sudden death- stumbling and convulsions


10 Years
Mar 7, 2009
This morning I was sitting on my porch watching my chickens (they are free range around my backyard) and before I knew it one of them stumbled off the porch, went into convulsions and died right before my eyes! I have had them only 2 weeks, but I did buy them from an auction so I don't know how old they are. The other two seem to be fine, but so did this one... did I just witness the 'flip-over' disease? could someone please help me figure out what happened to my chicken???
Are these the only chickens you have?

If you have others, please isolate these chickens so that your others do not catch what they have.

There are so many things that this could be. Chickens look fine right up until they keel over. I guess it is an evolutionary advantage: if they appeared to be sick, predators would notice and eat them.

That said, it sounds like you got some bum chickens. They could be any age, and they could have any number of illnesses.

What are you feeding them? Are you free-feeding them dry layer pellets and oyster shell? Are you keeping them out of areas that have decomposing matter that might give them a fungal disease or botulism poisoning? Is their water changed daily so that they do not contact a fungal disease? Do they have worms? Have you checked them over carefully for lice, mites, injuries?

If you have time, you might want to call your State Extension Office and see if you can get a free necropsy to make sure there were no serious diseases involved.

Sorry about your chicken.
Could have choked (head turned black or blue?), eat poison, snake bit. More likely had something caught in her throat and choked for air. I had a healthy one choke on whole corn before. Saw him flopping and he was dead before I could get to him.

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