Aracauna post-mortem. Any ideas?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Outer Beaks, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. Outer Beaks

    Outer Beaks Out Of The Brooder

    I lost a hen (Chicken Joe) this morning and was hoping to see if anyone had any thoughts as to what might have done her in.
    Hatched Feb. 2013. Started laying in June. Smallish, but a good eater. Second from the bottom on the packing order, we had 9 hens. 5 Aracauna mixes all born in February. 4 two-year-old Dominiques.

    Hutch is 6x5 with 90 sq. ft. run. I have a chicken tractor I use to take them into the back yard for 2-4 hours every day (can't let em run free in the neighborhood and my fence is too short).

    Three weeks ago, all but two of our chickens (Aracaunas) stopped laying. The Dominiques are molting and look really weird. A friend here with some experience says that sometimes the others will stop laying, even if they don't appear to be molting, so we thought nothing of it.

    About two weeks ago, Chicken Joe fell when I was moving the tractor and the edge ran over her leg a bit. She was wobbly after that but I wasn't sure if she was wobbly before and that caused the accident, or if she had hurt her leg. The tractor is light weight and it wasn't fully on her as it clears the ground by about 1-2 inches. There was no bleeding and I didn't feel any breaks. No open wounds. We kept an eye on her and she was wobbly for about 4 days but seemed to recover.

    Then two days ago she was looking wobbly again. Her comb was droopy and looked pale and dry. And she seemed to be gasping with her mouth. Her wings were also drooping. She had a lot of poop sticking to her and had some flies on her that she wasn't trying to get rid of, so we washed her off and I gave her some yogurt along with her crumble and water. She seemed to be eating fine. I did notice that she seemed just a bit distended near the rear. She was eating well, her bum didn't get any worse and I didn't see any sores. I kept her separated and she seemed to fully recover. So last night I put her back in with the flock. She didn't have the energy that she usually had but showed no other signs of feeling bad, even though her comb was still drooped and whitish. I felt she was on her way back! She was my favorite.

    This morning she was dead. Strangely, the bone down the middle of her breast seemed to be protruding as if she hadn't eaten in days. This was odd as I hadn't noticed anything just the day before when I had picked her up.
    Any ideas? I'm worried about the rest of them, but haven't seen any signs.

    She had an affinity for digging and ate more bugs than the rest. We recently had a lot of rain and the ground has been soft. There are some strange mushrooms in the yard, but I always kept the tractor away from them. Guess I could have missed one. I have no idea if they were treated with antibiotics. That's about all I can think of.

    Thanks!
    -Outer Beaks
    in North Carolina

    EDIT: I should add, this is our first year of chickens. We started in April.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  2. Outer Beaks

    Outer Beaks Out Of The Brooder

    One additional bit on info. She didn't die last night. My daughter fed the hens this morning and said Chicken Joe was alive but that she had run right into my daughter and fell over. She died sometime between 11:00am and 4:00pm.
     
  3. choptank330

    choptank330 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 31, 2012
    Roanoke, Virginia
    I am so sorry for your loss. I can't give you an answer on what may be wrong. But I am interested in what people say. I have a Leghorn who laid an egg Wednesday and hasn't laid one since. I vent checked her and didnt feel an egg. So i wormed her and treating her with corrid.
     
  4. Outer Beaks

    Outer Beaks Out Of The Brooder

    We're worming the others, but I don't know if that's the issue. Just hoping to find someone with similar experiences. The protruding breastbone is the real head-scratcher for me. Especially after holding her the day before and seeing her eat normally. We do have some mice in the back yard, but I've seen no evidence of them in the food/coop. The only evidence I have is that my cat brings us trophies. She's a very prolific hunter of mice, lizards and doves, but hasn't shown any predatory behavior towards the chickens.
     
  5. choptank330

    choptank330 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 31, 2012
    Roanoke, Virginia
    I think my problem is worms. I am currently treating all of them. I just found this [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. choptank330

    choptank330 Chillin' With My Peeps

    582
    6
    108
    Jul 31, 2012
    Roanoke, Virginia
    I would assume that your problem would be worms and she should start feeling better soon
     

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