I wanted to post about a condition that one of my hens just died from because I had a hard time tracking down what it was and I'd like to share so others can benefit from my research. She was a 16 month old Buff Orpington and she had started to molt almost 2 months ago which seemed kind of early to me. I did not notice her being punky until yesterday, and she died this morning so she went pretty quickly. I'll have to say, since she was molting and not laying anyway, I was not paying a lot of attention to her.
Yesterday she was a bit lethargic and this morning she was laying on the floor of the coop. Her comb was flopped over and it was turning bluish which is a sign of heart or respiratory trouble. I put her in a crate to watch her and within a couple of hours she was dead.
I did a necropsy on her and found small white bumps all over lots of her internal organs. I finally found info on line that led me to the diagnosis of oviduct cancer that had spread to a lot of her other organs. Maybe her compromised condition had led her to start molting kind of early? From what I read, up to 50% of hens that are left to live their life out will eventually die from this. Wow, that is amazing. I also found out that there are studies being done on hens to try and learn about ovarian cancer in women. I find this fascinating.
I wanted to post a couple of pictures here of what it looks like to hopefully help others learn about the condition. She also had fluid in her abdominal cavity and some fluid filled cysts and it is probably the pressure on her heart and lungs that actually killed her. She was a good hen, one of my best layers and my grand neice had named her Butterscotch. So I'm a little sad but I'm glad I know what killed her and that it wasn't some disease. I buried her deep in one of my garden beds so she can continue to fertilize my garden for years to come.