Chicken Vomited and Died Within Hours – Why?

Unless your chickens are throwing up after drinking a lot of water, vomiting is mostly a sign of an underlying problem. When there’s blood, it’s usually a sign of a severe condition – it could be a serious disease or inflammation of inner tissues.

It’s best to call an avian vet whenever your chickens vomit. If you have the knowledge, you can perform first aid to prevent excessive blood and fluid loss. However, neglecting the situation causes death.

5 Reasons Why Chickens Die after Vomiting

As mentioned above, your birds can die if you don’t call your vet after they start vomiting. Here are the reasons why this happens.

– Choking

The primary cause of choking in poultry is swallowing sharp objects, also known as hardware disease.

When your chickens eat sharp objects, they get stuck in the gizzard and may cause severe lacerations of its lining. Your bird develops sepsis, a condition where its body attacks itself as a defence to a presumed blood infection. Sepsis causes severe bleeding, both internal and external.

The only solution to a choking bird is surgery, a risk that many poultry farmers deem unworthy of taking. Fortunately, you can lower the risk of such incidents by keeping your coop clean. Ensure that you remove any large items that can choke your birds. You can use a magnetic sweeper to remove metals.

– Coccidiosis

Coccidiosis occurs when Eimeria genera infects your chicken. The clinical signs of this disease include rapid weight loss, diarrhoea, and loss of blood through vomiting. If left untreated, it kills your birds.

According to scientists, the protozoa that cause coccidiosis are host-specific. This means that they behave differently in each host. You might notice that some birds in your flock have mild symptoms, while others are on the brink of dying.

That said, chickens that have mild symptoms are still vulnerable to death. Eimeria genera can mutate into a more potent variant that overcomes attained immunity. Also, exposure to other pathogens might weaken your chicken’s immune systems.

Poor hygiene is the primary cause of coccidiosis. When your chicken eats contaminated foods, they ingest the protozoa, which lasts in warm and moist environments for up to 18 months.

If you want to curb this disease, you must keep your coop clean. Your chicken will still get infections, but the protozoa will be in limited amounts such that they develop natural immunity against the disease.

– Toxic Food

Chicken eats pretty much everything. This makes them easy to maintain, but it also makes them more vulnerable to complications resulting from food toxicity

Ensure that you don’t provide rancid food to your birds. There’s a chance that they might have harmful substances like aflatoxin, which affects the circulatory system, and increases the risk of flu, Newcastle disease, and multiple organ failure

Fatty and salty foods are as harmful as toxins to your poultry. Also, please avoid giving avocados, garlic, lemons, oranges, and uncooked beans and rice to your chickens. Besides being indigestible, these cause food poisoning

Always provide clean water to your chickens.

– Organ Failure

Chickens often develop organ failure that affects liver and kidney functions. The most common causes of multiple organ failure in poultry are fatty liver hemorrhagic syndrome, fatty liver and kidney syndrome and enlarged liver.

Fatty liver hemorrhagic syndrome affects all birds, regardless of age. As the name suggests, it results in excessive deposition of fat around the liver, making it malfunction. When this happens, the bird’s liver bleeds, and you might see blood in vomit.

On the other hand, fatty liver and kidney syndrome mostly affects chicks. Its primary cause is biotin deficiency, resulting from malnutrition and metabolic issues.

Both diseases mentioned above eventually cause liver enlargement. Their symptoms include rapid weight gain, lethargy, yellowing of comb, and sometimes vomiting blood.

Other causes of liver enlargement include liver cancer, congenital anomalies and toxic foods.

– Crop Problem

The two most common crop problems are due crop and impacted crop.

Sour crop occurs when food overstays in the crop. As a result, the food ferments and causes a yeast infection. Prolonged use of antibiotics, fungi and worms in the digestive tract can also cause this complication.

The most obvious sign of sour crop is an enlarged and soft crop. Other indicators include belching and a breath that smells fermented.

You must consult a vet if your birds get a sour crop. Usually, these doctors prescribe antifungal drugs and other medicines to deworm and improve digestion in your poultry. It also helps to add apple cider vinegar and probiotics to drinking water.

On the other hand, impacted crop occurs when your chickens eat long grasses, foreign objects like bands and metal, bacterial and fungal infections, and ingesting large pieces of hard foods like maize cobs and meat

Like sour crop, impacted crop cause enlargement and softening of the crop. It gets so large that it looks like a tennis ball.

The best solution to an impacted crop is emptying the crop. You can start by massaging the affected area at least three times daily for a few days.

Feed your chickens with soft bread soaked in oil during the treatment. The olive oil lubricates the crop and helps the food move down the digestive system. Please avoid seeds, veggies and fruits because they take time to digest. You must also provide plenty of clean drinking water.

Nonetheless, it’s wise to see an avian vet to treat your chickens for impacted crop. Inexperienced hands can unintentionally kill a bird by asphyxiation or aspiration of the undigested foods into the lungs. In severe cases, you might need to perform surgery, which requires professional experience and equipment.


Whether you’re a subsistence or commercial poultry farmer, you must take care of your chickens’ health. Vomiting is usually a sign that your bird is unwell and shouldn’t be overlooked.

When your birds start throwing up, call your vet immediately. A fast response can help save their lives and prevent huge losses. Never treat your poultry without prescribed medicines, as you can worsen the condition.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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