Chicken Death or Dying Questions

Chicken death often seems sudden; never a warning sign. Finding one of your favorite hens or roosters after it’s already too late can be a very sad thing.


The reality is this: sure, a chicken can drop dead suddenly from heart failure or predator attack, but often, when finding a dead chicken, it has been sick or dealing with a problem for sometime.

Chickens try to hide any signs of weakness from the rest of the flock and possible predators. They are hatched with this instinct. Likewise, flock members instinctively don’t want the weak around to attract predators to the whole group. However you look at it, chicken death should alert us, cause us to investigate and see if we can change something to help.

Chickens are mean. Their instincts are to protect the group and drive the weak away in a natural free roaming state, as their ancestors have lived since prehistoric times and still live today in a few parts of the world.

Living in coops and yards often makes this survival mechanism not function well, leading to bullying, starving, and even the killing and cannibalizing of the weak.

Know that a chicken being picked on by members of the flock may be dead soon. The other chickens are aware of a problem before you may have noticed anything else wrong. So learning to read flock behavior is an important part of raising chickens and avoiding chicken death.

More likely than not, a chicken suffering wounds from flock aggression, was already sick and should be isolated. It possibly has a disease or condition that you can treat or cure, so look at bullying as a request for help from your chickens.

You can’t prevent death when it comes to old-age related problems. The life span of chickens depends on the breed. Production bred hens often begin to die at about two year of age. Some breeds do well up to 10 years of age.

In cases where there is no cure, helping death along may be the kindest thing to do; preventing weeks, possibly months of suffering with failing health and abilities. This can also prevent disease from spreading in the flock as the weak more easily catch diseases and can become infested with different parasites. Concerning chicken death, some prefer to allow nature to take its course and that is a choice, but it may not be the best choice.

When there is possibility of a contagious disease, the longer host animal lives with the flock, the higher the likelihood of it spreading. Some diseases and parasites can harm other domestic and wild birds in the area, depending on the disease, of course.

I have noticed often, when finding a sick chicken, that external parasites are present. If one chicken has lice, mites, or other chicken bugs, the whole flock has been exposed and should be treated.

Parasites seem to love a sick chicken that may not have the strength to fight back. In a weakened state from parasites or disease, the parasites will only speed up the process of chicken death, robbing the chicken of fluids and nutrients it needs to be well.

Regular checking and treating for parasites can help prevent early death in chickens and increase the wellness of the entire flock. Young chickens growing in strength and size can be greatly slowed by the presence of internal or external parasites.

Before the cold of winter and the hot of summer, very challenging times in some zones, it is good to make sure chickens are free from pesky chicken bugs inside and out. Giving vitamin and mineral supplements can help, too. If you have a question you would like answered click here.


Chicken Death or Dying Questions

.

Chicken problem


 
Question I just got an order of Rhode Island Reds, Silver Polish and Black Australorp, three of my Polish stop eating and became lethargic and then …

Silkie bantam died


 
Question Silkie bantam died: Our Silky bantam hen seemed to be falling over on its side a lot and within an hour died. She seemed fine yesterday. …

Why our chooks are dying?


 
Question Why our chooks are dying?: Over the past few weeks our chooks (chickens) have been dying. Their eyes become closed over, they become listless …

Rhode island and sussex chickens keep dying


 
Question I had 5 bantams, 10 Rhode Island reds and 10 Sussex chickens. They are in a warm barn with ventilation they have clean water, whole wheat to …

Golden Comets


 
Question I had four three-year-old golden comets who have died over the past year. By the time the third one was sick, I started researching chicken …

What kills a chicken?


 
Question What kills a chicken and only eats the guts of it? Answer This could be any number of small to medium predators. For your investigation …

Chickens are dying


 
Question My chickens are dying. I have 10 and they are dying at two to three week intervals without showing any outward signs of sickness or injury. …

Sudden death in poultry Not rated yet
Question Suddenly dead chicken: I have three chickens. Everything has been fine until yesterday. A week ago I fumigated their house with total mite …

Chicken Seems Like She is Dying Today


 Not rated yet
Question: Chicken Seems Like She is Dying Today: Our hens just started laying a couple of weeks ago. They are about 6 months old. One of them was …

Orpington died


 Not rated yet
Question Orpington died: One of my Buff Orpintons died this morning, I separated him yesterday as he looked unwell, his comb and wattle were dark red, …

What caused my Orpington to die?


 Not rated yet
Question What caused my Orpington to die?: We went out this morning to feed our chickens and one white Orpington hen was dead. She was about seven …

Chicken with diarrhea then dead


 Not rated yet
Question Chicken with diarrhea then dead: I have/had 9 laying hens and a rooster, have had for many years in coop /pen for winter. last week we …

Sudden Death


 Not rated yet
Question: Sudden Chicken Mortality Answer: Hopefully, if you have other chickens, you have quarantined this group when first bringing them home. …

Death of my girl


 Not rated yet
Question: Death of my girl: I had 4 free-range Hy-line ladies, all approximately 1 year old. Over the course of the last two weeks I noticed that …


Return From Chicken Death to Chicken Questions

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Custom Search



ASK A CHICKEN QUESTION

We strive to give you the best answer possible. We will have an answer to your question in 24 hours. If we do not answer your question in 24 hours we will give you a complete refund and still answer your question. On staff we have a vet tech with 25 years of experience raising chickens and other exotic birds.

We have many people who try and post answers in the comments and contact us section. We are very busy and try to answer all questions but asking a question in these two areas will not guarantee an answer.

To help with the cost of maintaining the site I am asking our visitors to make a small payment of $4.95 for each question submitted.

To ask your Chicken Question click on the button

After your payment has been received click on the button that says return to raising-chickens.org and you will be redirected to the Thank You page where you will be able to ask your Chicken Questions.

(be patient and do not press the back button on your browser)To ask your Chicken question click on the button