problem with chickens : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I checked on my chickens Monday night and one was asleep on the ground under the roosts with her head tucked under her wing. I thought it was a little odd, but didn't worry about it. Next morning she was dead. No wounds nothing I could see wrong-dead. This morning I went to feed and one of my older chickens-dead looked the same when I turned her over it looked like she had her head tucked under her wing too. What could this be I am fairly new to chickens, are all of them going to die? If anyone has advice please help! I have become pretty attached to them, don't want to watch as they die one by one, but I don't have any idea what this is or what to do. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks, Dian

-- Dian in TN (, November 09, 2001


how old are they?

you might want to get some meds from the local feed store for coccydiosis

-- Rose (, November 09, 2001.

Did it look like she had been squashed? Was she thinner than normal on her breast especially? Was her comb a dark red or was it washed out looking? Did she have an egg? That would be hard to tell without having to inspect her after she was dead. I know that is not fun. Look and see if you can, if she has any bruise like looking things on her skin. You could best tell under her wings or on her chest. These are all things that would help to know and anything else that you might notice that could have been missed. Look at them closely and see if it looks like the others have been losing weight. This is particularly noticeable near their breast bone. Oh...was the crop full and hardened? Let us know and someone can give you a better guess of what is wrong. Look for signs of dark bloody or brown poop. That could mean coccidiosis. You can use a coccidiostat in the water and it wouldn't hurt them, but it may be something else entirely. Check them out closely and get back with us.

-- Nan (, November 09, 2001.

I just gathered eggs and thought that I would add....brown is a subjective color......I mean a dark brownish reddish dark color. I don't believe that I have ever tried to describe the color of sick hen poop before! :~)!!!! YUCK!

-- Nan (, November 09, 2001.

Thanks everybody for the interest. I'll try to give you more information. First one was about 5 months old. I raised it the other one I bought so don't know age but she was laying. She stopped laying about a week ago (I thought she was probably moulting some of the others are). I feed them laying pellets, chopped corn, and kitchen scraps. I looked at them after they died-trying to find a reason. No bruising that I could see. They didn't seem smaller than the others, felt pretty heavy. I didn't think to check about eggs or the crop. If it happens again I'll try to check more things. The comb was pink I have around 40 chickens and only a few have really red combs. Believe it or not I actually look at the ground for poop daily (I have learned that much from this forum) I haven't seen any that looked dark or different from usual. Thanks again, Dian

-- Dian in TN (, November 09, 2001.

Well, if it were cocci. then the poop would be almost like...I know this sounds gross....but kinda like they are losing tissue in the poop. That is actually what the Merck Vet Manual says that they are doing. The cocci tears up the insides of their intestines and the sloughed(sp?) off part is passed in the poop. Well, "poop" is my word for it because I forget how to spell fecise? :~)! Anyway.....If you don't see that and the bird has not been squashed like when they pile up sometimes.....hmmmmmmm......The combs should not be a dull pink color if they are healthy and laying. They might dull a bit during their molting, but they should brighten back up. Have you wormed them lately? Couldn't hurt! Might just take a look and see if it happens again about the egg bound or the hard crop that looks as if it will burst! I had one that had a hard huge crop(softball sized) and it was laying on it's side about to die. It was gasping for air and I just couldn't stand there and watch it die. My daughter asked me if I could do anything for her and I decided that she had a better chance if I did than if I didn't. I tried to work the contents of the crop up again, but it didn't work. So.... I cut the crop open and emptied it out and restitched it....with red thread that my daughter gave me(She said that she liked that color:~)).....and it has been fine ever since. That has been a couple of months ago. Oh...I also put some blue lotion(the stuff for horse wounds) on the stitches to keep them dry and uninfected. Anyway....I know that when mine got that crop problem that it wasn't laying with it's head under it's wing. It was all stretched out and suffering. Hmmmmm......I will think on this some more. There is such a thing as flip over disease where the bird just has a heart attack and dies. Can be caused by lots of things.....They don't always die flipped over, but most of them are on their sides or back. The weird thing about yours is that it died so peacefully!

-- Nan (, November 09, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ