4 year old hen lost feathers and died

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Rosiegirl, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Rosiegirl

    Rosiegirl New Egg

    Nov 1, 2011
    My four year old layer hen was losing feathers for a few days recently and died this morning. I don't know what happened. Any ideas?
  2. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    She was probably in a moult and loosing feathers and then maybe caught a chill with no feathers... Moulting can be stressful...I'm sorry this happened. Hugs! Nancy
  3. Rosiegirl

    Rosiegirl New Egg

    Nov 1, 2011
    Thanks. Do you think that it is significant that she was losing them just on her neck and tail?
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  4. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    I'm thinking Botulism:


    Synonyms: limberneck, bulbar paralysis, western duck sickness, alkali disease

    Species affected: All fowl of any age, humans, and other animals are highly susceptible. The turkey vulture is the only animal host known to be resistant to the disease.

    Clinical signs: Botulism is a poisoning causing by eating spoiled food containing a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum . Paralysis, the most common clinical sign, occurs within a few hours after poisoned food is eaten. Pheasants with botulism remain alert, but paralyzed. Legs and wings become paralyzed, then the neck becomes limp. Neck feathers become loose in the follicle and can be pulled easily (see Table 3 ).

    If the amount eaten is lethal, prostration and death follow in 12 to 24 hours. Death is a result of paralysis of respiratory muscles. Fowl affected by sublethal doses become dull and sleepy.

    Transmission: Botulism is common in wild ducks and is a frequent killer of waterfowl because the organisms multiply in dead fish and decaying vegetation along shorelines.

    Decaying bird carcasses on poultry ranges, wet litter or other organic matter, and fly maggots from decaying substances may harbor botulism. There is no spread from bird to bird.

    Treatment: Remove spoiled feed or decaying matter. Flush the flock with Epsom salts (1 lb/1000 hens) in water or in wet mash. It has been reported that potassium permanganate (1:3000) in the drinking water is helpful. Affected birds can be treated with botulism antitoxin injections.

    Prevention: Incinerate or bury dead birds promptly. Do not feed spoiled canned vegetables. Control flies. Replace suspected feed.

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