What to do after a chicken dies?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by vermontgal, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    One of my chickens, Liona the EE just died suddenly, today [​IMG]. She was 37 weeks old and had laid, in her lifetime, just under 4 dozen medium-sized lovely sage-green eggs. I found her keeled over dead, like she had fallen off the roost - no sign of illness. She had been laying smaller eggs than normal recently, but she did lay yesterday. I was slightly concerned about her laying schedule (skipping days). She might have been ill or might have been egg-bound. I am sad because she was one of my favorites.

    Now that she died - is there anything I need to do to protect the 3 other chickens?

    Should I disinfect my coop? (a big project) or take any other precautions?

    Thanks for any advice.

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    If there was no sign of illness it was most likely a heart attack. It happens.
  3. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    The rest of your flock should be ok, just watch them for any changes. Chickens die spontaneously too, so it might not be anything contagious.

    Make a wooden alter for her and burn her. lol. It'll destroy any pathogens and she'll go down like a queen. Sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
  4. ChickieKeeta

    ChickieKeeta C'mon C'mere Fluffa Feathers

    Feb 16, 2009
    Cumberland County NJ
    I found one of my chickens dead the end of January. The
    rest are fine. All I did was bury her.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2009
  5. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is the time of year when you realize that winter fare may not have been all it might have been. You really need to increase the fat and animal protein in the diet at the onset of spring and make certain that you have wormed or at least mix DE into the feed. A ready poultry porridge for winter hens nearing spring is a big bowl of inexpensive dry dog or cat food with bacon drippings and warm water poured over it. Let this stand in the house for a few hours before bringing it out so that it the kibble absorbs the oil before the cold temperatures separate it. Also, stir in DE, a can of cranberry sauce and big heaping tablespoons of black pepper, cinnamon, curry powder and cayenne pepper. Don't worry. Their taste buds are capable of eating much spicier ants and roots- bugs and so forth- but this poultry porridge will give the hens- especially the old steady layers, some much needed optimal fare to get their egg machine rolling again.

    Many people make the mistake of feeding their birds sub optimal fare during the off months- for moult and winter- when this is actually when the birds need the best food- so that they can regenerate all that they have lost producing eggs the rest of the year...
  6. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Chickens just sometimes keal over don't take it as a red flag that you should start to freak out, I just throw mine to the pigs or dogs whole they love it. I know I know but it works for me.

  7. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    Aside from any concern about disease to my dog, I wouldn't want to teach the dog to eat fully-feathered chickens! That would be a BAD precedent.

    I like the idea of burning the pullet's body. I'd have to do that at a friends house because there's no place (room) to have a fire where I live - I'd burn my own house down.

    Resolution - this was a young pullet, never molted, and they have been eating layer feed plus meat (pig) and just recently had some suet.

    A friend who also raises chickens pointed out the potential dangers of ice melters to chickens. I don't use rock salt, and mostly use sand and ashes. But there is a chance that I may have unthinkingly used some of the pet-friendly ice melt in the backyard recently. [​IMG] I'll have to take a look around, and if I did, I might not let the other girls out for a while until it rains a few times, to dissolve the grains.

    Sorry kittygirl, about your own chicken. I can relate. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Two weeks ago I had 3 die from an infection. It went through the entire flock. I had to give antibiotics in the water.

    All but 3 stopped laying. 2 of the 14 have started up again but just about every other day.

    That is the non fun part of raising chickens.

    Each of the dead chickens went into a plastic bag and into the dumpster.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  9. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Quote:You are very right on that, my dogs are bird hunting dogs and never have access to anything but their run area.
  10. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Hmm- that does sound like she may have eaten something poisonous alright. I would burn the carcass or if money were not an issue I might send it to the vet for necropsy. I perform my own necropsys much of the time. If disease is not the issue i would burn the body entirely. Sorry for your loss. I lost a few Coturnix while I was away. They were beaten up by hutch mates. I fed the bodies to the monitor lizards in another enclosure.

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