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My hen just died -- From what?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
My BSL (about 5 yrs old) just died. I noticed she didn't come out of the chicken coop today. When I looked for her she was sitting in the nesting box, all puffed up and the wings spread. She was very lethargic and smelled very bad. I picked her up and fluid was dripping from her beak. There was also fluid in the nesting box with little worms in it. I wrapped her in a towel and a few minutes later she died. Was this peritonitis? Caused by internal laying? I have two more chickens, do I have to expect anything bad for them as well? Thank you for any help!
post #2 of 16

I am so sorry. That is always hard.

 

 

Five years-old for a laying hen is actually pretty old. She likely became weak from laying for all those years and may have had pneumonia, parasites, internal laying, or liver problems (causing water belly). She could have been weakened and so got a bacterial infection, as it sounds with liquid dripping from the mouth. Whatever it was, as long as you clean out the nest box, it likely won't be contagious to the other hens.

 

I hope the others continue to do well.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
@GitaBooksthank you for getting back to me! Yeah, that's a pretty good age, right? We got her winter '11 and the pre-owner said she was "about" a year old back then. Who knows how old she really was. I will keep an eye on the other two. Thanks again! :-)
post #4 of 16

If you didn't do something with her body yet I heard once that you can do an autopsy for free somewhere then you could know for sure what happened. 

I dont know where it is or what it is called does anyone else know about it.

1 silkie, 1 black australorp, 3 white Plymouth rocks, 2 easter eggers, 2 buff orpingtons , 2 barred rocks.
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1 silkie, 1 black australorp, 3 white Plymouth rocks, 2 easter eggers, 2 buff orpingtons , 2 barred rocks.
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post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by minichicks05 View Post
 

If you didn't do something with her body yet I heard once that you can do an autopsy for free somewhere then you could know for sure what happened. 

I dont know where it is or what it is called does anyone else know about it.

 

I would also like to know what it is called. I think most places have you pay for any necropsies or blood tests.

post #6 of 16
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
This is almost exactly a year ago and now my other hen is dying the exact same way. No vet around. What is this?? They both started limping, waddling weeks before this. Some days better, some worse. Now she is laying on the side, breathing shallow, eyes closed. I hope it goes fast. 😭
post #8 of 16

I'm so sorry to hear that. It sounds like some sort of system shut-down due to excessive laying. Something such as Internal Laying or Water Belly. It claims a lot of hens above a year of age that were bred to lay a lot of eggs. As winter comes and they begin molting the stress also worsens, which can make it more difficult to get past a weakness in their immune system.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you GitaBooks. She passed away pretty quickly. I was hoping to have her send in for necropsy, but seems impossible here in Florida. Tried everything from veterinary medical school to animal services, bird sanctuaris etc.
Your explanation sounds reasonable though. She was 5 years old and had a good life at least. Now I only have one left. Hope she'll be fine.
post #10 of 16

I'm sorry to hear that. Glad it was fast and that she had someone to care for her. I'm sure she had a great life. Five is pretty good for a laying hen.

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