Death of a hen- What is it and how can I prevent it next time?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LupineChickens, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. LupineChickens

    LupineChickens New Egg

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    Dec 29, 2012
    I have recently lost a long loved hen, Lupine, and I don't really know why. We now have six hens and a duck, and our duck recently learned he's a guy. He lost his siblings at the pond they lived at, so we moved him in with the chickens which has been great, until he started trying to make babies with them. They are losing feathers like crazy, and I don't know if it has anything to do with Lupine's death.
    We'd been on vacation for two days, and I left our flock with lots of food and water. When I got home, I went to check on the chickens, and Lupine was flopped on the ground. She was breathing, but she was floppy and fell asleep every few seconds. I brought her inside and kept her in a shoe box, I hydrated her and fed her as much as I could (which wasn't much). In her shoe box, about two hours later, she let out a gross smelling liquid, and did it three or four more times over the course of the evening and night. She had lots of mucus and finally had convulsions and died. I would love to know if you have any ideas as to what happened and what I could possibly do if it happens to any of my other hens. (Also- tips on what I can do to stop the duck? It's at the point where we might have to give him away to protect our hens)
    Thanks so much!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Ducks have a penis. Roosters do not. A drake mating hens can severely injure them or even kill them. Get the drake out of there immediately. He very well may have caused the death of your hen.
     
  3. LavendarFeather

    LavendarFeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How sad! I didn't know about that difference between drakes and roosters, but it sounds like it could cause real problems. It sounds like Lupine had a bad infection, and the toxicity spread through her system and killed her. I know a chicken's reproductive system is very different than a dog or cats, but the way you described the discharge and condition, along with the information about drakes, made me think of pyometria. If you're not familiar with that, it's a uterine infection, not uncommon in intact dogs and sometimes cats. It's caused by bacteria such as e.coli in the uterus, and can quickly cause the animal to become septic. It seems likely that a hen could suffer a similar infection.
     
  4. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    My Coop

    X2
     
  5. LupineChickens

    LupineChickens New Egg

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    Dec 29, 2012
    Great-
    I should get him out, but where to? I'm not killing him, and I've already called a duck farm near-bye. What should I do until someone calls back?
     
  6. Doubleyolker

    Doubleyolker Out Of The Brooder

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    Put him in a seperate area.
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Absolutely!
     

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