Found my Buff Orp Hen Dead in the yard - like she just dropped dead.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sampaw, May 9, 2011.

  1. sampaw

    sampaw Hatching

    May 9, 2011
    Hello and thank you in advance for reading my post. I am brand new to Chickens and this forum. I know I agreed to no "foul" language, but I think that may be impossible on this forum.

    We secured eight Buff Orps from a friend about a month ago. We built them a nice coop and large run in our suburban backyard, which is almost an acre. We feed them what our friend fed them, Coyote Creek Organic Lay Ration, which they love. We keep two hanging poultry feeders full in the coup, but only for the last few days. Before that, we would give about 2lbs in the morning and 2lbs in the evening. We have a food-quality black five gallon bucket with 3 water nipples and another small poultry waterer. We clean the coop frequently and take very good care of them. We let them out around 3-4pm and let them scratch around the yard until they go in for the night.

    All eight hens were producing eggs when we got them. Most days we get five eggs. Several times we've gotten 6-7. One day we got eight. That day we noticed one egg was quite large. Only a few times we've gotten 4.

    All the chickens were out scratching today. Nothing unusual. Same joyful routine and they taken to letting us pet them. Tonight we threw out fairly nice Tomato scraps, which they love. Usually 5-6 hang together, while the others (one which is blind in one eye from a dog attack before we got them) do their own thing. We've only recently tagged them to try to figure out which ones do what.

    Anyway, while walking out to the coop this evening I looked over and saw one of the healthier hens laying on its side, feet out. Sure enough she was dead. Long enough for her legs to be pretty cold, although her breast was still warm. Rigor was starting to set. She was around our vegetable garden where they all frequently go to scratch.

    Again, I noticed absolutely nothing with any of the hens. They all seemed fine and dandy. No visible wounds or trauma. I ruffled through most of the feathers and say no bites or mites or other insects. This hen in particular was one of the larger, healthier members. Comb still looked nice and red. Just dead.

    Based on everything I read, I think she just died, although we disposed of her before I read about egg block.

    It was hot today - 98 but they have lots and lots of shade and water.

    Also, I installed an electric pet fence around one of the gardens, but I doubt 4-6 milliamps would kill a mosquito, much less a full grown hen. Plus, she wasn't anywhere near the fence.

    Anyway, I thought I would share this to see what recommendations, if any, you may have. I guess one would be to figure out what killed her before disposing of the remains. Wish I would have done that.

    Can I buy another full grown Buff Orp and introduce her into the flock? Or would the others reject and harass her?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. starryhen

    starryhen Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    Hi sorry about your hen. I will be interested to see what folks say. I had that happen to one or two of my hens and they were also Buff Orpingtons. It's never happened to any of my other breeds. One just fell out of a tree from a low branch and was deader than a door nail when I walked over there. My hens were very healthy also. Perhaps about 4 years old at the time.
  3. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Hi there. It is nice to meet you, although I wish it were under happier circumstances. I'm sorry for your loss. It is possible she simply died of heat stress. Sometimes it happens when it first gets really hot. You MAY be able to introduce another hen, but if you were to try, I'd recommend introducing at least TWO, for the following reasons: 1) a lone newcomer would be more of a target for aggression from the existing flock. 2) if you introduce at least 2, if they are not well received, they will still have each other for company. Make sure to read up on suggestions for introducing new members into an existing flock, and also remember to quarantine any new birds (regardless of how healthy they look) for at LEAST 3 weeks, preferably 30 days. That way it is more likely for any underlying sickness or issues to manifest BEFORE you add them to your healthy flock. I wish you the best. This is a great forum, with lots of friendly people, a treasure trove of helpful information, and lots of folks who love to dish out good-natured ribbing and observations on topics of all sorts. Pull up a comfy chair and join in the fun! [​IMG]
  4. benjoycei

    benjoycei Songster

    Mar 4, 2011
    Hi from NC [​IMG]
    I'm sorry you lost a bird [​IMG]
  5. justtoni44

    justtoni44 Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    I am so sorry for your loss...............I know how it feels and is a worry not knowing the cause.
    Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with your hens.
    My experience adding a new hen is to put them in the coop at night,bedtime.
    The theory is that the hens will be fooled into thinking the new hen belongs in the coop.
    If they do get a little pushy establishing pecking order.It does not amount to much.
    Someome else may have different ideas.
    Good Luck..............
  6. ginbart

    ginbart Crowing

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    Hi I'm sorry for your loss I have Buff Orp's also and love them. I don't know what state you live in but in PA you can call the Dept of Ag and they will tell you where to send your bird and they will let you know what it died from.

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