1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Chickens dying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by msurber, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. msurber

    msurber Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Mar 30, 2015
    Mico, Tecas
    My Coop
    I've never had this problem before. My chickens are dying while trying to lay eggs. The eggs are only half out.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

    8,897
    1,712
    388
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    How old are these hens that have died? How many have you found like this? Are they all the same breed? Have they all died exactly the same?

    How many chickens to you have in your flock? Are they free-range or confined? How much space to they have? What dimensions are your nest boxes? How high are they, and can the hens stand up comfortably in them?

    What are you feeding your hens? What's the ratio of layer or flock feed to scratch grain or other treats? Have they got access to oyster shell all all times?

    Provide this information and maybe we can get some ideas.
     
  3. msurber

    msurber Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Mar 30, 2015
    Mico, Tecas
    My Coop
    One was about 3yrs old the other was 1 1/2. Yes they are free range,the nest boxes are large enough to fit a turkey standing up, they helped build the nest boxes (lol). They get half layers crumbles to half scratch with the sunflower seed, also mix in the crushed oyster shells, and crushed eggshells( from what we use).
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    13,547
    1,681
    348
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You should feed them straight layer or feed something with more protein than layer, 18-20%, combining layer with scratch cuts your total protein too much. Also provide oyster shells on the side, they will consume them as needed. Sunflower seeds can make birds extremely fat, especially the internal fat. It's possible your birds are having heart attacks while trying to push large eggs out. What breeds are they?
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

    8,897
    1,712
    388
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Oldhen has nailed it, I'm afraid. If you were to butcher and inspect these dead hens, you would likely discover an abundance of fat deposits around the tail end, which would hinder free passage of the egg.

    Scratch and BOSS need to be carefully rationed, and most of us stop feeding BOSS entirely during the warmer months when the fat can't be burned off by trying to keep warm.

    I'm so sorry about your losing chickens. It's a devastating experience.
     
  6. msurber

    msurber Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Mar 30, 2015
    Mico, Tecas
    My Coop
    Rhode Island Red,Production Reds, Barred Rock, Golden Sexlink, Wyandotte,and an Easter Egger Rooster. This month is the first month I have fed the scratch with sunflower seeds.
     
  7. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,230
    463
    188
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I would recommend you open the dead birds up and see what you find. It will give you more information than we can, just guessing but I would be inclined to agree with everyone else and suspect heart attack caused by excess fat as a result of incorrect diet..

    I recently butchered 4 hens for my neighbour and I was horrified to discover how much solid yellow fat was deposited not only around their vent and abdomen but also encasing their organs including gizzard, intestines and heart. He had been giving them about a third mixed corn to two thirds layers pellets and also giving them odd table scraps which mostly consisted of bits of fat cut off meat. .
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by