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3 hens dead. What's happening?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by diverkell, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. diverkell

    diverkell In the Brooder

    Mar 4, 2010
    Chicopee, MA
    I went to let Jack and the 9 girls out of their house this morning and 3 of the hens were dead. 2 fell off thier roosts and one in a box. All were close to a window. They are 5 months old. Some are laying. No predator got into the house. One hen died a month ago, the day after she laid her first egg. What could have happened to them? These are my first chickens and I'm pretty attached to them. They didn't get into any poison, as far as I know. Nobody looked distressed last night at bedtime.

    Adding on... They have a very nice coop. Off the ground, fenced yard, access to fresh water and food all the time. Their coop is in the shade and has a temperature acctivated fan. They free range all day. This happened between 7pm and 8am. They were stiff and dusty. It does not appear that they died traumaticly. They appear to have just fallen off the roosts backwards. They were lying flat on their backs, legs stretched out, eyes closed. One went before the other because ones legs were on the others head. The one in the box had her head dangling and the legs stretched out behind her. Also, there was 2 rubber eggs on the floor. They had been broken and trampled.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Any blunt force trauma evident? In other words, could they have killed themselves by hurtling themselves at a wall? Chickens have been known to do that if they are startled.

    Explain better the circumstances surrounding their deaths. Housing? Feed? Access to water? High heat? Could be any number of things.
  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    They are too young & you have lost too many for it to be natural. They could have gotten into a poisonous plant? There are dozens of common plants that will kill a chicken. Lots of flowers etc.

    can't think of anything else if you don't have a predator. Must be a poisonous plant.

    Birds have strange metabolisms. They will often die after being very sick but never show a symptom. Sometimes you see them get runny eyes etc. but if they are poisoned they could look healthy until they drop.
  4. bigstack

    bigstack Songster

    Jan 4, 2010
    Texarkana, TX
    I am so sorry for your loss! [​IMG]

    Is there any bug poison around? They could eat poisoned bugs too! I wish I had better info to offer.

    Good Luck and God Bless!
  5. rufus

    rufus Crowing

    May 17, 2007
    How old is your property? People used to put out rat poison without thinking. Those folks may be long gone, but the poison remains. Check your sheds carefully.

    Also, be aware of the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. Does the coop adjoin a garage? Some people make the mistake of putting little chicks in the boiler room or next to the water heater to keep them warm.

    Good Luck,

  6. diverkell

    diverkell In the Brooder

    Mar 4, 2010
    Chicopee, MA
    I just found a container of mole poison, it had been chewed open by a racoon or something. I had left it outside the other day, with the cover on tight. I noticed it had been moved but thought nothing of it. I was told that the chicken would have to eat a lot of it for it to hurt them. What was left in the bottle I wouldn't consider to be a lot. I wonder if it could have been enough. I don't know if they even got any. I would think that whatever spent all that time chewing it open would have eaten it. Maybe they got scared by whatever spent all that time outside their house last night. Do they die of fright?
  7. Tiss

    Tiss Songster

    May 8, 2010
    Oh no, that's probably it. I'm so so sorry for your losses.
  8. quinkerton

    quinkerton In the Brooder

    Jul 9, 2009
    North Bennington
    We made the mistake our first year of using rat poison. It wasnt the poison itself that killed our chickens, it was the rat droppings left behind, the chickens must have ate that. We found a lot of clusters of rat droppings in their yard. We will never do that again!
  9. diverkell

    diverkell In the Brooder

    Mar 4, 2010
    Chicopee, MA
    Keeping my fingers crossed that tonight goes well for them. Everybody looked okay at bedtime. Maybe a bit confused since their sleeping buddies are gone. Tiny died, now Keira has to be alone. I'm sure she will miss her. They even laid their eggs together in the same box. It's a strange consulation but Keira laid 2 eggs today. My poor girls...

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