Found dead hen last night

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Tyandmacsmom, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Tyandmacsmom

    Tyandmacsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Hello,

    Last night I got home to feed and water my flock, and I found a 6 month old easter egger dead. Her vent was wide open, and she had an egg ready to come out. The other chickens had started pecking at her, so she was a little red on her back side as well. Is it typical that a young hen may die while laying? All the chickens have been acting fine, no weird symptoms. I'm really hoping this never happens again, but was wondering if anyone else had had this happen and if there is a reason why something like this might occur and if it can be prevented. Thank you for your help!

    Miranda
     
  2. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience this is not typical at all. One possibility is that she had the egg stuck for quite awhile and you didn't notice. Or, she might have had all sorts of internal problems, and the egg is only one piece of the puzzle. Since she was being pecked on, it's likely she was sick for awhile and the hens knew it, but you didn't (chickens hide their ailments very well until they are near death.) Hopefully, everyone else will remain healthy.
     
  3. Tyandmacsmom

    Tyandmacsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 28, 2011
    I'm thankful this shouldn't be typical! :) It is possible she had symptoms we didn't see because I leave for work when it is still dusky out, and get home after dark. The coop has a light in it, but on the quick trips to the coop to feed and water, and the chickens all running at one time to me, it would be easy to not see if there was something wrong with her. We haven't been able to let them out of the coop for about a week now, because we have had a weasel trying to get them. (It got two, and so they have been closed in until we can get permission from the game warden to do something about the little puke. Trapping season closed on Dec. 31st.) Could not having enough fresh air possibly do that? It's a lose lose really. Leaving the doors open will let a predator in, but maybe they aren't getting enough fresh air?

    Thank you for your time, I appreciate it.
    Miranda
     
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Hens push real hard at that point. Maybe she had a heart attack?
     
  5. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One other thing to think about is that fat hens can have laying problems. Over-indulged hens who eat too much cracked corn get many healthy issues. I was just reading about the dangers of fat hens in a 1939 book about poultry farming! Since your hen isn't getting fresh air and exercise, that could be part of it. Also, hens will interrupt their laying when stressed by a predator. So, It could be that the egg was stuck in there for awhile. I have a feeling there are many factors, all of which came together to cause this loss. In the long term, I think you need some good fencing! We have fisher cats here, and my chickens are in a pen, with the fence 8 inches below ground and hawk netting above. They're closed in at night. They free-range only when I can be outside with them.
     
  6. dandelionheart

    dandelionheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can empathize... one of our hens (a BO) died last night/ this morning as well... [​IMG]
     
  7. SRD SR

    SRD SR New Egg

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    Oct 15, 2012
    I had discovered a chicken, about 4 months old, when I went in the coop this morning. It appeared as if there were no wounds or blood. The other 4 chickens were sitting right along side her. Then this evening another one was dead on the ground. There doesn't appear to be any wounds - just dead hens. Any ideas?
     
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    SRD, You're not the only one. I found one under her roost a month ago. No signs , nothing. A few days later, another one. No ideas. They were both rooster's favorites. They both loved treats-alot. They were both about 3-4 years old. No idea.
     
  9. SRD SR

    SRD SR New Egg

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    Oct 15, 2012
    Yuck! I'm sorry to hear others have had the same issue.
    If that wasn't enough, the next morning another hen was immobile, and obviously struggling. I opted to place the immobile one in quarantine, but she only survived a remainder of the next day. Upon further review, there was no evidence of puncture wounds from a snake, no red bite marks, but there were 2 dead hens in less than 24 hr.

    I've decided to hose out the coop, then spray for spiders as there were many webs visible. I'm not sure I can treat for a viper snake, as was suggested by a friend, but I do have 2 ugly holes in the dirt that appear they could be those nasty slithers! I am hoping that the next three days having the coop aired out and decontaminated, as my ranch kids have said, will allow us to return our three lonely hens to their coop. Any other suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated! While our ranch is about providing a safe place, in a tranquil environment, dealing with the loss of animals is horrible when it's so darn frequent.
     
  10. Chicken Momma 2

    Chicken Momma 2 New Egg

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    I have been reading through your posts for some clues to what could have happened to my hen as well. I did not notice any illness symptoms but found her dead below the perch this morning.
    We do have tons of black widows here- can spider bites kill a chicken? I felt her to see if an egg could have been stuck, but honestly I don't know what to feel for. There was nothing obviously there. I guess I will keep a close eye on the others and hope for the best.

    Last year it appeared all of the chickens got fowl pox (black spots on thier combs)- I thought I read that once they get this (like humans and chickenpox) they will not have it again. I did notice that several have these small spots on their combs again. Was it misdiagnosed all along? What could this be?

    Any thoughts are appreciated.
     

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