Allotment Gardening Advice Help Chat

Poultry and Pets => The Hen House => Topic started by: Jomtie on May 18, 2013, 12:13

Title: Sudden death
Post by: Jomtie on May 18, 2013, 12:13
One of our chickens (Geraldine) died during the night.  :(  She seemed fine on Thursday but stayed in the coop when we let them out on Friday morning. She had palish comb and wattles and was shaking her head and pecking the wall of the coop. We got her out but she was unsteady on her legs. We kept an eye on her but she just stayed huddled in the run, shaking her head and eventually she went back in the coop. We took her to the vet and he checked her over and gave her a shot of antibiotic but couldn't find anything wrong apart from the fact that she was a bit pale and obviously listless. She had been moulting a bit but otherwise had been eating and foraging as usual up til then. We kept her in overnight in the little coop but found her dead this morning. We are vigilant with red mite and checked the coop again last night - no sign of anything. Vet confirmed no sign of lice on her either. Has anyone else had similar symptoms?
Title: Re: Sudden death
Post by: ANHBUC on May 18, 2013, 19:14
So sorry Jomtie, it is sad when a hen dies. 

Did the vet not offer to do an autopsy?  That would probably be the only sure way of determining what she died of. 
Title: Re: Sudden death
Post by: Jomtie on May 19, 2013, 12:35
Vet doesn't know that we lost her yet. None of the vets at our practice is a hen specialist but one has a lot of chickens of his own and is pretty good. He wasn't in surgery yesterday. The others seem perfectly well so we're just keeping a close eye on them. Having researched on line I'm wondering if she had an aneurism that led to a brain hemorrhage. Symptoms seem to be similar. She was clearly disorientated, unsteady and kept shaking her head. She was eating well and behaving quite normally the night before we found her like this, so whatever happened came on suddenly between 8.30pm Thursday night and 7am Friday morning. Can't think of anything toxic that she could have eaten in the garden and we have rechecked the coop for red mite but no sign (cleaned it all again anyway to be sure). The vet checked her very thoroughly and could find no signs of injury or lumps. We have buried her in her favourite place in the garden.
Title: Re: Sudden death
Post by: ANHBUC on May 19, 2013, 18:41
I would recommend putting a heavy boulder over her grave just in case you have a fox in the area.  The last thing you would want is for something to dig her up.   ;)