1. MD Chicken chic

    MD Chicken chic Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2009
    Maryland
    I went out to the coop this evening and found one of my hens dead on the floor by the door! She's about 11 months old. Up until now, I haven't noticed anything strange about her or the others at all. There was no blood on her body anywhere or any sign of an attack. Could she have frozen to death? It's 20 degrees here right now, but I have a heat lamp in on in the coop. The others seem to be fine. My husband said when he went out last night to give them water, one of the hens was in a nesting box making funny noises. He's not very chicken savvy, and he thought she was trying to lay an egg, but he's not sure. He doesn't remember which hen it was. So, it might have been her. Can chickens die from being eggbound? Could that have been it? She laid distinct brown eggs with dark speckles, and I hadn't seen any for the past two days, but that was not unusual for her at all. The only two odd things I noticed about her body was that there was some mushed food in her mouth and her comb had tiny whitish areas on it. But, I didn't know if that had to do with her laying right next to the door and it had started to freeze. Could she have choked? Do chickens do that? I'm really bummed about this.
     
  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    First, I am so sorry for your loss. [​IMG] I doubt she froze to death-many folk on here have had temps much lower than yours and have no heat lamp in their coop. The eggbound theory is possible-it can indeed be fatal.
    I sure hope someone comes along that can help you more than I can.
     
  3. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry for your loss. Its hard to lose any of them.
    Its hard to know what she died from. I've found healthy hens dead in the morning, but I've usually suspected that they broke their necks falling off the roost, or flying into something hard, while coming off the roost.
    There are so many things it could have been.........eggbound, internal egg laying, tumor, disease........its just hard to know. Did she have a full crop? Sometimes if they have an impacted or sour crop for a long time, that can kill them.
    Just keep your eye on the rest of them and pick them up and check them over really well if they are off by themselves, or look bad in any way.
    When I check a chicken over, I check their vents, look for mites/lice, feel their abdomens for swelling, feel their crops for swelling/impaction, check out their combs (for signs of systemic illness), etc.
    I realize that your chicken didn't seem to give you any warning. Chickens are great at hiding their illnesses, so the other chickens don't kill them.
    Sometimes we never do figure out what happened.
    Again, so sorry for your loss.
     
  4. Terri O

    Terri O Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry about your hen...sometimes it "just happens" Always seems to happen here when I am gone or somebody else does the chores...(not blaming anyone of course) Just check the others to make sure it wasnt something contagious--I hate to lose a bird! Terri O
     
  5. MD Chicken chic

    MD Chicken chic Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2009
    Maryland
    Thanks. I really liked her. She was sweet. No, she didn't have a full crop. I checked her neck to feel if it was broken anywhere, and I didn't feel anything protruding or sharp, like she could have broken her neck. I don't have any gloves around right now, so I didn't check her vent. Everyone else looks fine right now. A friend of mine who raises chickens told me not to have the heat lamp on. He said that it's like us being inside a warm house and then going outside without a coat on. He said that could make them sick too. And, mine are all hardy breeds. I know that our temps are not that cold (live in Northern MD). My parents had chickens here and never had a heat lamp and they were fine. We were down to 13 degrees last night. Should I just turn the lamp off? Any thoughts?
     
  6. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens would always get really mean with each other, whenever I would have the heat lamp on. I ended up only using it if the temp gets into the single digits. The most inportant thing is that they dry and out of drafts.
    I also learned that even if my chickens don't want to go out into their run, because of the cold or the snow, I still keep their little door opened a little. I think it keeps them from getting claustrophobic.
    I bought one of those wireless long range thermometers for the coop. Its great. I can see from inside my house what the temp is out there, and if I need to do anything about it.
    I've just heard from so many people who live in really cold areas, that they never use heat lamps. I've also heard that its hard on them to go from warmer to colder and its best to just keep it cold.
    I realize that there is a huge variation in the types of coops that everyone here has, but the important thing in cold weather is to keep them dry and out of the drafts.
     
  7. heritagebirds

    heritagebirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Eastern Shore MD
    Sorry about your hen... I haven't used any grown lights with mine, they keep each other pretty warm in their boxes.
     
  8. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Turn off the light, I dont know if it had anything to do with you hen, but it will save you a little electricy, and they will be fine without it.
     
  9. skovats

    skovats Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2009
    The light had nothing to do with it (warmer is better for all animals) and come on temps go up and down all year round sounds like she fell or was egg bound I bet that was it
     
  10. MD Chicken chic

    MD Chicken chic Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2009
    Maryland
    Ok, turned the lamp off. When I went out, there was an egg from each one of them, and everyone looked fine. They were all doing the usual chicken stuff, so I guess they're ok. Thanks for the advice.
     

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