sudden death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by roosterlou, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. roosterlou

    roosterlou Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I need advice, help, reassurance....I went out to the coop to feed the chickens this morning, and one of my white leghorns was dead. She was lying on her side as if she had just fallen over. There was no blood around her. I had 5 white leghorn hens and have one rooster, also 16 EE chickens. The leghorns are 24 weeks old and the EE 20 weeks old. All of them had been eating well, socializing, seemed fine. They eat a chicken layer blend along with some table scraps, grass and clover from the yard.

    I was going to put some gloves on later and go examine her. What am I looking for? What would cause this? Will all my other chickens just drop dead? I am a first time chicken parent and this is very distressing to me....help!!
     
  2. verthandi

    verthandi Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2007
    Maine
    Sorry to hear about your hen. Sometimes you just lose one, no signs of anything wrong. Check her over well, maybe check for prolapse, check her crop, look for nasal discharge, etc. It's really hard to know what caused them to die, unless you want to have a neocropsy(sp?) done on her.

    I know when I first got back into chickens, I had one die within 2 months of having them. It was really hard to understand what might have happened as I didn't have any signs to go by to figure it out. Now I look back and think it probably was nothing I did wrong, it was just something that happened.
     
  3. roosterlou

    roosterlou Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I checked her out and other than being dead, she looks fine. I am keeping a close eye on my other hens and the rooster. They all seem ok. Hopefully this is an isolated event. We will have a chicken burial in the backyard this afternoon. [​IMG]
     
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Jan 11, 2007
  5. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Leghorns are high strung, nervous birds, so if there was a bunch of excitement, she might've had a heart attack...
    Sorry for your loss though...
     
  6. roosterlou

    roosterlou Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Thank you for the website, unicorn. I guess I will be careful what I pick for the girls' 'salad'. All of the other white hens laid eggs today so maybe they are not sick. I will be watching them all carefully...
     
  7. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    Mareks and Leukosis can both cause a bird to just drop dead with no prior symptom. Mareks is very common and most birds have been exposed.
    "If your bird breathes then it has been exposed to Mareks"

    is an often used quote regarding Mareks.

    From the MSU poultry diagnostic site:
    Some of the causes of instant death with few or no prior signs...
    Aortic rupture; acute lack of water; fowl cholera; overheated, fatty liver hemorrhagic syndrome

    http://www.msstate.edu/dept/poultry/diagext.htm


    If you are concerned about your other chickens possibly being ill, then you should consider taking your dead bird for a necropsy.
    Here is a link to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in New Hamp
    http://www.unh.edu/nhvdl/
    which I obtained from the Univ of New Hamp Cooperative Extension's site map
    http://extension.unh.edu/SiteMap.htm

    For others who need to find necropsy services (preferably done free by the state university or Ag dept, go to this site (for WA) and look up your state on their interactive link to other states :
    http://agr.wa.gov/FoodAnimal/AnimalHealth/StateVets.htm

    Chel​
     
  8. roosterlou

    roosterlou Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Thank you, Chel. Honestly, she seemed fine yesterday. I will see what happens with the others - keep my fingers crossed. I am happy I found this web site.....the members are awesome![​IMG]
     

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