1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Sudden pullet death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jshreck, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. jshreck

    jshreck In the Brooder

    Jan 14, 2013
    South Central Wisconsin
    I found one of my 10 month old easter egger girls dead tonight. She seemed fine yesterday- was active out in the run and was on the roost with everyone last night. I didn't do a head count this morning as I was on my way to work and it was just day break when I opened the coop hatch door so I'm not sure when in the previous 24 hours she passed. She was lying on her front on the poop board just under their roosts with her legs straight out (like maybe she died and fell off the roost over night.) No evidence of being egg bound. One small wound on her head (my guess is that she got pecked post mortem by another chicken as it certainly didn't look like it could cause death.) There is no way a predator got in their coop. All 6 other chickens seem healthy- no feather loss, no lethargy, no sneezing. All active and nothing out of normal.
    Anyone have any thoughts on cause of death? Seems awfully young for a heart attack? Should I be worried about the rest of my flock? Given they all seem fine I'm hesitant to spend $$$$ on a necropsy
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015

  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Crowing

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    It is a minimal fee taking the bird to a state lab:

    Too often, people new to keeping poultry overlook the necessity to use preventative treatments for coccidiosis and intestinal worms. Young birds are more susceptible to worms and 16 weeks of medicated feed is not enough. They overlook the importance of clean drinking water at all times, and other aspects of yard and coop maintenance, as well as diet. People will often retort with,"Chickens are omnivorous scavengers". Where that may be true, in the wild, they are not supplied with those food stuffs people often feed as treats. Excessive protein slows digestion, and too much sugar causes excessive thirst. Not enough grit supplied when excessive whole grains are supplied not only causes digestive problems, but also is lacking in nutritional value.

    A bird lacking nutrients has a weakened immune system, which makes it more susceptible to disease, just like other animals. If the bird was underweight, the cause was likely intestinal parasites. Here is a bit about coccidiosis:

    Here is some information regarding intestinal parasites:
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by