What could've killed my perfectly healthy chicken?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pthor, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. pthor

    pthor Out Of The Brooder

    I put her to bed last night happy & healthy, she even laid yesterday - This morning when I opened the coop door, she was sitting in

    the hay below the roost... It's not terribly unusual, she would sometimes decide to roost in the hay, she was weird like that.

    hours later my wife sees her in the same spot but now she's dead?

    She was perfectly fine, in a raised coop where the perch was only 8 inches from the soft floor. I could not find anything wrong with

    her body, no injuries, no nothing??

    Has this happened to anyone else... A perfectly young, healthy chicken one minute & deceased the next??

    I'm hoping it was not a disease of some sort but, then again, she showed no sign of sickness at all ??
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I am sorry for your loss, and for your wife... sometimes it effect us ladies a little harder. [​IMG]

    I have heard of this before, though I am unsure of any conclusion. Seems like they have just started calling it chicken heart attack. I know chickens can have a lot of the same genetic issues we can. Like aneurysms, fatty liver, food poisoning, etc. If you processed your own chickens you might be able to tell, I know those who do are familiar with what the inside should or should not look like.

    If it was important to you, contact your local ag commissioner and they can tell you how to get a necropsy done, usually cheap.

    I would keep an eye on the rest of the flock for even the slightest abnormality, just in case.

    And if your chickens free range, it's also possible she got into something that hadn't developed the symptoms yet when you saw her last night.

    I am sorry I can't be more help.

    Best wishes!
  3. pthor

    pthor Out Of The Brooder

    Thank You - They are free range and pampered like nobody's business...

    What you're saying would make sense, as she was happy go lucky at bed time...

    I will certainly keep an eye on the rest and clean the cage again just to make sure it, what ever "it" is, is not in there...

    As for the wife - She handles it better than me [​IMG] She spoils them but, I'd have bedrooms for them inside if I had my way...

    Thanks again - Off to clean the coop [​IMG]
  4. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    This happens. Years ago a young seemingly healthy rooster jumped in the air, twisted, and came down dead. Heart attack or my vet said chickens can also get neurological problems that can manifest itself in sudden death
    We also had a bale of straw that didn't look quite right. Unfortunately we were right. A five month old bantam got into it, pecking around, and died the next day. We scooped it up when we didn't like what we saw, but obviously not in time. Sometimes the cause of death is really hard to discern.
  5. ad26

    ad26 Out Of The Brooder

    May 30, 2016
    Spring City PA
    Check your yard for poisonous plants. Almost anything purple is poisonous.

    Plants that are poisonous to chickens includes daffodils, foxglove, morning glory, yew, jimson weed, tulips, lily of the valley, azaleas, rhododendron, mountain laurel, monkshood, amaryllis, castor bean, trumpet vine, nightshade, nicotiana, tansy,.wisteria, oleander, ficus,bracken fern, Holly, Lupine

    There are 70 varieties of nightshade plants, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, bittersweet and Jerusalem cherry, many of which can be harmful to your flock.

    The leaves and pits of an apricot contain cyanogenic glycosides that are highly toxic to chickens.

    Uncooked beans contain hemagglutinin, which is toxic to chickens.

    Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid that is toxic to chickens,

    Oak trees? acorns that drop in the fall contain tannic acid, harmful to chickens
  6. pthor

    pthor Out Of The Brooder

    That's a good idea - I did notice recently a mushroom had popped up & had been picked at, probably by one or, more of our 5 chickens - That was a couple of days ago & I tossed the shroom when I saw it... I wonder if maybe that was it? As I said, she showed no signs of sickness last night.

    I'd better scan the yard again.
  7. pthor

    pthor Out Of The Brooder

    Wow, we have a couple of old bales lying out back too... I would have never even thought to check them?

    I will toss them to be safe. Thank You
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    I can't even begin to tell you how many toxic plant I have in my yard! [​IMG] I almost considered not getting chickens because of it. And my neighbor has fox glove and other beautiful, toxic to chicken, stuff growing along our fence.

    I've removed as many as I can but it's a never ending battle getting rid of Tansy and Bracken fern. And I HATE bull thistle!

    So basically I make sure there is NONE if they are locked in a run and remove them as I see/identify them in the free range pasture. I am considering inviting my local ag dept. guy to walk through my property and help me identify invasive and toxic species. I'm worried though, that they will just try to fine me or keep harassing me year after year (even though I am doing the right thing). But for the safety of my animals it might be worth the peace of mind.

    I did not know the 'purple" association. That is good info. I knew the Tansy has purple stocks at the base. But that will help me be more cautious easier.
  9. ad26

    ad26 Out Of The Brooder

    May 30, 2016
    Spring City PA
    Jimsonweed ( Datura Stramonium) is a very common nasty ( at least on the east coast). Another unofficial name is Jamestown weed, which comes from the town in Virginia, where British soldiers were drugged with it while attempting to suppress Bacon’s Rebellion. They spent eleven days appearing to have gone insane.
  10. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    We once had 2 guineas that dropped dead from their roost overnight. No outward injury. The day before I had sprinkled some scratch feed in the tractor shed since it was stormy. I am thinking the ground in there could have been contaminated by anti-freeze and who knows what other chemicals which they ingested as they scratched at the feed. I stopped feeding there. and there were no more problems with the remaining guineas or later with chickens, (all free ranging. )

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