by Lora Bounds
(Aurora, TX)

All of our chickens look good and healthy all the sudden one day a Jersey Giant was easy to pick up and we realized that she was sick, the next day I found her dead, there were no lesions or pox or anything, now we have another hen that is just standing around as if she is blind, she doesn't argue with us when she is picked up, she is still alive for moment i fear she may die, none of the other hens are acting like these 2. Any idea of what this could be?


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by: Sharon

There are just about as many problems that can kill chickens as humans. We can guess from any clues, but that doesn't mean we are right.

When more than one chicken in a flock have similar symptoms, I wouldn't necessarily guess something contagious, but can't rule that out either.

I might suspect a possible toxin. There are some human foods, like avocado, that can kill chickens. There can be other toxic substances in the environment. If you have any rodent poisons, it's possible for a chicken to eat a poisoned rodent, hopefully any poisons are well out of reach of chickens. Even moldy feed can cause problems.

So many possibilities. If the second ill chicken is still alive, I would support it with plenty of water, good feed and rest. I'd add vitamin/electrolyte powder to the water for some additional support.

I'd monitor the rest of the flock, support them with the same care, even if you see no other signs of illness. It would be good to examine your entire flock for parasites, signs of being thin/under weight.

Feathered creatures that need help aren't always easy to spot until they are down, and sometimes too far gone. I hope the rest of your flock is OK.

Only by monitoring our flocks and investigating for the cause of problems, can we get a handle on what to do to prevent things from happening again.

Often, even with veterinary testing, there will be mysteries. I always search for as many clues as I can find myself and treat any symptoms I find.

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