Hoping someone has some ideas and can help me.
Six weeks ago I had a bird die on me. My hens are almost 5 yr. (July) and they stopped laying 2 years ago. Late last fall one hen seemed to struggle when she moved her bowels...straining. No egg issues....but through the winter SLOWLY went downhill. Six weeks ago in the a.m. she was very ruffled and lethargic, hanging head, eyes closed. Moved her tot he basement along with chicken #2 who seemed "off" that day too. Chicken #1 went downhill and died that night. Chicken #2 would act lethargic then a few hours later be up and around and fine and eating....then a few hours later she'd be lethargic again. A week after #1's passing #2 started walking like a penguin, excessive thirst, eating minimal, kind of stumbly.......losing weight but her belly was lumpy and seemed full of fluid. Gave her high nutrition liquid supplement via syringe...but not getting better. I thought for sure she had Lash Egg but now I don't think so. Three weeks with no change so had her put down at the vet last Friday 3/11/16). I took her home and opened her up (pictures below) I do not know chicken anatomy so don't know what is right or wrong in there. I can say that her crop/gizzard was way down in her abdomen and she had a LOT of fluid in her belly as well....very yellow, watery, smelly. She was also throwing up that yellow water for a few weeks.
This morning I lost yet another chicken. She had been fine...eating, preening, walking around.....yesterday when I got home from work she had been sitting on the ground.....when I came into the pen she got up and walked over to where I have just thrown down a bunch of green leaf lettuce. The other 2 hens started eating, she was not interested. She went to the coop on her own last night. This morning when I opened the doors she had no roosted last night and was sitting on the floor. Behind her where she pooped it was just watery, not smelly. I picked her up to set here outside and her mouth was opened. I listened to see if ZI could hear labored breathing, heard nothing, then she did take a gasp....I set her down on the ground, she took 3-4 drunken steps then just sat straight down. She then fell over onto her side. I started walking over to her and she started flapping and rolling like as if her head had been chopped. I finally got hold of her and she couldn't breath....she was gasping trying to get air. I ran to the coop where the floor sits at waist level, laid her down and started mouth to beak.....I worked on her 4-5 minutes but she was gone. ***??? What they heck is going on? I have lost 3 birds in 6 weeks. All have different symptoms. Now they used to be free range but the borough has decided no chickens allowed (after they gave me permission) so I have to keep them locked up. There were 5 hens in a 16 ft x 16 ft pen with a coop. I have had to feed them commercial Layena crumbles (Only one hen has been laying. The others stopped 2 years ago) and supplement with scratch, black sunflower, dried mealworms, and greens. Last fall I opened 2 bales of straw in the pen so cut down on the mud because they won't walk outside the coop in snow or mud (they are so girlie). That straw in now of course very wet from the winter. I have been forking it out and on some of it there is white mold growth at the bottom along the ground. Could they be scratching this up and eating something moldy that would cause these symptoms? On the bird I open (see below) she really seems to have some internal problems. Her insides don't look healthy to me. NO local vet here will do a necropsy on this #3 bird. Penn State will but the price starts at $60 plus it is a 160 mile round trip. I hate to spend $100+ to discover it is just age related issues.
If anyone sees something that jumps out at them in these pics please let me know. These girls are my pets and I hate that I can't help them. Any ideas?