Unexpected death! Help!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MiBirds, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. MiBirds

    MiBirds Songster

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    One of my chickens unexpectedly died today. We’re worried for the rest of the flock and would like to know why she died.
    She’s a buff orphington.
    I’m assuming we’re going to have to find a place to perform a necropsy. What do I need to do with her body in the mean time since it’s night and I won’t be able to go tonight to ensure that I can have this done? Should I put her in the freezer?

    Thanks so much to anyone who replies.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    Ducksandchickens likes this.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    Keep the body refrigerated (not frozen).
    Thanks for providing your location in your profile.
    Here are your state poultry labs. If they are far from you, some may send you a FedEx label for the carcass.

    Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
    The University of Georgia
    501 D.W. Brooks Drive
    Athens, Georgia 30602-5023
    Phone: 706-542-5568

    Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network
    3235 Abit Massey Way
    Gainesville, Georgia 30507-7745
    Phone: 770-766-6810

    University of Georgia Tifton Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
    43 Brighton Road
    Tifton, Georgia 31793-3000
    Phone: 229-386-3340
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Great Horny Toads

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    Unfortunately chickens drop dead sometimes. My guess is most are from heart attacks or something like fatty liver. I generally don't worry unless multiple birds die from the same symptoms. @casportpony I believe knows where birds can be sent for testing.
     
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  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    I am the same. The occasional death happens now and then. Several dropping dead in a short period of time - especially if they all had similar symptoms - would worry me. I would probably look into it then.
     
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  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    IMO, it depends on how valuable one's chickens are. When I had a lot of breeds, I would do a home posting. Now that I have only one extremely rare breed, I need conclusive proof of why a bird died. I can't afford to lose a single bird. I always send them to the vet school now.
     
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  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Great Horny Toads

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    It is definitely a personal decision on how important the answers are of why a bird died.
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    In your situation, I understand that.
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    If this bird dies from Fatty Liver Haemorrhagic syndrome and it is as a result of a dietary imbalance then having a necropsy could help the OP to change their flock's diet and perhaps prevent another death. If they are pets or valuable breeding stock, it is worth the effort. If they are livestock obviously there is less imperative as the necropsy is usually more expensive than replacing the chicken.

    @MiBirds

    If you get a necropsy done will you let us know the result. Asothers have said, the carcass needs to be double bagged and refrigerated and sent on ice I believe but the relevant Diagnostics lab should be able to advise you about postage when you contact them. If the logistics of sending the carcass for necropsy become too expensive or complicated (some labs insist that the bird is sent via a veterinary practice which can greatly add to the cost), do you feel able to open the bird up yourself and take a look inside. If so, take lots of photos and post them here and we will try to help you figure it out. Something like Fatty Liver Haemorrhagic Syndrome is fairly easy to spot and larger birds like Orpingtons are more prone to it.

    It may be worth assessing your flock's diet in the mean time. What do you feed them?.... Main feed and treats, how much and between how many? It may seem unlikely that a minor dietary imbalance can cause sudden death in an apparently healthy hen, but it happens all too often.
     
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  9. MiBirds

    MiBirds Songster

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    I honestly don’t think the food we feed them had to do with it, because we’ve been feeding my chickens the same food for years. It’s the Purina Layena Plus Omega-3. We give them fresh fruits and vegetables every other day too.
    We found someone to get her to to do the necropsy tomorrow.
     
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  10. MiBirds

    MiBirds Songster

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    We found someone to get her tomorrow to do the necropsy on.
     

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