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Author Topic: Mysterious chicken illness?!  (Read 520 times)


  • Joined Jun 2018
  • Cumbria UK
Mysterious chicken illness?!
« on: July 07, 2019, 07:37:02 pm »
We have so far had four chickens die over the course the course of a year.  All in the same way.  But I honestly can not figure out what it is.  The first few times it really worried me, especially as I was very concerned about it spreading.  But...  it doesn't seem to spread.  It just seems to be an odd random chicken every now and then.  Four isn't a lot when you consider that we have about 20+ in total.  And it doesn't affect the turkeys at all.  We keep them separate but they do mingle sometimes.  The symptom is...  They look depressed.  They look...down.  Just generally unwell.  They look like they droop a bit.  They don't hold their wings as usual, they just kinda droop down a bit.  Their feathers puff up a bit like they are cold and unwell.  They withdraw into themselves a bit.  They eat, they drink.  A bit.  Not as much as usual but something...  Their poop is fine.  Their breathing is fine.  Their crops are fine.  etc...  But...after a few days of a lot of TLC....they just die.  It has affected four so far.  Randomly.  Spaced timings.  Two have perked up and they are fine for a few weeks but then it hit them again later on and they died.  (one at the beginning of the year and one more recently).  I just can't work out what it is...  I have looked through all the chicken illness and nothing seems to fit.  Any ideas?!


  • Joined Mar 2017
  • Gower
Re: Mysterious chicken illness?!
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2019, 06:45:09 am »
how old are they? what breeds are they? are they rescues? are they laying?


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Mysterious chicken illness?!
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2019, 07:40:29 am »
If they are all from the same parents it may be a genetic condition causing an organ failure. This is known as the 'death gene' and is inherent in one breed I read of (can't remember which) where the maximum life expectancy is just 2 years and unfortunately the entire breed stock is carrying it, so it can't be bred out.

Could be another reason, depends if they have access to a compost heap where it could be a case of botulism caused by eating insects from an oxygen depleted environment..


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