3rd chicken to die

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tonyandkaren, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. tonyandkaren

    tonyandkaren New Egg

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    May 24, 2012
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    Hi everyone,

    We are new to keeping chickens, we have 6 year old battery hens and two fancy bantams. My husband built our hen shed and run from scratch with their inside house being at a high level to make it easier for me to clean out without having to bend.

    The whole structure has worked brilliantly and our egg production over the summer has been brilliant. keeping us and family supplied with eggs.

    However a month ago we had to have one of the battery hens killed as she had her intestines protruding from her rear this was very upsetting as we have named the chickens and we treat them as pets even though everyone told us not to, it was heartbreaking but we knew we would have to lose them sometime, the not so joyous thing about keeping animals.

    Then the following week we went into the shed in the morning to let the ladies out and found one hen dead in a nest box. We looked all over her and could find nothing wrong, our vet suggested she had probably had a stroke as they were suscepitble to this. yet more tears and another grave.

    Now on Saturday (2 weeks later) one of our ladies didn't venture out of the shed when I opened it, I looked in their room and found her stood near the door looking out but not moving. I picked her up and took her outside to sit with her and see if I could find anything wrong. Another long term chicken owner came and checked her for full crop and eggs, lice and red mite but could find nothing at all. She stood very still, the only thing that moved were her eyes, if we tried to move her she was very wobbly. To look at her she looked fine but she was not right, extremely lethargic, we couldn't get her to drink anything or eat, she just stood. We put her in a nest box in the dark to give her respite from the other hens but later that day she died exactly where I had laid her.

    We are so worried now as we have no idea why these two hens have died. We checked all the normal things, our hen house is scrupulously clean, I am a bit over the top compared to others on our allotment site, I clean them out twice a week thoroughly and spray and disinfect for red mite. Their bedding is all treated for dust and their food is kept in bins away from any rodents. their outside play area is dug over on a weekly basis so that it doesn't get compacted and it gives them something to scratch at. What could be going wrong? I have checked all their poo for worms but nothing shows up. We got them in July and they had been wormed the previous week so I haven't done them since. the other poultry keepers think she may have eaten something, but what!!! we supply all her food and it is kept very clean. The shed and run for our ladies is totally fox proof as we have one living behind our plot about 6' away. Obviously we cannot make it rodent proof as they can get where water can't but they cannot get into the hen's sleeping quarters and we put all food away each evening.

    Does anyone have any ideas, I know this is a long shot and I have tried all the usual sites for information but each disease seems to have numerous symptoms and our lady only had one symptom and that was lethargy.

    Any ideas will be welcomed.

    Karen
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I'm sorry for your loss. Is this another battery hen that you lost or one of your bantams?
     
  3. Wayne&Kim1963

    Wayne&Kim1963 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry for your loss. I don't know anything to tell you. You might try getting some chickens from mail order or try incubating some eggs and hatching your own that are healthy and not been around any diseases so you don't have this loss. Sounds like you are awesome caretakers of your chickens and they were so lucky you saved them. I love all our chickens like they are our kids so I never would know not getting attached to them. So I am sooo sooo sorry you lost your baby girl. I like to think there is chicken heaven for them.
    I have had few lethargy chickens this year and not sure exactly what they had but I gave them 1cc of oxytetracycline and 0.07cc of ivomec plus injectable wormer and they got all better. Must have just been a bug and that seemed to work for them. These chickens were big chickens so if you decided to give med to bantam would have to be smaller doses. I am not sure you have anything going around just may have been that they had hard life and was their time to go to heaven.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  4. tonyandkaren

    tonyandkaren New Egg

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    May 24, 2012
    derbyshire
    Hi Guys,

    Thank you for replying I really didn't expect to get a solution but it just felt good to put down our problems in writing.

    It is another battery hen (Henny) we lost. The funny thing is that when we bought them we asked and paid for 6 and he gave us 7 saying one was for good luck, we joked that someone would croak on the way home but they were all good. We have had them all summer now and love them to bits, I really cannot imagine a chicken free life anymore and the joy we get from them is brilliant I wonder how we managed before they became part of our family plus the eggs are a bonus and so delicious.

    We are in talks (my hubby and I) about getting some eggs to hatch and are looking into buying an incubator, we would love a couple of polish bantam chickens especially the frizzle ones and the eggs are so inexpensive. Our only downside at the moment is that we are not allowed to keep Cockerells so we would have to make it quite clear to our kids that they would have to go, it is apparently quite difficult to rehome cockerells in the UK so they would probably have to be dispatched and I can't bear to think about that at the moment.

    Thanks again guys and please keep all your digits crossed for us that this is just an unfortunate episode and is now over.

    Kind Regards
    karen
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    *Fingers crossed*
     
  6. delisha

    delisha Overrun With Chickens

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    You need to find out why your birds are dying before you get any more. It is not normal for chickens to simply expire. Healthy chickens are very hardy. What are you feeding them?
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Being battery hens they aren't quite normal hens. I'm sure they had a horrible life right up until Tony and Karen blessed them with a life free of confinement and cruelty. That's why I asked if it was the battery hens dying or the bantams. If some of my hens that have been raised with the best life and husbandry I am capable of giving them were to start dropping dead, I'd be freakin' and worried. Knowing that they were batteries and started life with the short end of the stick made a difference; at least to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  8. tonyandkaren

    tonyandkaren New Egg

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    May 24, 2012
    derbyshire
    Hello Delisha,

    Thanks for your comments, just to clarify we wouldn't dream of just getting more chickens, if and when we do decide to either get some hens or hatch our own it will be well after Christmas as it is really cold here now and our daylight hours are very short.

    As to feed, we feed a good alround layers pellett, corn in moderation and grit freely accessed. We also give them special treats of warm porridge for breakfast and greek yogurt which they absolutely love but eat like a bunch of pigs. Vegetables and herbs in abundance as they have everything we don't use and even have kale grown especially for them as we don't like it. They also have dried mealworms so their diet is not of a concern to us to be honest.

    By the way the Bantams are thriving and still giving us an egg every other day. Our battery ladies are down to 1 egg between 5 of them daily and were not sure which one is laying or if they are taking it in turns.

    We will again give homes in the future to battery hens as they have a poor time of it here in England we just need to toughen up a bit first.

    thanks to everyone for all your kind thoughts.

    Regards
    karen
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
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    Bless you for that. [​IMG] Their lives aren't any easier here in the states I'm afraid. Battery hens are hard to wrestle away from the commercial egg farms here. I have raised commercial broiler house culls before and it does take getting to a point where you can ease your grief over their loss by reminding yourself that you gave them the best shot at a decent life you could.
     
  10. delisha

    delisha Overrun With Chickens

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    I apologize. I thought you were looking for answers for chickens dying. I did not understand they were already compromised and ready for death before you got them. Good luck to you and to all of those who take in sick chickens in hopes of giving them a chance. I know it is not something I would ever do.
     

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