Chicken died while molting? Please help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by anaGutierrez, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. anaGutierrez

    anaGutierrez Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2012
    Hi there, I'm fairly new here and was hoping to get some answers/help with my chickens. I have 2 reds and 2 barred rocks that are about 8-9 months old. They have been laying eggs regularly for a little more than a month now. About a week ago I noticed that one of the reds was losing feathers and I assumed that it was simply molting. Yesterday I noticed that there was blood near her tailfeathers along with missing feathers. At this point the hen was still behaving the same and I thought that perhaps the other chickens were possibly pecking at her. So after asking around and doing some research, I decided that I should take her into the vet to get checked out first and then have her seperated from the rest so she can heal and not get pecked. The next morning my poor bird was dead and still very bloody and I witnessed the other hens pecking at her [​IMG] So my question is, why did the hen die? Was it from sickness or being pecked by the others? Also, should I be concerned that the hens can possibly become sick as well since they pecked at this hen? Is it still safe to consume the eggs? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time!

    P.S. The hens are safe from predators in a large enclosed area and have access to clean water and plenty of food.
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Chickens can sense (instinct) when something is wrong with one of their flockmates and will try to eliminate the sick or injured bird to protect themselves as a whole not to attract predators and to pass their genes (survival of the fittest, ) also a pecking order is established. Losing feathers at 8-9 months is possible but normal molts usually occur over 1 year old. I wouldve suspected external parasites at that age first, before molting. Feather picking by the others is also a possibility due to the blood you saw. Feather picking can be caused by the lack of enough protein in the diet, overcrowding, external parasites seen by other birds crawling around on the affected bird, pecking order.
    If it's one of the things previously mentioned is the cause, your other birds should be safe as well as their eggs to eat.
    I recommend that you visually inspect all your birds for lice/mites, especially around their vent areas.
     
  3. anaGutierrez

    anaGutierrez Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2012
    Hmm, I never thought of the possibility of a parasite. I will do this asap. If it is a parasite, how would I treat my hens? Thanks for the advice [​IMG]
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Lice can be seen crawling on the skin and feathers, whittish/off white in color. Mites are slow movers or dont move at all, look like pepper...black or red.
    If you see them, use sevin dust. Dust them thoroughly avoiding the eyes and nostrils. Then redust them again in 7-10 days. You'll also have to dust their coop, nests, and roosts, repeat dusting again in 7-10 days.
     

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