Found a hen down in the coop this morning

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by fratmom, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. fratmom

    fratmom New Egg

    Jan 26, 2010
    I am new to the forum so hello everyone!

    I have 13 laying hens that free range my fenced backyard. They all looked fine yesterday. I know they were all on the roost last night when I shut them up.

    I opened them up into their run at daybreak this morning but didn't stay around long. I went back 2 hours later to let them out to range and found one of my cuckoo marans on her side in the coop. She was breathing but not moving at all. When I picked her up she didn't move her legs or wings. Her head was twisted around, like the position she would be in to tuck her head under a wing.

    She opened her eyes when I picked her up but only briefly. When I held her on her back her neck straightened out. She had a small amount of poo on her backside and some of it was a yellow color (yolk?) but thick and dried.

    It seems strange to me that she was fine yesterday evening and almost dead this morning. I don't know if she has been laying or not. I have 3 marans and I know at least one is laying, I am getting chocolate brown eggs but only about 1 every day or 2. These are my first chickens and we have been problem free so far. I had my hubby put her down. I have 3 young boys and they are softies about the chickens so I didn't want them to see her in her pitiful state.

    All my other hens seem fine. Any ideas?
  2. The Chickens' Maid

    The Chickens' Maid Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    It sounds like egg binding to me. Keep her warm and watch her closely. Maybe try to get her to drink or eat a little if she wants to. Try to relax her abdomen and get her to pass whatever's in there. Remember, she's probably in a lot of pain. If it is egg binding, there may be some internal damage, too.
    Hope she gets better!
  3. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] So sad

    Good luck with her
  4. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2010
    Quote:The bird was already dispatched.
  5. fratmom

    fratmom New Egg

    Jan 26, 2010
    We did put her down already. Her breathing was shallow and she was seemingly paralyzed. Her neck was limp when I moved her, I didn't see that there was much hope and I didn't want her to suffer anymore.

    I am concerned that if it is some kind of disease that I should be treating the rest of my flock or at least watching for signs of trouble. I just don't know what it could have been so I don't know what to treat or watch for. I am hoping it was something singular to her, egg bound or whatever, but I just don't know. It happened so suddenly.

    I guess I was hoping someone would recognize the symptoms and know what caused it. I'm dreading putting the rest of my girls to bed tonight and finding more of them like this tomorrow.
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Since you have children and probably got rid of the body, I'm assuming you didn't do a necropsy? Not the vet kind- I was thinking more of finding out if she has broken eggshell inside and had bled, even if the blood did not reach the vent at the time you found her. Have you had any rodents in the coop to your knowledge- sometimes a rat will attack the hind end of a hen in a nesting box, but you would certainly see where it had bitten and there might be saliva. If she were in partial lay and attacked, the shock and broken eggshell could certainly put her in the state you foound her, and she may have crashed into something and damaged/broken her neck. What a shame. I'm very sorry. On the other hand, unless you have some reason to think there is illness in the flock, you have narrowed your search. I understand your concern, so take a careful look around the coop before they go to roost.
  7. fratmom

    fratmom New Egg

    Jan 26, 2010
    No I didn't do a necropsy, I wish I had now. I did look her over and didn't see any blood or sign of injury.
    The only unusual thing, well other than the fact that she was limp and near dead, was the yellow poop on her bottom.

    I almost wondered if she flew off the roost and bashed into the wall breaking her neck. I just don't know... a necropsy would have been a good idea.
  8. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    fratmom, that was suggested to me as a possibility for why we lost ours, although I don't think it was possible given where we found her.

    I was also very concerned about illness and held my breath for a week or so - my other three were and are fine. Hope for the same for yours.
  9. Luvs chickens

    Luvs chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2009
    So sorry for your loss. I have beat myself up over mine but, it seems sometimes they just die for no reason. Fine one minute and then gone the next.[​IMG] So sad.
  10. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    How did everything go last night? I've been thinking about you and the hens and all the others who have had a mystery death- it rattles the soul...

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