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Chickens dying

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've never had this problem before. My chickens are dying while trying to lay eggs. The eggs are only half out.
post #2 of 7

How old are these hens that have died? How many have you found like this? Are they all the same breed? Have they all died exactly the same?

 

How many chickens to you have in your flock? Are they free-range or confined? How much space to they have? What dimensions are your nest boxes? How high are they, and can the hens stand up comfortably in them?

 

What are you feeding your hens? What's the ratio of layer or flock feed to scratch grain or other treats? Have they got access to oyster shell all all times?

 

Provide this information and maybe we can get some ideas.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
One was about 3yrs old the other was 1 1/2. Yes they are free range,the nest boxes are large enough to fit a turkey standing up, they helped build the nest boxes (lol). They get half layers crumbles to half scratch with the sunflower seed, also mix in the crushed oyster shells, and crushed eggshells( from what we use).
post #4 of 7
You should feed them straight layer or feed something with more protein than layer, 18-20%, combining layer with scratch cuts your total protein too much. Also provide oyster shells on the side, they will consume them as needed. Sunflower seeds can make birds extremely fat, especially the internal fat. It's possible your birds are having heart attacks while trying to push large eggs out. What breeds are they?
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #5 of 7

Oldhen has nailed it, I'm afraid. If you were to butcher and inspect these dead hens, you would likely discover an abundance of fat deposits around the tail end, which would hinder free passage of the egg.

 

Scratch and BOSS need to be carefully rationed, and most of us stop feeding BOSS entirely during the warmer months when the fat can't be burned off by trying to keep warm.

 

I'm so sorry about your losing chickens. It's a devastating experience.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Rhode Island Red,Production Reds, Barred Rock, Golden Sexlink, Wyandotte,and an Easter Egger Rooster. This month is the first month I have fed the scratch with sunflower seeds.
post #7 of 7

I would recommend you open the dead birds up and see what you find. It will give you more information than we can, just guessing but I would be inclined to agree with everyone else and suspect heart attack caused by excess fat as a result of incorrect diet..

 

I recently butchered 4 hens for my neighbour and I was horrified to discover how much solid yellow fat was deposited not only around their vent and abdomen but also encasing their organs including gizzard, intestines and heart. He had been giving them about a third mixed corn to two thirds layers pellets and also giving them odd table scraps which mostly consisted of bits of fat cut off meat.   .

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