I have Aracona chickens and one morning I walked into the chicken coop and one of the hens was dead. I saw no sign of trauma. Everyone looked healthy up until that morning. They are about 1 1/2 years old. All together there are 12 hens half Buckeye and half Aracona with one Buckeye rooster, a pair of Muscovi ducks and one male Tallouse goose and one African female goose. All are free ranged in a1/2 acres fence enclosed backyard. Any idea why the chicken died.
Type of Animal: chicken
Age: 1 1/2 yo
Name of Bird: n/a
I'll read your answer in the AM. Also the goose is brooding and one of the buckeyes hatched 2 chicks recently.
Were there any other symptoms at all that you noticed? Did the body feel thin or bloated? Was there any diarrhoea or discharge?
It would be very difficult to say what caused the death of your bird. To know the precise cause of death, the best thing would to do, would be to have a post mortem carried out on the body. Your local vet may be able to do this for you, or they would be able to recommend a place that would.
Ingestion of toxic plants or toxic material picked up whilst free ranging can result in sudden death. So becareful that there is no rat poison or slug pellets around. Cardiac failure can result in sudden death. As can a heavy burden of external parasites.
Have a good look over your remaining birds, giving them a health check. Check for any signs of external parasites and treat if necessary. Remember that red mite spend most of their lifecycle of the bird, so you need to check in the nooks and crannies of the housing. Red mite infestation is very debilitating and can quickly lead to anaemia and death. http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/14/external-parasites-of-poultry
Make sure that they are on a good quality age appropriate diet. It may be a good idea to give them a boost with a general poultry tonic. You can also add some probiotics or live yoghurt to the diet, to boost the guts friendly bacteria. Adding apple cider vinegar to the drinking water will also help to improve the immune system.
It is also a good idea to keep up with internal parasite control http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/poulsci/tech_manuals/internal_parasites.pdf
Some other informative sites http://www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/Poultry_Health_Disease
Please reply if you have further questions