3 year old chicken found dead


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 17, 2014
This afternoon I came home on my lunch break to find my first chicken dead in her pen. I am sure if I could be classified as a new chicken owner but I know I have much to learn. It has been a really tough week I had a funeral for a family member yesterday, my horse coliced and now this......
I am looking for any input on what might have happened. I know that no one can really say for sure but maybe I could have some sort of closure.
She was a 3-4 year old chicken - Americana/RIR mix. She had been eating, drinking, normally. She had not been laying eggs like my other chicken but I was not too concerned as she was slowing Down last year and I figured she would continue to lay sparadotically. I don't put lights on them so neither lay during the winter. She did have a build up underneath her vent of poop but it was all very normal looking. I did clean it up last weekend and trimmed some of her feathers...
She seemed normal and healthy other than that. Eating the same food / treats etc. I didn't give them anything they should not of had. I don't treat my yard with any pesticides or grass treatments. I'm just really at a loss.
Did I stress her out when I cleaned up her butt? I had to wrap her a towel to keep her still..
Was she sick and I just didn't know it?
Did she have a bound egg? And I just didn't realize it?? I didn't think much of her stopping egg production like I said she slowed down last year.....
Did I cause this? Is this my fault?
Please go easy on me I have been crying about it since I found her an hour ago and could not remove her body out of my pen.... I had to lock her friend up with food and water inside good thing it's only 56...
We did have a freak cold snap come through two nights ago but it was really nothing compared to our brutal winter...
I'm very upset these girls (I have 2) are my pets for crying out loud I brought them in during are hurricane 2 years ago....
Welcome to BYC. So sorry for your loss, and all of the other problems this week. Older hens may have things like internal laying, egg yolk peritonitis, oviduct cancer, and liver disease. They can suffer heart attacks just like people. It's just hard to tell when they suddenly die without a necropsy done. I would give your other hen a good wormer such as Valbazen or SafGuard, put some probiotics in her food or water, and try to find her 2 good healthy hens to keep her from getting lonely. Many breeders will thin out their flocks, and like me, are willing to give away a few hens to someone who will take good care of them.
Thank you i will definitely pick up the wormer and the prob optics at Tractor Supply.
Dual purpose? I'm not sure I know the meaning of that but I am guessing it's because she was a hybrid??
I was thinking she was pretty young I thought most chickens lived 8-10 years but Dual purpose (I will wait for your explanation :) ) don't live that long?
Oh Ok - thanks... I do appreciate any info I can be given. I know I still have much to learn...it's just sad that's all. I thought I would have more time with her...I would of said goodbye..sorry I'm not trying to get all sappy over a chicken... I will be getting either Betty (my other chicken a new friend) or giving her away - I don't know if my heart can take having to part with my chickens every couple of years :( and heck I grew up on farm
I've read 5-8 years is average for a chicken. The one person I knew who kept chickens past their laying use had RIR and they started dropping off around 4 years, but that is just one example. My chickens aren't pets so none of mine live to die of old age.
If I were to get another chicken an adult or a check how should I go about introducing them? I would have to wait with a click till they are older for sure but my other Chicken Betty who is kinda an a♡♡hole I'm not sure I would trust her with a new companion...
It is done gradually with both chickens behind a divider in the coop. Many would be friends because they are lonely, but you have to do it gradually, and let them get accustomed to each other.

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