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How can I keep my chickens healthy?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello, I'm sort of new to raising chickens.  I hatched my first brood in 2012. I never realized how precious my chickens would be to me! They bring me a lot of joy.  Sadly, I've said good-bye to three of my girls in the 6 months.  Rocky, the queen of the my flock: 3 yrs., 3 mos. Died after 3 days of illness. Diagnosis: Ovarian Tumor.  Lucy, my penny red beauty. 3 yrs., 9 mos.  Died after 2 months of lethargy.   Diagnosis: Ovarian Tumor. Fluffs, my blonde princess, died in my arms Tuesday morning, 2 yrs., 10 mos. no symptoms. Diagnosis: Ovarian infection.

 

They all had necropsies and they were otherwise in good health.  My question is: Is there anything I'm doing wrong in the care and maintenance of my chickens that is making them susceptible to ovarian diseases?  Or is this an unfortunate common occurrence to have ovarian problems and die young?

 

I appreciate any advice.  I'm shocked and saddened.  I was not ready to say good bye to them yet!

 

Thanks in advance for any words of advice.

post #2 of 3

I don't think I am ever ready to say goodbye to any of mine. Even the old ladies in my flock.

 

I think we need to know more so I list a few basic questions.

 

What feed are you using and what protein level?

 

What treats are you feeding and how much?

 

Are they free ranged?

 

Honestly at almost 4 years old I do not think the issues you have experienced are unusual just unfortunate.

 

I am sorry they had to go and that you are going through the heartbreak of losing them.

Funny how they wiggle their way into the heart.

post #3 of 3

Reproductive problems are very common in many of the high production egg layers that we get from hatcheries and feed stores. Salpingitis, egg yolk peritonitis, internal laying, and cancer are some of those. I'm not an expert on those diseases, but I have read from others on here that getting chickens who are heritage breeds that may only lay half as often may be healthier. I don't know the breeds of your chickens, but you might try getting some different breeds. I've lost several also to what I thought might have been internal laying, but I did not do a necropsy. In the olden days, I don't think people kept that many of their hens around for years, unless they were a special broody or pet. They usually had them for dinner once the egg laying decreased. If you are interested in reading about some of the causes for these diseases, the Merck Manual has a lot of short articles . Sorry for your losses.

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