and she crawled out of her boxing, slightly stumbling and using her lowered and outstretched wings for balance. She came right too me, which she never does.

    I held her and she was just still. Once in the house she jerked a few times. I went to put her on the floor and she went rigid, bent her beek down to her chest and flopped on the floor. She flipped right over on her back. When I righted her her legs were pulled up tight to her body and she tipped over so I picked her up and gently held her. A few more jerks and she died, right in my arms. I am completely stunned.

    My husband had mentioned earlier today that he thought she had gone broody because she hadn't left the coop today, just switched boxes.

    This is the first chicken that I have lost to illness...others have been fox, dog, or accident. I want to be sure that the other girls are ok. I didn't know if I should scrub out the coop, or....well, I don't know what. Everyone else seems ok. One Brahma sneezes from time to time. Other than that, I think they seem very healthy. We buried her, but any advice on what it might have been or what my next steps should be would be a great help. Thank you so much for your help. Paula Dean was the last remaining chicken from my first little flock and I don't mind saying that I cried.

    Details:
    -All chickens have been going through a giant molt (my first giant molt). The Silkie (her name was Paula Dean) was first to start and for the first time ever looked fabulous. All the others are mid molt. There are feathers from one end of the property to the other.

    -They are free range, but still have their regular food and water rountine available.

    -She has never been a "great" egg layer. Even with supplemental oyster shell, she layed mostly "bag" eggs over the last 5 months. The last one that I found almost had a crust of shell, but that was a few days ago. None of the others are laying.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    So sorry for your loss. Your silkie sounds as though she had some neurological problem there at the end. Did she have a Mareks vaccine when you got her? I'm at a loss for what she may have had. I suppose she could have hurt her head some way in a fall. I wouldn't think the occasionally-sneezing brahma had anything to do with it. I hope you can get some answers.
     
  3. toritori

    toritori Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2011
    Saranac Inn, NY
    Thank you for your reply...my non-chickens friends don't get the whole "chicken thing". Even my husband felt really bad. [​IMG]

    I don't know if she had a Marek's vaccine. My husband bought 6 chicks (that he was told were Brahmas....what a surprise when they had dark grey skin and just kept getting fuzzier!) from Tractor Supply. I will look into that a little more though.
     

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