Young hen just died please help!


10 Years
Dec 21, 2009
New Hampshire
One of my younger hens just died and I have no idea what happened to her. I was feeding them their night time meal and I couldn't find one of the hens we called Sneezy.

I looked under the deck and she was hiding, laying down, with her eyes closed, under the steps. She wouldn't come when I called her like she usually does so I went in after her. When I pulled her out to see her, she looked very sick. Her whole face area was a deep redish purple along with her comb and wattles. Her eyes looked dilated and she would not stand. I was going to bring her in, but as I was holding her neck flopped back, her eyes closed, and there was clear liquid at her mouth (saliva?). She started twitching and then went limp.

This was the most awful thing I have experienced!
I love my chickens to death and I have no idea what went wrong! I feel terible.

I recently noticed she seemed lighter in weight, but she ate and drank fine from what I saw.

If someone could please give me an idea on what happened I would be so grateful.

-edited to add-

Her comb and wattles also looked almost shriveled up. they weren't completely purple, but they looked as if they had a tint of purple.
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I don't she could have gotten into something poisonous. I hope not! There isn't anything around here for them to get into that I see.
She was a leghorn mix. Would that have anything to do with it? Do they have certain problems? I had a roo leghorn/mix that seemed to of died from the same thing last winter.
I had the same thing happen to one of my 2 year old hens about three months ago. I was told that the purple was a sign of poor circulation and heart problems. She may have died from a heart failure/attack. It happens. So sorry for your loss.
Yes, it does happen. It could also have been a stroke -- were both pupils dilated or just one? (either way, it still could have been a stroke or heart attack). I'm sorry for your loss. Although it was very traumatic for you, at least your girl didn't die alone -- at the very end you were there and she knew she was loved.
If she had been acting normally prior to this, I'd give great weight to what previous posts mentioned about it being a heart attack or stroke.

I lost a two-year old rooster in just such a manner. Several months prior to finding him dead under his roost, he had a seizure. When I was standing there, he went all purple in the face, and his comb got purple. He was on his perch and started flapping and tilted over to the side. I've since discovered that the flapping is a response to suffocation. I grabbed him and kind of went into a panic, but he returned to normal. He was fine until three months later when I found him dead.

Chickens do sometimes have genetic tendencies to heart attack and stroke. It's heart-breaking nonetheless. Try to accept that there was nothing you could have done differently that would have made a difference.
I'm really sorry about that.

Was her face swollen at all? It sounds like it could be a sinus infection. I have a Blue Andalusian who was having the comb and all, we took her to the vet, and that's what she had.

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