Can anyone advise? Lost a hen yesterday and now moulting chickens not eating

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Imelda, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Imelda

    Imelda New Egg

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    Oct 29, 2010
    Can anyone advise, I lost a previously healthy 14 month old chicken yesterday. She went down very quickly, I noticed she wasn't eating during the afternoon supper of corn and dried meal woms. She was drinking a lot of water.I checked her crop and it appeared normal, not over hard and not spongy either. The rest of the hens were fine and eating as normal (1 has completed a moult, 1 is mid moult and the other is almost bald!) Yesterday morning when I let them out the 3 "healthy hens" came out as normal whilst the sickly one stayed huddled in the hen house. Her crop seemed full of fluid so I emptied it by holding her upside down till it drained. There was little content apart from greyish fluid. It didn't seem to smell either. I had to go to work so put her back into the house with mash and a dish of water.On my return from work she was barely alive and cold to the touch, I brought her into the house in a straw filled box but she died soon after.
    This morning when I let the remaining hens out, as usual I give them a few dried meal worms and a small amount of corn, they barely touched the stuff and they normally go crazy for the meal worms? We had snow in the night and they are all sat huddled in the small shelter in their pen and won't eat. They normally come running to the front of the pen when I open the door to go out, they haven't budged an inch. So I've taken raisins and corn and some warm mash out to them. They've only eaten the raisins? I'm really hoping I'm not being paranoid and that it's just the cold weather and lack of feathers that has made them loose their interest in food? Any ideas please would be greatfully accepted on what I can temt them with? This is their first moult in the winter so is it normal to go off food?
     
  2. Imelda

    Imelda New Egg

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    Oct 29, 2010
    Thanks???
     
  3. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I am not completely sure what is happening but I think some more information might help other people give you advice.

    What is their diet? What does their poop look like? What do their combs look like? Where are you and how cold is it? Have you checked for mites/lice or worms? Any other symtoms at all?

    You want to be very careful vomiting a chicken and only hold them upside down for a few seconds at a time as their lungs can easily fill with fluid and it can kill them. Not sure if this could have been a factor on the second bird.

    Good luck! I hope other people have more info for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  4. Perdue Farms

    Perdue Farms New Egg

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    I don't think you have anything to worry about with your remaining flock, however it seems as if maybe they might have contracted cold like symptoms! I have tried 1 tblspn of apple cider vinegar to 1 gallon of water and it seems to help clear the throat and lungs! you might also want to raise the temperature in your hen house. (keep the heat far enough away from the bird so it doesn't singe the feathers) If they cling close to the heat source their appetites will more than likely increase! the light source will also increase egg production. (they think they're getting more day light) I use electric heat and a timed lighting systems on the girls, and in the late afternoon I let them free range! The bird that died; did she also have alot of missing feathers? The reason I ask is I have had to seperate my girls due to that "pecking order" thing! When one starts on another the others will join right along! That could also contribute to your loss!
     

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