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Dr. Elaine
Dr. Elaine, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1388
Experience:  D.V.M. 26 years of small animal emergency and general medicine, including pet birds, poultry, waterfowl, and birds of prey.
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I had a chicken die in the coop about 2 1/2 weeks ago. Upon

Resolved Question:

I had a chicken die in the coop about 2 1/2 weeks ago. Upon inspection it had a full crop blackish green discoloration in the abdomen. When cut open there was a bad odor and black stuff in abdominand vent. I just found another dead chicken in the coop today. Have not inspected but worried the flock maybe at risk.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Elaine replied 5 years ago.

HI there, this is Dr. Elaine.


How old are these birds?


Layers or broilers?


How many are housed together and in what sized coop?


Do they range free during the day?


What is your worming protocol if any?





Customer: replied 5 years ago.
1 yr old
Were 16 hens 1 rooster but now 14 hens 1 rooster
10ft by 4ft coop. Free range dusk till dawn in 500 sq ft fenced yard
No worming protocol but did not find any visible worms in body.
Feed consists of organic layer feed, whole milo, soaked alphalpha pellets (once soaked are like a mash) and occasionally kelp, oat sprouts and veggie scraps from kitchen.
Expert:  Dr. Elaine replied 5 years ago.

OK, thanks.


The second bird needs to have a post mortem exam. This may be available free to you depending on your location--i.e. the govt (Dept of Ag.) wants to rule out and/or identify any cases of avian flu, West Nile, etc. You must call your local Ag extension office asap. For now, save the body in cool (not frozen) storage.


These girls are a bit old for me to be thinking parasites like Coccidia (which causes bloody--i.e. black stools). However, there are plenty more parasites to be concerned about.


Please take a fresh sample of a "grouping" of fresh droppings from the hens to your local veterinarian. Any parasites can be identified, and although unless you take a hen with you for exam, drugs will not be prescribed, HOWEVER--you will know if you are dealing with an intestinal parasite (possibly on top of something else).


Remove all the pullets from the coop and place them into a clean new containment overnight or tomorrow. Muck out the entire pen--walls, bedding, perches, nest boxes, everything.


Look at NIGHT within the coop to ensure you are not dealing with 'Red Mite'--this is a blood-sucking external parasite that can cause tremendous losses in short order. See the following:


The black coloration you report is often digested blood--i.e. bleeding from the GI tract. Usually this is parasite or infection (like Campylobacter). It is essential you have a stool exam performed.




Dr. Elaine

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