What is going on here!?!


5 Years
Oct 3, 2014
Phoenix, AZ
In the past month we've had two deaths in our flock. The first was an 8 month easter egger who just up and died out of nowhere. That's not to say the chicken was all good and well, she had always had a strange habit of having "sneezing fits" and seemed to be the most anxious of the flock. But we weren't expecting to find her face down in the dirt one morning with no apparent cause.

Now, today we found our drake dead in the pond. He's always been alright, never had any reason to think he might have any problems so this is a complete surprise to me. The only thing I've done differently is to add a small amount of DE to their usual feed. But that was after the hen passed. I don't want to lose any more of my baby-birds so if anyone has the slightest clue as to what is going on with them I'd really love to hear it!

Another thing, we've always kept the chickens and ducks in the same area. They hang out like friends but I don't know if there's some communicatable disease that can happen like this?


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
Welcome to BYC. It is really hard to know for sure without a necropsy which can be done by your state vet. Sometimes there are symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss, respiratory symptoms, or mites. Botulism is a common disease with ducks, and sometimes with chickens. It can occur from eating a toxin in dead fish or animal carcasses, or buried vegetation, such as in a compost bed. It can cause paralysis and death within 12-24 hours. Here is a little reading about the disease: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/19/botulism

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