The 'death hunch'

Carmellee

Hatching
Dec 8, 2020
8
4
8
Hi everyone! This is my first post so here we go...
I lost 3 chickens this year and it looks like it's going to be a 4th. Each death was a few months apart. The symptoms are diarrhea and the hunched up sick position. They were all a little different but that was the common thread. 2 got culled and the 3rd just dropped dead. After the 3rd I thought maybe worms so I got dewormer and wormed the last 3. Now one of them has what I now call 'the death hunch'. I'm thinking bacterial infection? 🤷‍♀️ Has anyone else had this happen?
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
62,491
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southern Ohio
What is your location? What are the ages of the chickens and what was the age when they died? Were any of the chickens laying eggs? Do you have a vet that will look at some combined droppings for worms or coccidiosis? If you should lose another chicken, I would ask your state poultry vet to do a necropsy. The chicken’s body must be kept cold, but not frozen. Here is a list of state vets:
https://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
 

Carmellee

Hatching
Dec 8, 2020
8
4
8
What is your location? What are the ages of the chickens and what was the age when they died? Were any of the chickens laying eggs? Do you have a vet that will look at some combined droppings for worms or coccidiosis? If you should lose another chicken, I would ask your state poultry vet to do a necropsy. The chicken’s body must be kept cold, but not frozen. Here is a list of state vets:
https://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
The chickens are 2 years old. These last 3 left I finally got some
What is your location? What are the ages of the chickens and what was the age when they died? Were any of the chickens laying eggs? Do you have a vet that will look at some combined droppings for worms or coccidiosis? If you should lose another chicken, I would ask your state poultry vet to do a necropsy. The chicken’s body must be kept cold, but not frozen. Here is a list of state vets:
https://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
I'm in Connecticut. Their about 2 1/2 years old. I they were all laying before they got sick. Dewormed last 3 so I dont think it's worms. I got some Amoxicillin yesterday and she seems to have perked up. Maybe bacterial.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
62,491
55,514
1,322
southern Ohio
Hens over 2 years can suffer from reproductive disorders, cancer, crop problems, in addition to lice, mites, parasites, and respiratory diseases may be brought into a flock by adding new birds or from migrating birds. A local vet could look at some collected combined droppings for worms and other parasites. Do the chickens lose weight before they die. Are crops emptying overnight by the next morning?
 

Carmellee

Hatching
Dec 8, 2020
8
4
8
What exactly do you feed your birds?
Please list everything thst you give them.
Mostly chicken pellets and free ranging in yard. Very occasionally a mix of bird seed, teff, buckwheat, wheat berries, chia,and flax. And extremely rarely kitchen scraps. While they were molting I was giving them some canned tuna and mealworms also for protien.
 

Kiki

🙄🤚Do More!
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 31, 2015
124,756
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Houston, TX
My Coop
My Coop
Mostly chicken pellets and free ranging in yard. Very occasionally a mix of bird seed, teff, buckwheat, wheat berries, chia,and flax. And extremely rarely kitchen scraps. While they were molting I was giving them some canned tuna and mealworms also for protien.
What is very occasionally?
Once every few days?
 

Carmellee

Hatching
Dec 8, 2020
8
4
8
Hens over 2 years can suffer from reproductive disorders, cancer, crop problems, in addition to lice, mites, parasites, and respiratory diseases may be brought into a flock by adding new birds or from migrating birds. A local vet could look at some collected combined droppings for worms and other parasites. Do the chickens lose weight before they die. Are crops emptying overnight by the next morning?
Its weird. Other than the 'death hunch' and diarrhea all three were a little different. The first one seemed normal sized and just looked hunched and in pain, the second wasted away to nothing. I thought maybe impacted crop for that one but I think by the time I noticed something was wrong with that one her body was just shutting down. And the third one seemed normal sized and looked like she was perking up real good before she just dropped dead in the yard - and that one her abdomen felt swollen but not the other two. This fourth one seems fine except for the two big symptoms mentioned at the top and seems much better since the antibiotics.
The other weird thing is they all seem to have a good appetite to the bitter end.
 

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