Sudden death in the flock (do hens have seizures?)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Hishigata, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. Hishigata

    Hishigata Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just came home from work to find my 3 year old barred rock hen lethargic in the side yard. Her comb was pale and a bit scratched up, her eyes barely open with a small amount of blood at the top corner. She did not come for food when I put it out and only perked up mildly when I went to see her.

    I brought her inside to give her a check up. She was limp with labored breathing. Her crop felt fine and I could not detect an egg that was bound (she just finished a hard molt and I don't think she was close to production yet). I offered her water but she refused it. She just lay head on the floor breathing hard. She suddenly squawked and thrashed on the floor. She did this several more times (seizures?) curling up her neck with her eyes dilated and her tongue protruding slightly from her beak. She stopped breathing and went still. I do not know what caused this but have three other hens in my flock who seem fine for now.

    Please help me figure out what killed my hen.
     
  2. Hishigata

    Hishigata Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update: I examined her body but there was no indication of trauma or injury. There is blood at the corner of both eyes and small amounts on her ears. Her nose is clear and her airway seems normal. Could it be an aneurism?
     
  3. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Void where prohibited.
    Chem trails.
     
  4. Hishigata

    Hishigata Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That was a less than helpful comment BBQJOE. [​IMG]

    Update:

    I have since lost a second chicken in an almost identical manner. A golden laced Wyandotte who laid an egg in the morning and by 2 o'clock was lethargic and within 10 minutes had lost all mobility in her legs and wings and could not stand. She had a healthy appetite and would drink water. I brought her inside so the other hens would not attack her.

    She developed a high fever, her comb and wattles were bright red/purple, and labored breathing and wheezing by 8 o'clock in the evening. Still unable to sit upright without assistance. She passed later that night.

    An necropsy by an avian specialist revealed she was a carrying a little excess fat but otherwise was in perfect health. No sign of viral or bacterial infection in any of her organs or tissue. Has any one experienced anything at all like this?

    There is construction near my house, could it be poison? The necropsy was too delayed to get useful tissue samples for testing...


    I am concerned about my other girls. they are all healthy now, but so was my wyandotte less than 12 hours before her death.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  5. Crazy4Chicks10

    Crazy4Chicks10 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am very new to chickens and do not know of anything that could kill your chickens that fast. But I do want to say that I am very sorry for your losses and will try to do some research to help. Were your chickens vaccinated for Mareks? How are your other chickens as of now?
     
  6. Hishigata

    Hishigata Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All of the girls have been vaccinated for Marek's by the hatchery. The other hens are all fine. One of the older hens has bumblefoot but I am treating her for that. I have three new pullets who are just transitioning to the outdoors so I want to be careful none of them become ill. They are still separate from the main flock for now.
     
  7. ramsburgchicken

    ramsburgchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    That's insane! [​IMG] Sorry to hear about your losses. Dang! Sometimes we never figure out what kills a flock member. Could be anything from a heart attack, to a slow birth defect. You did mention some symptoms that I'm certain I read about in a scientific journal regarding diseases and illness in poultry. I'm going to see if I can't find it again. Might take me a day or so.
     
  8. Hishigata

    Hishigata Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any leads would be great. It is always frustrating when there is no obvious cause as you have no means of preparing for future illness.
     
  9. mustang56

    mustang56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    http://poultryone.com/articles/respiratory-html
    Birds that are otherwise strong and healthy can usually fight off a mild infection and recover nicely, although the fungus can remain in the bird and reappear during future events of stress. However, when birds are at their weakest – due to youth, old age, or stressed in some other way – they can die quickly and without noticeable symptoms.

    I surely don't know why..... but could this be a possibility...?

    by the way... so sorry for your loss...=(
     
  10. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Void where prohibited.
    I'm sorry for your loss. I've lost two hens this season. One from the heat I guess, and the other, I'm not sure.
    Chickens are kinda weird. Sometimes they just croak without a clue.
    But I think if this happened to me, there would be only one possible thing I would do.

    I'd make a chicken seizure salad.














    Please forgive me for that one Jesus!
     

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