Sudden Chicken Death: What Are the Causes?

| 4/2/2014 3:49:00 PM

Tags: chickens, poultry, Matt Kelly, New York,

Rhode Island RedOne day this winter I found a chicken dead in the coop.

I’ve lost birds before, because of a weasel attack and a pile-up as chicks. But this death was totally strange.

The night before, when I closed up the coop, all eight birds were roosting and looking fine. Nothing out of the ordinary.

The next morning, when I opened the coop for the day, all the hens were clucking away and bustling around like normal.

It was only later in the day when I brought the chickens back inside that I noticed the dead bird.

The hen was collapsed on her side on the floor at the back of the coop. Eyes closed. Body limp and floppy. She showed no obvious signs of trauma: no blood, no injury, nothing stuck in her mouth or throat. Her comb and wattles were cold and pale. But her abdomen was still slightly warm. There may have been a pulse when I checked under her wing; it may have been the pulse in my own fingers.

8/11/2014 5:41:04 PM

Hi gorgeous red hen Chloe died today. I found her laying on her side, her abdomen was still warm and her comb was stark cold and her eyes were open. I'm guessing she was sick or died of a heart attack. It was devastating when I saw her dead in her cage. She had a wonderful life with her 3 other red chook sisters. We looked after her really well and fed her twice a day every day. She was even a mother to a gorgeous white leghorn/ Rhode Island rooster in her early days. She had a beautiful, gentle nature. Why do all the chickens with sweet, gentle natures die before the bossy, aggressive chooks?

6/19/2014 7:36:04 PM

I had 20 chicks about 4 weeks old and 19 died in a 24 hour period, the last one died 24 hours later. I have a friend who lives about 15 miles away and he actually watched his chicks about same age drop dead at his feet. I have 1 year and 3 year old hens and no issues with them. My friend has a neighbor whos coop is about 40 yards from his and they are about two weeks older and still doing fine. What would cause two flocks bought from two different suppliers die at the same time. the only thing in common with the two young flocks is we had a pretty severe storm move through the night before.

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