Sudden hen death?

Eps32

Songster
Dec 22, 2015
597
121
116
North Carolina
My first sudden death of a chicken. I have no idea what killed her. She was a brown rose comb leghorn. Found her stiff in the coop this mourning. All the other chickens are fine no runny poop. And she showed no symptoms last night when I put them up. They free range all day. The past three days especially two were very cold low 20s. But that's never effected my flock. I have good ventilation and shelter. I don't know if maybe she fell of the perch when and broke her neck or what. Maybe she was sick from the cold even though it warmed to the 30s last night. I examined her no blood no wounds nothing. So I'm stumped all the other chickens are free ranging now and are fine. So I have no idea what could have killed her. I'll keep a close eye on the flock for the next week or so. But I'm just curious has anyone else just had a unexplainable death. I gave her a proper Burial this mourning. I didn't want to eat her not knowing what happened. So hopefully the rest of the flock is fine. Also I have not introduced any new chickens to this flock. So any CSI people are welcome to give me ideas on what could have happened. I checked her over no lumps or pecking marks. I'm just stumped.
 

ChickenCanoe

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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There are many things that can cause sudden death. You won't know without a necropsy.
You can do a necropsy at home looking for obvious signs but lab work is necessary for definitive cause.

I'm assuming it was a mature bird.
For adult hens, common things it could be without other symptoms are:
Lympyhoid Leukosis
campylobacteriosis
colibacillosis
Marek's
gout

Less common things could be:
fatty liver syndrome
streptococcosis
botulism
cholera
choking
malaria
pesticide poisoning
anaphylactic shock
erysipelas
influenza
listeriosis


Be ready to send a bird if you find another dead one.
Here's your state lab.
Rollins Diagnostic Laboratory
North Carolina Department of Agriculture
2101 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
Phone: 919-733-3986 Fax 919-733-0454
 
Last edited:

Eps32

Songster
Dec 22, 2015
597
121
116
North Carolina
Thanks the others seem to be fine. And there laying and acting usual. But if I get another sudden death I'll look into that lab. Thanks
 

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