why did chicken die

reedspaint

Hatching
10 Years
Jun 21, 2009
4
0
7
I had 2 chickens that I raised from babies. I got them this past Easter so they are still young. They normally don't like to be picked up and try to avoid me thinking I'm going to do so. Yesterday I let them out in the morning to free range like I always do when I'm home. They both were acting normal, eating, drinking, chasing bugs etc. Toward the evening I noticed 1 sitting and wasn't caring if I picked it up. I picked it up and it was breathing heavy and kept wanting to close her eyes and would let me do anything with her without care, even laying her in my arms on her back like a baby. She looked totaly fine other than what I mentioned. This morning she was dead. What happened! Now I'm worried about the other 1 because she was closer to the 1 that died than the dead 1 was close to her. The 1 that died was black with white specks, don't know the breed. This is a very sad fathers day for me and would appreciate any input on the death and what to do about the 1 that is alone now.

Thanks,
 

chickensioux

Songster
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
4,229
53
241
Western North Carolina
I'm so sorry for your loss. Could she have been eggbound? Did her abdomen feel distended? Was she laying regularly? It really could have been a multitude of things. Unless a necropsy is done, you may never know. Again, so sorry.
 

threehorses

Songster
10 Years
Apr 20, 2009
3,427
161
221
Houston
To save the other one, you'll want to give her a thorough exam.

In addition to what chickensioux said, check your living chicken's skin for parasites. Check the area for puddles or ponds, algea water, compost she might have gotten into.

Are you feeding them the right food for her age? Were their combs just turning cherry red yet? Do they have a good source of grit since they're free ranging?
 

reedspaint

Hatching
10 Years
Jun 21, 2009
4
0
7
They are only about 11-12 weeks old. Haven't layed any eggs yet. The one that died, I checked it over real good last night because I knew something wasn't right. Everything looked normal to me except her breathing heavy and being carefree. Nose, eyes, feathers, color, skin, everything looked ok. I have a waterer that I change often, no other water around, no compost around. Their combs are light colored, not red. I've been feeding the same batch of chicken feed with corn added for a couple of weeks. I just ordered some grit yesterday.

I'm worried about the other one being alone now, she was really attached to the one that died. Also worried that the same thing might happen to her. She acts normal now, but so did the 1 that died.

Thanks for the replies
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
535
448
South Georgia
You won't know for sure without a necropsy, of course. My guesses would be along the lines of heart defect, liver or kidney disorder, or some other internal defect -- things that would not be contagious or affect the other chicken. Just guesses.

It really does not sound to me like a respiratory illness, but here is an overview sort of article on them:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=9241
 

reedspaint

Hatching
10 Years
Jun 21, 2009
4
0
7
I think that maybe she ate something that poisoned her. I can't think of any other reason because everything else seemed fine and it happened so quick. I did see some mushrooms in the area that they were earlier that day. Would they normally know not to eat anything that would make them sick?
 

chickbea

Songster
13 Years
Jan 18, 2007
2,181
17
201
Vermont
I'm so sorry this happened to you.
Sadly, chicks that grow up without a momma to show them what is safe to eat may consume things they shouldn't. That is a distinct possibility.
Was it very hot the day she died? She also may have had heat stroke.
Unfortunately, sometimes chicks just die and we don't know why. You could send her off to your local university for a necropsy if you really were curious.
As for your remaining one, she probably will be very lonely, as chickens are social creatures. Do you know anyone else who has chickens and might be willing to share one or two with you? You will have to keep the new ones in quarantine for a couple of weeks, however.
 

BigPeep

Songster
10 Years
May 27, 2009
208
11
111
I too just lost a hen suddenly this week just as she was about the age to begin laying. This would have been the first egg from my flock. Not a good beginning.

If your hen was at that age, it could be a problem associated with trying to pass the first egg. Mine didn't have difficulty breathing but she was listless all day and refused to eat or drink. We force fed her some vitamins with water which seem to perk her up for a bit so I was hopeful when I closed her up in her isolation cage for the night but in the morning she was dead and stiff as a board.

I had also lost a baby goat the previous week two days after it was born, not disease related, so it's been a tough time. The baby chicks we got in a few days ago have helped perk things up though. That's animal husbandry.

Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens just says that by the time a bird is showing symptoms of anything it's usually too late to do much and the bird may never be the same even if it recovers so it's best just to kill it.
 

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