Thinking cap on please, dead cockerel

key west chick

Songster
11 Years
May 31, 2008
3,328
11
211
Gainesville, GA
Ok, this is the FIRST chicken in 8 years I have lost to an unknown something. 5 month old araucana cockerel, was fine yesterday AM when I let them out. 7:00 I went to put them up. He didn't want to go in, just stood under the tree. I shooed him and he reluctantly wobbled/ ran in. Didn't fly to roost. I picked him up and took him in. Not thin, crop fine, no obvious injuries, eyes clear, no wheezing, nothing. This morning I heard him thrashing about in the carrier and came in and he was dead. Once again, I went over him. Can't see or feel anything. The poo in the carrier was normal. At first I thought he might have gotten picked on, since at first he acted more hurt. DH says it sounds neurological. What ever it was killed him. No one else is showing signs. I'm keeping them in for a few days to see if it was something he ate that poisoned him. My yards not that big. We don't use poison or spray. I have a crabapple tree where they spend most of the day. Fermenting apples? What about polkweed berries? No moldy feed or anything to poke in. We have alot of crows that hang out, could they carry something? I'm at a loss. Losing him was bad enough but I don't know what to do to keep it from happening again. Hoping it was just an isolated incident.
 

sammi

Songster
12 Years
Dec 21, 2007
1,797
6
161
Southeast USA
Botulism can kill them fast, and does show neurological symptoms..

could have had an injury..

if he was thrashing about..he might have had a seizure..consistent with Botulism or some sort of poisoning..

can you have a necropsy done?
 

Jenski

Songster
11 Years
Jun 17, 2008
2,177
18
181
Middle Tennessee
I agree on the possibility of a toxin of some sort. Pokeweed is toxic, as are the berries, but I do not know for sure if the thrashing/siezing is a symptom of that type of poisoning. I would suspect botulism.

Sorry for your loss!
 

key west chick

Songster
11 Years
May 31, 2008
3,328
11
211
Gainesville, GA
So far everyone else appears fine. I'm wondering botulism but can't find where he would have gotten it. What stinks is I had 8 cockerels and kept 2 and just 2 weeks ago got rid of the others. Now I have 1. Wanted to keep one for back-up.I only ended up with 6 girls out of the 14. I would HATE to have to get more chickens!
 

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