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found one hen dead this a.m. - mysterious?

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Have a flock of 6 laying hens - about 30 weeks old.  They have been fine, no sign of illness.  Last nite apparently, inside the run (I keep coop door cracked open) and run is totally enclosed including roof--no sign of any predator entry at all-- my silver laced Wyandotte was found early this a.m. laying next to the run fence face down -- no apparent injury except a very large pecked spot on her back near tail feathers.  She's been picked on in that area just a little before -- a dime to quarter size spot, in the past.  Hard to even see it when she's upright and feathers are up.  She's 2nd lowest in pecking order.... the only thing I can think is that the others picked on her aggressively (hence the much larger pecked area - nearly the size of my hand) and booted her out of the coop/roost.  My coop is pretty small, no room to 'get away' but they've been roosting there comfortably and peacefully since they were moved from the brooder.  It was pretty cold last nite, but not below freezing.  I doubt that she would freeze to death overnite at 35 degrees, would she?  Could she have simply been 'picked' to death?  I just cleaned the coop thoroughly over the weekend, adding PDZ to dropping boards, and I always put some DE in nesting boxes and a little in the area where they dust bathe.  Everything is clean--no signs of illness at all.  normal poops everywhere (EVERYWHERE, as usual).  Sad.

post #2 of 2
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Originally Posted by mamahenAtlanta View Post
 

Have a flock of 6 laying hens - about 30 weeks old.  They have been fine, no sign of illness.  Last nite apparently, inside the run (I keep coop door cracked open) and run is totally enclosed including roof--no sign of any predator entry at all-- my silver laced Wyandotte was found early this a.m. laying next to the run fence face down -- no apparent injury except a very large pecked spot on her back near tail feathers.  She's been picked on in that area just a little before -- a dime to quarter size spot, in the past.  Hard to even see it when she's upright and feathers are up.  She's 2nd lowest in pecking order.... the only thing I can think is that the others picked on her aggressively (hence the much larger pecked area - nearly the size of my hand) and booted her out of the coop/roost.  My coop is pretty small, no room to 'get away' but they've been roosting there comfortably and peacefully since they were moved from the brooder.  It was pretty cold last nite, but not below freezing.  I doubt that she would freeze to death overnite at 35 degrees, would she?  Could she have simply been 'picked' to death?  I just cleaned the coop thoroughly over the weekend, adding PDZ to dropping boards, and I always put some DE in nesting boxes and a little in the area where they dust bathe.  Everything is clean--no signs of illness at all.  normal poops everywhere (EVERYWHERE, as usual).  Sad.


Sorry for your loss.:(  Sometimes they just die for no apparent reason. If you can find nothing to indicate otherwise, it's probably DRT (dead right there) - the worst thing is not knowing....an autopsy might show something..

Expat Brit living the dream - 40ish chickens, 2 Beagles, 2 cats, rabbits........and counting.

Blogger for: www.thehappychickencoop.com

 

    We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.     Mother Teresa

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Expat Brit living the dream - 40ish chickens, 2 Beagles, 2 cats, rabbits........and counting.

Blogger for: www.thehappychickencoop.com

 

    We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.     Mother Teresa

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