BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures › One hen died, another seems close behind
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One hen died, another seems close behind

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
We lost a hen yesterday, she had been acting a bit funny since we returned from a vacation about one week ago. Yesterday, she wouldn't move,eat or anything once she was out of the coop. (We free range/ pasture raise). Today, everyone seemed happy and healthy. My daughter noticed another hen near the water spigot that now seems to be close to gone. These hens were "inherited " two years ago with most of my flock. They are about 7 or 8. No one was showing outward sickness signs. They all occasionally have dirty bums, but I had noticed a lot more soft-shelled eggs this spring. We have (had) about 20 hens, so trying to figure who was laying them is pretty much out of the question. The two that I mentioned are gold stars/ cinnamon queens not completely sure.

I have the rest of the flock, about 6/7/8 year olds, and six that are almost 1. They all seem to be thriving. Any ideas?
post #2 of 3
What symptoms has the sick chicken shown?How does the crop feel? Is is full and puffy or hard? Have you seen any mites or lice on the skin especially around the vent? Older hens can have reproductive disorders such as internal laying and egg yolk peritonitis. Has the sick hen lost weight in her breast area, have any swelling in her lower belly, or have any problems breathing? It might be coincidental to have 2 chickens die or be near death within a day or two, but I would check your feed for mold or an off odor. Give her vitamins and electrolytes, and use a dropper to feed her if necessary. If she dies you may want to get a necropsy performed by your state vet or poultry lab. Having older chickens live so long is pretty commendable.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the ideas. She did expire over night. Everyone else seems happy and healthy, except for one hen that has become extremely broody, but not laid an egg. I had the same issues with this breed last year (I thought they were RIR, but I think they are Red Wyandottes).

I did not notice anything unusual with either of the dead hens. I am "guessing" they were susceptible to something because of age. I am not really sure how long hens are supposed to live. I knew I was inheriting an "old" flock. I didn't force them to lay in the winter, most of them stopped both winters we've had them. I just figured I'd let them live out their lives and do their thing. I just want to make sure if I can prevent them from dying, that I can. They are sweeties! smile.png
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