Posted by: juliegirl | March 31, 2010

“dead chicken”

That’s what I googled.

I got home at 5:45pm and, with 15 minutes of daylight left, I discovered Vermillion dead in the back corner of the coop. I knew about diseases killing a whole flock, and I also knew I couldn’t leave her there all night, but I wasn’t sure what to do.

Googling got me nowhere. There was nothing informative about how to handle a dead chicken, so I frantically called around and got an open vet. And luckilly they gave me the name of another vet that deals with chickens. Thankfully, they were open.

They told me to wrap Vermillion in newspaper, put her in a plastic bag, and drop her off at the vet in the morning. They needed to do a necropsy (the fancy word for a chicken autopsy) to find out what was wrong with her.

I had a hard time picking her up–I had to keep telling myself that there was nothing particularly scary about a dead chicken. But truth be told, I was slightly creeped out. I got her in the newspaper and in the fridge (double-bagged) and dropped her at the vet in the morning.

The necropsy came back the same day, and she died of kidney failure. Sometimes, that has to do with the food the flock eats, but my chickens eat such a variety of food (plus their chicken feed) that this couldn’t be true. Dr. Pence has asked me to bring in another chicken to do some more testing just to make sure the rest of the flock is healthy. Stay tuned for the results.

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