Sudden death


Aug 12, 2016
Hi all,

We had a Salmon Faverelle cockerel, about 4-5 months old. He'd been lethargic and keeping away from the hens today, but I wasn't too worried as he has always stuck with the other cockerels, and since the last of those was separated out to become dinner a couple of days ago I assumed he was just adjusting to his new role as sole male.

Just looked out of the window and noticed he was on his side and shaking. Within a couple of minutes he went limp and died. Any ideas as to how this happened? Apparently healthy yesterday, but husband noticed that he now has yellow poo around tail feathers. I've not had chickens before, and I'm worried it's something that might spread to the others - any advice would be appreciated!
Welcome to BYC. Sorry for your loss. The best way to tell what caused his death is to get a necropsy done by your state vet or poultry lab. I also had a faverolles male die around the same age of an unknown illness. The gene pool is smaller in that breed, due to the rarity, so I think that rare breeds tend to have more problems than more common ones. The signs you witnessed at death could have been normal "throes of death" that occur from low oxygen levels and the organs failing, but may have been significant. Refrigerate his body in a garbage bag (do not freeze,) and contact the state vet. The following 2 links have info about state vets, poultry labs, and how to care for the body in shipping:

If a necropsy is not possible, you may want to open the chicken yourself to look at the abdominal organs and take a few pictures. Many people on BYC can help with identification of findings, and there are many good instructions here:

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