Why did my Chicken die?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by crazymom, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. crazymom

    crazymom Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2009
    My husband came home from work to find a dead chicken in the coop.

    The chicken is 1 year old. The other 5 chickens looked fine.

    Why might a chicken die this young? I gave away some eggs yesterday. Are the eggs OK to eat?

    Poison from neighbor's yard, perhaps? Disease?

    Any ideas? I am especially concerned since I gave away 4 of her eggs yesterday to someone I don't know.
  2. vnploveschickens

    vnploveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    If there were no symptoms or injuries, you might never know for sure what happened. Were her poops ok, not runny or anything? Did she have any mites or lice?

    Check your other girls too. Its such a shock when you come home to find a hen has died when everyone was just fine earlier in the day.

    You and your family take care of yourselves.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. Catalina

    Catalina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2007
    [​IMG] So sorry for your loss. [​IMG]

    If you can't see any signs of damage to her body and she wasn't sick, I would guess she died from heart failure.
    Or she may have had a blood clot in her lung or brain.

    Just like humans, chickens can die unexpectedly.

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  4. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    I had one die unexpectedly this week too. She had shown no signs of illness. My kids were pretty upset. But, I felt her belly and it was hard and lumpy. I think she was egg bound. Check yours for the same thing. I have come to understand that this is fairly common and they can die pretty quickly from it.

    I am sorry for your loss, hope this gives you at least an idea. Chicken forensics is not my field! [​IMG]
  5. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    I recently lost a bantam to internal egg matter. I'm not completely sure how to explain, but this was a leathery egg, but I'm certain this happened before her laying the egg, as it apparently gave force and instead of leaving the reproductive system, it reversed and came into her body cavity.
    The only way you will ever know what happened is to do a necropsy, or find your local university diagnostics lab, call your vet or Extension service and take your bird to have a necropsy and blood work done.
    I doubt then eggs would cause harm, was she in a corner of the coop hunched up when your DH found her?
  6. crazymom

    crazymom Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2009
    Thanks! This is such a supportive place. 4 answers in less than one hour. I'm feeling a bit better.

    She laid an egg yesterday. My husband checked for stuck eggs and said that there weren't any. (Not sure if he would know, though.) I'm not sure when she died-sometimes between last night and tonight. She was near but not in the Laying Area of the coop like she had fallen off the roost.

    I will call UCONN and ask them to do a necropsy. We'll hold off eating the eggs just in case. I'll keep everyone posted.
  7. Robdoc

    Robdoc Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 18, 2008
    It's awful to find a dead chicken. I'm sorry. We just found a dead chicken in the coop this morning. As it is the third in 6 months (all hens about a year old), I decided to take her for a necropsy to make sure this wasn't something that was affecting my whole flock.

    The vet pathologist told it is is very common for chickens to seem fine one day and be dead the next, because they are so good at hiding illnesses (his initial exam showed liver problems). Necropsies aren't cheap, but if you have any reason to think your flock might be at risk, it might make sense.
  8. crazymom

    crazymom Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2009
    A local vet told me to get it done. He said that the university nearby will do it.

    Just so I won't be shocked, how much will this cost me?

    My free cat cost about $1,000 in the first 6 months. (flee, tick treatments, shots, neutered, various illnesses, etc.)
  9. Renee

    Renee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    Your State Vet may do it for free. They do in California, but they are too far away.

    "For those who would like to find where a necropsy is available in their state, start by clicking on your state in this link and contacting your state vet's office. Often a free or low cost necropsy is available through a state University Extension office, an Agricultural Extension office, or a state university that teaches veterinary science.



    Last edited by hinkjc (02/24/2009 5:34 am)"
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  10. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with the State Vet, but often most state vets can't be bothered with chickens or answering their phone or emails.

    If I couldn't do my own "look and see" then I would have contacted the state for a necropsy.
    Good luck and please keep us posted.

    Also, animals that show "weakness" get caught first. So not showing illness means they might have more time to "survive".

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