Flock of one! Advice needed

Kedi

Hatching
Dec 10, 2019
4
4
4
Hi,
Until 10 days ago we had a happy little flock of three. Then one of our chickens was killed by a predator while free-ranging in the garden; down to two.
One of the others died of natural causes today. I had thought she was unwell for a while; she stopped laying at the end of the summer and has increasingly spent time curled up sleeping rather than being more active. She had had mites in the summer - and developed a limp - but we were confident that we had treated them and the limp cleared up. She was just about a year old.
So now we have one left - a red hen who is a good layer.
The thing is - she has always done very runny poops, although it doesn't seem to affect her health and I came to the conclusion that that's just the way her body works. She is also moulting - the base of her neck is getting quite bald, and you can see some of the whitish under-feathers on the rest of her body. I don't see any evidence of mites on her though.

I'm in two minds - do I wait and see whether she is going to die either of a broken heart or some mystery illness possibly due to diarrhoea or unusual moult. But I also worry that she might be ever so lonely and I need to get her some company (not going back to the place I got the others from, though; not convinced they were healthy with the one who died today - ill within two months of moving in with us, and the existing one with (definitely not infectious) diarrhoea).

Thoughts? Wait and see (and risk Gina fading away), or get her some company (with quarantine for introductions) soonish?

Greetings from wet dark damp Oxfordshire!
 

Kedi

Hatching
Dec 10, 2019
4
4
4
Thanks! I'll not be home in the daylight for poop photographing purposes until Friday now. But it looks like melted milk chocolate, with streaks of the white urates. It's always been like that though and the other two never got it (wouldn't a parasite be infectious?)

What do you think about the naked neck?! Normal?
 

Kedi

Hatching
Dec 10, 2019
4
4
4
Are you wanting more birds?
Culling and waiting 6 to 8 weeks before adding new birds is recommended. Totally clean out the area and spray with mite and lice killer..
Yes, want more birds in due course. But I'm not comfortable with culling a bird who is probably perfectly healthy - don't think she's got mice or lice, unless this is moult pattern suggests it.
 

chickens really

Crazy Call Duck Momma
Premium member
Sep 8, 2015
59,388
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The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
Yes, want more birds in due course. But I'm not comfortable with culling a bird who is probably perfectly healthy - don't think she's got mice or lice, unless this is moult pattern suggests it.
She is a carrier of the disease or what ever the rest had. Adding more with her alive will infect the new birds.
 
Nov 28, 2017
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Even if you can’t see lice on her, it doesn’t hurt to treat for them. Also, mites live in the coop, not on the bird, so you need to check the bird and coop at night for any small red bugs. It’s unlikely that your other hen died of natural causes at 1 year old, unless it was something like a heart attack but it doesn’t sound that way, I’d be concerned about disease. If your survivor does have a disease getting her tested is the only way to know for sure. Chickens can carry diseases without showing symptoms, unless under stress. But these do pass on to new birds and these will either die or become carriers. There is also the possibility of them infecting her. How old is the hen that’s left? Chickens don’t really fully moult until they’re around 18 months.

Also :welcome, but I’m sorry for the circumstances under which you’re here.
 

Kedi

Hatching
Dec 10, 2019
4
4
4
Thanks! The hen that's left is about 11-12 months old - they were all the same age. The one that died this morning stopped laying in the summer, about three months after we got her, started to moult, then stopped moulting - I found lice in the coop and treated very carefully and continued to treat... then started limping (also treated), then stopped... then got very sleepy and as I said, died this morning.
I wonder whether the last one is poorly then, too. Certainly the runny poo and scraggy neck would suggest something's not quite right, but she always seemed cheerful enough and lays every day. Perhaps I need some watchful waiting for a little while and then consider whether ruthlessness is in order.
 
Nov 28, 2017
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Lots of people on here know far more than me, but I can’t recall names of those who are good with health/disease. Maybe @aart has advice or knows users who can provide some? Sorry aart you’re the only user I could remember off the top of my head who’s helped me with similar topics!
 

BadBloodNelson

Chirping
Jun 19, 2019
49
155
74
Florida
First off, I am SO sorry you are going through this. It has to be frustrating to say the least.

It sounds kind of like something was sucking the nutrients out of your chicken who died. When you mention the baldness in the other chicken it just does not sound right nor healthy. Something is going on. I've seen chickens with mites/lice and worms in different circumstances develop neurological symptoms (limping or stumbling) if the infestation is severe enough. I personally would treat for lice/mites and deworm just to be safe if it were my baby.
 
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