Another dead chicken

Asked September 18, 2020, 12:50 PM EDT

I have lost three chickens to a sudden illness over the last month. They are about 4 months old. One just died yesterday. I am willing to do a necropsy. What signs do I need to look for?

I took pictures. Odd blue bulges around the heart. Some white splotches in the liver. The main thing I noticed on the chicken were a lot of mites . Could this be the cause of death? The chicken seemed to be gasping for air before she died.
how do I get rid of mites?
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This makes four chickens that I have lost. It seems like a flu type thing which comes on suddenly. The birds die within 48 hours, although this one today will be dispatched immediately so it won’t suffer. It is weak and shivering. I have looked it over thoroughly and do not find any mites. I am afraid that one by one I will lose all the chickens. PLEASE HELP me to figure out what is wrong and prevent further deaths.

Marion County Oregon

1 Response

Sorry you lost those chickens. First off, I am not a poultry expert but I will try to help. You will get the most bang for your buck by submitting a recently dead or dying chicken to the Veterinary Diagnostic lab on the OSU campus in Corvallis.

Just looking at the photos I am suspicious of either pullorum disease or fowl cholera. There is a lot on information in the internet about these diseases.Again, a necropsy with cultures and histological examination of tissues would be definitive.

Mites are very prevalent and they will not go away spontaneously. There are several "natural" treatments but chemical treatments are most effective. You must treat all birds, clean out the hen house and burn the bedding. Repeat this three times at weekly intervals. Use either Sevin dust or permectrin spray.