Dead Hen


In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 25, 2010
I have had 3 pet hens for about 9 months now. They are in a coop with a 4 x 5 enclosed box that has nesting boxes with hay and the floor has pine shavings, the run they are in is 5 x 10 with a dirt floor. I keep laying pellets in a feeder and change the water as needed. I throw in sunflower seeds and other treats for snacks. So far I have had no problems with the hens but today when I went to check on them one of them was dead in the run. I last checked on them one day ago and all was fine.

What could have happend and do I need to worry about some kind of sickness hurting the other hens. Also, my wife will now not even think about eating the eggs because she became very sick this weekend and it just so happend she had been making a cake and used the hen eggs (and was sampling the batter along the way.

It was very rainy last night and today, we probably got about three inches and I discovered that when it rains that hard a couple of puddles form in the run. I do not think the hen drowned and it was a very cold winter and they made it through fine so surely it wasn't the weather?

Does anyone have any ideas or advice for me? Do we need to worry about the eggs? Also, I know that things happen but I would hate to think that I somehow did not take care of the chicks good enough and I do not want this to happen on a routine basis. Help?
Omgosh! I am new to chicks this year as well. I have no advice for you, but just wanted to say that I am sorry to hear about your loss. I am sure that someone on here will have some great info to add and look for. I will follow along as well since I am terrified that I am doing something wrong at all times!!

Good luck to the other 2 chickens.
Had one die out of the blue like that last winter. Turned out we think she was egg-bound - SLW that used to lay the HUGEST double yolk eggs.

Hope you get your mystery figured out.
to your wife!
Sorry you are going through this.

I'm afraid the only way to learn for certain what the cause of death was, is to have a professional autopsy done. If you are in the US this is generally available at a reasonable cost. I'm sorry, I don't know exactly how to check this out. If I needed to, I would start with my vet. He won't treat chickens, but said he would help find what is available if I ever needed it. I have read that it varies how different labs want the body handled in order to get this done.

That said, while there are diseases that can cause sudden death, it could also be a medical problem (heart, tumor, etc.) that would have no effect on the others. Most chicken diseases do not affect humans.

Perhaps this would be helpful (scroll down to the bottom of the report:

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