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sudden death "just one of those things"

clare bolithoclare bolitho Junior Member
edited January 2008 in "Off Your Chest"
When one of my point of lay chickens was found dead I was told these things happen and just ignore it. I decided to have a post mortem done instead and she was found to have Marek's disease. The implications of this are quite serious and had I followed advice a dangerous virus would be spreading undetected. Things don't just die, even chickens, we should be more pragmatic.


  • sandrabearsisandrabearsi Junior Member
    edited January 2007
    I was told these things happen and just ignore it.
  • NaydsNayds Junior Member
    edited April 2007
    Wow!!! Thats amazing well done for following your instincts and finding out the cause of death.
  • massbuildermassbuilder Junior Member
    edited January 2008
    These things happen:(
  • chickenladykchickenladyk Member
    edited January 2008
    You're right--chickens don't just die for no good reason.

    The reason people say that "these things just happen" is because we often can't accurately diagnose what went wrong. Most people consider chickens "not worth" the time and expense of such research. In fact, there is very little research into the causes of death in chickens, except for those conditions which occur in factory farming.

    Gail Damerow has written the "Chicken Health Handbook", but it's hard for most of us to diagnose conditions from this book. It can help, but it can also be very frustrating.

    The "Chicken Health Handbook" does offer instructions for performing a post-morten on a chicken, to help us identify what caused the death. However, I've never done one, so I can't speak to how good the instructions are.

    Basically, we've decided that chickens are a great example of the old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". For one thing, unless we're good and frequent observers of our birds, by the time we notice that a chicken isn't feeling well, it is often too late to save them. And, as you've experienced, sometimes they just seem to drop dead, out of the blue. But that doesn't mean that they died for no reason.

    Most diseases are the result of poor management--something we're doing wrong. Often, they are things we don't realize we're doing wrong. That's why I recommend reading as much as possible about raising chickens. We can avoid a lot of pain and suffering for our chickens, and for ourselves, if we are willing to invest the time and energy in learning what works and what doesn't. Trial and error too often results in error...

    I applaud you for not accepting a dismissive "these things happen" explanation, Clare. You're obviously a good steward of your birds.
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