First loss

hensofburgoyne

Chirping
Jan 29, 2017
16
13
52
Lost our first bird yesterday. Have theories, but don't know what happened for sure and would love feedback. Theories are:

1)Egg bound, vent was very messy and wet. Concerned because now a second has this today.
2)Heat stroke. She was a fluffy faverolle, hadn't molted so still winter plumage, first hot day (in the 90s) and may have caused wet/runny stool, hence the vent
3)longshot - neighbor had TruGreen come the day prior for "lime treatment", but swears they were "no where near" the coop. The two with vent issues (including the one we lost) are the two always out and about in the run. Our third has gone broody and spends 90% of her time in the coop.

Guys, I'm hearbroken. She was the sweetest of them all, always up for a cuddle, and would run over to get picked up. Don't know if I can bear to lose another right now and would love insight on what could've caused this/how to prevent future.

Many thanks.

Photo is of her snuggling me in the early days (had her 3 days at that point) and then this past summer as my beautiful bearded lady.
 

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Colonel-Sanders

Chirping
Feb 24, 2017
49
27
79
Ohio
It's unfortunate to hear, there are so many factors with the heat and all that I can't give you a definitive answer, but I can tell you that my chickens had a lot of trouble when it was in the 90's yesterday as well. I wish you the best and hope that you may experience many more fun memories with your flock.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
37,372
52,782
1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
:hugs I'm so sorry for your loss. She was a lovely girl - look at that sweet face, thank you for sharing the photos.

It's so hard to know what's going on, unfortunately without testing/necropsy there is no way to know the cause of death.

Heat can be very hard on them. If your other hen is showing similar symptoms, then try to provide her with a shaded area and cool water throughout the day. You can give her some electrolytes if you feel that heat is a factor - just limit them to one day (they have a lot of salt). Offer a "cool" treat like a slice of frozen watermelon or cucumber.

Heat can also cause watery stool which can get all into the vent feathers - really fluffy girls can benefit from a light trim around the vent area to remove some of the fluff - if you decide to trim - clean her up if she is messy, then trim. If she is dry when you trim, wear a mask - the fluff is very fine and flies everywhere, you don't need to be breathing that.

Keep us posted.
 

hensofburgoyne

Chirping
Jan 29, 2017
16
13
52
Thanks guys. I had given frozen melon today, which they loved, and now as I'm readying them for bed, Gretchen (muddy vent #2) has really watery stool and is actually pecking at her vent after she "goes". She had none of this yesterday. I check my girls daily before bed, and JP (our loss, full name JeanPierre de Plumage) had no signs of any issue, let alone impending doom! I did leave a message for our vet, but I'm really hoping it's just heat and Gretchen will be better in the a.m. Keep fingers crossed!
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
37,372
52,782
1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
If she has what looks like a "muddy vent" then you will want to try to get her cleaned up.
Wash in warm soapy water and work the poo out of the feathers. This allows you to get a better look at the vent and surrounding tissue just to make sure she has no infection or something like flystrike going on.

If you can see the vet or if they will at least take a fresh poop sample for testing of worms, cocci or bacterial infection that would be a good idea.

Keep us posted.
 

hensofburgoyne

Chirping
Jan 29, 2017
16
13
52
Thanks again everyone. This morning is a lot better - Gretchen hopped out, had a normal poop, and her vent is definitely drying out/cleaner! I'm thinking it was just the heat...and I'm gonna try not to beat myself up over the millions of things I could've/should've done differently that might've prevented the loss of JP.

It's way too quiet now...she was always squalkin' for attention, chatting away when I went over...and had the best little waddle when she ran! Always reminded me of Lady Kluck from Disney's Robin Hood!

 

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