Premium Feather Member
I'm kind of hoping it's something innate at this point - at least it will remove the guilt Though it will add extra worry for the others, most of which came from the same breeder and two of which are hatch-mates from the same stock. I had a young chicken from that breed and breeder die mysteriously about a year ago, too, at 7 months old, and a lot of the surviving ones have other issues (eye problems, foot problems, wry neck, deformed tail etc.) so I'm really starting to think that it's an issue of poor stock. The breed is "under development" at this breeder (Papa's Poultry) and I know he's experimenting, so even though he denies it, I really suspect that he has genetic issues in his flocks. He has some experience, but started out as an amateur breeder, and still does it mostly for fun. All my birds that came from him have had exceptional temperaments - calm, friendly, social, cuddly, amazing pet chicken material, which is exactly what I wanted them for. So I'm very happy in that regard. But the Red Partridge Orpingtons in particular have had a lot of issuesShe might have suffered from an innate heart condition. These issues become more noticeable the older and bigger the bird gets, and adding the extreme cold and being chased might have pushed her over the edge.
I am sorry for your loss.