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What would make my 2-year old chicken die? And what could I have done?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Shrader, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Shrader

    Shrader Songster

    Apr 7, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Noodles, my 2-year old golden buff hen started acting lethargic yesterday.
    She stayed in the coop most of the day, and only ate a little.
    (I did see her eat and drink yesterday.)
    Today, she was still acting strange. When I picked her up, she hardly reacted.
    Then when I put her back down, she wobbled as if she was dizzy.
    I called a vet who told me to watch her -- and if she was still acting strange tomorrow, to bring her in.
    I gave her some water with a syringe earlier, then placed her in a nest so she could sleep.
    I just went down there and her little head was down, tucked under her wing.
    I picked her up and she was gone.
    Still warm, so it must have just happened.
    I'm heart-broken. And I'm feeling really guilty.
    What could have happened to her so quickly?
    Earlier this week, so was just fine.
    There was no physical signs of anything wrong.
    Should I have just brought her in to the vet today, instead of calling?
    He didn't seem alarmed. Could he have helped?
    Should I be worried about the rest of my flock?

  2. Shrader

    Shrader Songster

    Apr 7, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Her poo was yellow and runny today.
  3. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Had she stopped laying?

    She might have become an internal layer.
  4. ashtray

    ashtray Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Staunton VA
    what should you do if your chick becomes am internal layer?...sorry about the hijack [​IMG]
  5. Renee

    Renee Songster

    May 7, 2008
    Oh, Shrader.
    Sorry about your girl.
    It's stunning how fast they die, and they give you so little warning.

    Birds are masters at hiding the fact that they are ill right up until they are ready to die. This is most likely a good evolutionary trait, since it keeps predators from noticing they are weak, but it is awful for us, because we have no time to help them.

    It could have been an egg. It might have been botulism. If it was an internal egg problem, it is probably too late to do anything by the time you notice.
  6. Shrader

    Shrader Songster

    Apr 7, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Rooster-Red, I'm not sure if she'd stopped laying. I did notice a few less eggs than usual over the past week or so. But I have (had) 6 chickens, so I"m not sure who was laying what.

    Thanks Renee. You grow so attached to the little squakers, you know?
    I was hoping she'd pull out of it.
    If it was botulism, how could she have gotten it? And are the rest in my flock at risk?

    Thanks again.
  7. Renee

    Renee Songster

    May 7, 2008
    Shrader- my chicken got botulism poisoning from free-ranging in my compost pile. She pulled through, but it was touch and go. Chickens can also get sick with fungal diseases from eating moldy stuff, which they seem to love. Mine run straight for the mouldering pile of thistle seeds that collect under the finch feeder. Ugh.

    If you free-range your chickens, you should try to keep them out of your compost pile and away from anything that is rotting or moldy. Rotting pond vegetation is another source of botulism (and I put pond scum in my compost pile!).

  8. jnjross

    jnjross Songster

    Apr 3, 2008
    edwards, ms
    really! wow i've been battling scum in my pond and the chicken drink from there in the summer , i'm going to wage war then thanks,

    i bet those were the best two years a chicken could ask for! she got something 95% of them not get, LOVE!
  9. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    Oh I am sorry about your little buff girl. [​IMG]

    Dont feel guilty, you did all you could do. Sometimes we never know what happened.
  10. charmed one

    charmed one Show Me State Gal

    So sorry to here about your baby. I lost one of mine just this morning and have been reading here trying to find out what happened. I went out in the coop this morning and she was dead on her roost. They got into some rotten meat two days ago and now I'm thinking maybe thats what it was. I hope none of the others get sick. They are almost a year old raised from babies. It's hard, isn't it, when you raise something from birth and then lose it for no apparent reason. When you decide to be a farmer, someone should pull you aside and tell you these things can happen. But I guess it's something you can never prepare for. I hope the rest of your flock is Ok. [​IMG]

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