Los Angeles Urban Chicken Enthusiasts Message Board › Dying chicken

Dying chicken

Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 191
Hi Jo -
I'm so sorry about your hen. It's hard to lose any of our creatures.
Your post concerns me, especially since I'm sure you've read the other thread about dying hens. The symptoms sound very similar to yours, and your neighbor's comment is very telling. Any time a local chicken keeper loses birds, and then you do too, you have to look at the likelihood of a contagious virus as the culprit. The reason I mention this is that if it is Mareks, as it sounds, then both you and your neighbor may be in a position to lose not only the birds you have now, but potentially any new ones you add, unless they've been vaccinated. It's important to find out the cause when birds die, especially when there's a pattern, so that steps can be taken to prevent further losses. Please contact your vet to have him/her test for Mareks, or perhaps even to forward your bird to UC Davis for further analysis. Also keep an eye on your other hens. As I understand it, this virus has about a 2 week incubation. I hope your other hens get past this safe and sound. Keep us posted.
user 4148344
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 83
Always send the dead body within 24 hours to the county .....They do a free extensive autopsy..The address should be on our site here..It's important to know what's teally going on...
user 19646101
Fullerton, CA
Post #: 10
Thank you everyone for your advice.
Cynthia- my neighbors incident I believe happened well over a year ago. He tells me that he cleaned up his coop since then had replaced his entire flock with new chickens he bought from El Monte and said hasn't had a problem since.

My vet did take Jeena with her, so its a bit late to try to send her anywhere for a detailed necroscopy, but will keep that in mind if this , god forbid, happens again. As of today the other 2 seem to be doing fine.

A former member
Post #: 70
Chicken necropsies: http://cahfs.ucdavis....­
This is important even for vet treated birds as many vets might not have the resources to adequately diagnose West Nile Virus, which chickens are susceptible to.

A former member
Post #: 12
I'm sorry Jo. It's always so hard to lose a friend. I hope it is an isolated incident and your other girls are just fine!
A former member
Post #: 198
I'm sorry Jo. It's always so hard to lose a friend. I hope it is an isolated incident and your other girls are just fine!

I am with you on this. Chickens can have so many issues that if it happens to just one, assume it is isolated.
Carrie G.
user 15135741
Reseda, CA
Post #: 28
I'm sorry to hear about your hen, Jo. There is a lot of good advice from everyone. I will try to remember the info. about chicken autopsies, if I have similar circumstances.
user 19646101
Fullerton, CA
Post #: 11
Thank you everyone for your kinds words and advice. I just went out today and noticed that my barred rock, Foghorn, is looking a little sluggish. Now I'm worried! This is how things started with the Australorp: droopy eyes, puffed up feathers, looking slow. I see her drinking and eating, even though it is at a slow weak pace.
It has been 3 weeks since Jeena died, could this be the same thing or something different altogether? The easter egger looks as alert as ever. I would really like to make sure I can do everything to save her as I fear she may now be heading down the same path :(
Laura B.
Group Organizer
Norco, CA
Post #: 231
Hello Jo,
I would say is good that you are worry because NO, she is not doing well... it's not normal and a really really bad sign with her feathers are all puffed up... remember that chickens are very sturdy and will continue to move even if they are really sick...

the good news is that she is STILL eating and drinking...

if I were you, I would take her indoors with you and keep her inside... she needs to reserve ALL her energy to heal... and they don't reserve energy trying to walk and act normal...

Not knowing what she has, I would do like I'm doing with mine when they are sick --- a bit of water mixed with ACV and a bit of cayenner pepper and mouth fed twice or three times a day... just a little bit...

I would feed her whatever she wants to eat... if she still eating, she will need all the weight she can put on to be stronger... I would not force feed her... just let her decide... when mine are sick they eat lots of sunflowers, cheese (mozarella from TJs is a big hit)...

and keep hydrated... I gave mine water with a third of a package of "EmergenC" (eletrolites, at TJs) and a ginger drink I keep in my first aid for myself... it's call Ginger Soother (like ginger ale but healthier in my opinion)... my sick hen drank so much of that combination, I was surprised she liked it that much...

this can totally be a virus... it moves fast or slow thru a flock... good luck,
keep us posted,

A former member
Post #: 223
Hi Jo,

I am sorry you have to go through it again. If you can please post a picture that may help (see How to Post Photos) us.

In addition, if I was to hold the hen I would feel:
1) crop, is it emptying (if not, food is not going through and she is starving)?
2) abdomen, is it normal (if not, it could be egg-related issues or cancer)?
3) eggs, are they coming out (if not, can you feel them)?
4) temperatures, is she very hot (body, head)?
5) shock, is she shivering (if not obvious, lift a leg to see if it is shaking)?

My current hen has come through illnesses, but like Laura I took care of things immediately. Had I waited longer--especially if I had gone to the vet which can give a false sense of security--she would have probably been gone by now.

Every day I have a "spot the difference" game, trying to figure out if there is any change, and it applies to many things in life including relationships, work, investments--anything where you want spot it early in order to minimize bigger issues down the road. It is especially true with chickens because they can go downhill fast.
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