Chicken died...looking for a little debrief

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by amysflock, May 16, 2008.

  1. amysflock

    amysflock Songster

    May 8, 2008
    Tenino, WA
    Hi, All,

    I posted last week that one of my Aracauna (actually an EE, I think) had been acting really weird, sort of hunched up, seemingly straining to lay an egg or something, and I had been wondering whether or not she was eggbound. We have (had) 8 chickens total, and everyone else looks and acts normal and healthy...just this one little hen had an issue.

    I took her inside the night I posted and gave her a warm bath for awhile (probably an hour total time), and let her rest inside. She continued to act the same way. She was eating and everything, so my husband and I just put her back with the others and checked on her every day.

    I saw her late last night (they were in the roost) and she was acting normal (for her) changes. This morning when I checked on them before work, though, there she was, curled up under the bottom rung of the roost, head tucked under...dead. There was a single pale egg with a soft shell next to her.

    I got the chickens from my mother-in-law, who raised them as chicks. All are a year old. I'm getting 5-6 eggs per day from the 8 girls (or 7 girls and 1 unmanly roo, if that's possible...MIL swears one of the EE is a roo). I work outside the home so am not there to watch who lays what, but I get two blue-green eggs every day, occasionally 3, and the rest are brown.

    I guess I'm wondering what could have happened to this poor little hen. Granted, she acted this way at my MIL's, too, but MIL had 48 chickens, so individuals don't necessarily get the attention they need. I don't even think MIL noticed she was acting funny.

    Could this have been her first egg, and it just did her in? Do eggs lose calcium if they're stuck in process for a long time (like a couple of weeks)? Are they that much harder to pass than regular hard-shelled eggs?

    My chickens all eat layer pellets, have fresh water and grit, and get kitchen scraps and grass a few times per week (just veggies and crushed egg shells, no meat or butter, etc.).

    Thanks... [​IMG]
  2. Riparian

    Riparian Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    Sorry to hear about this... unfortunatly I cannot offer any explanation other than sometimes these things are out of your own control.

    Best of luck with the rest of your flock. [​IMG]
  3. fivebigreds

    fivebigreds Songster

    Sep 9, 2007
    middle Tennessee
    sorry about your hen.
  4. kodiakchicken

    kodiakchicken Songster

    Apr 18, 2008
    Kodiak, Alaska
    I can't help with understanding why you hen died, but I didn't see oyster shell on your list of things you're feeding. They need oyster shell for the calcium to help build the new eggs shells. Maybe that's why her egg shell was soft?

    PS - I'm very sorry about your loss. It's so hard, especially when you just can't figure out what happened.
    Last edited: May 16, 2008
  5. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    A new layer doesn't need the oyster shell quite yet...they use the calcium from their bones.
    Except for hatching and freeranging, starting up laying is the most dangerous time for a hen...their bodies have to get used to the new's like puberty for us.

    If a new layer is straining to get that first egg out, especially if it's a soft shelled one, she could stroke out...
    I'm sorry for your loss.
  6. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    Im so sorry. [​IMG]

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