6 Years
Jul 23, 2016
northwestern South Carolina
I meant to post this in this thread.
I went out to check food and water this morning and AmiJo, one of my top hens, was dead in the run near the fence. I have checked her for predator damage and have found none. I admit that a few other things have been going on lately that have caused temporary changes but given the odd mix of symptoms I am having a difficult time figuring out what went wrong.
I appreciate any help or ideas ahead of time. I especially would like to hear from other Buff Orpington owners or someone who has lost a hen after similar symptoms. Thanks.
Here are some of the things going on and other things I have noticed.
1) The past week or two has been wheat harvest from the grain field and I have been throwing alot of hay in the run. The hay still contains alot of wheat berries and the chickens love to peck through and scratch to get the treat. However they are hardly even touching the feeder. Maybe I over did it with the hay. I was just trying to get it out and not waste it.,
2) Someone (cannot determine just who but I now suspect Amijo) has been laying soft-shell eggs. At first it was maybe once every two months but in the past 10 days I have found 3.
3) I looked over Amijo and her belly was bald of feathers. A large portion of her underside was only protected by her skin.
4) I have two broody hens who are now raising their chicks. Acorn is one of them and she hatched 6 chicks 5 weeks ago but 2 days ago one went missing. A predator is suspected. Ever since then Acorn has been on edge and behaving differently.
5) It has been hot a few days this past week. It has been reaching almost 90 degrees.
6) I have recently introduced Oregano tea into their water as a antibiotic preventative treatment after reading much about its benefits. This was introduced about 7 - 10 days ago. I don't remember exactly.
7) A simple autopsy to see if she was egg-bound, revealed that she was fat. There was about 3/4" (19mm) layer of fat on her belly.

There is really nothing else that stands out as odd.
Any help is appreciated.
My understanding is that wheat fields are sprayed with Round Up to ensure that all of the grain ripens at the same time. My first rule out would be an issue with this if you are using wheat straw in your coop/run. Round Up is an endocrine disruptor.

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