Found my Rhode Island Red, "Twin", dead a few hours ago

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kolstea, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. kolstea

    kolstea New Egg

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    Sep 7, 2014
    Yesterday I decided that today would be the day to do an overhaul cleaning on the chicken coop. I do the deep bedding method where you do an overhaul about every 6 months. I was about 2 weeks over due because exactly 6 months was smack in the middle of my first trimester and I was throwing up constantly. I was sure chicken poop would do me in :)

    I started in the roosting area because it is the poopiest. I noticed I only saw 8 of my 9 down on the ground. So I looked into the nesting boxes, surprised that 'Twin" would be brooding, I never saw her do that before. She wasn't. Instead she was dead cold in the nesting box that they don't use, and they also kick the straw out of constantly. There was no blood/fluids/egg in the box with her. Here are some facts that might give us a clue as to what happened:

    1. The chicken coop was dirty. Worse than I've ever allowed it before, but better than some areas I've seen my friends allow their chickens to live in.
    2. The weather has been a bit warmer than normal - high 80's with some humidity. We are in Southern CA, so humidity is rare.
    3. The last 4 days they laid 2eggs, 5eggs, 5eggs, and today 2eggs. The 9 of them are a consistent 6-9 eggs per day.
    4. Food/water/kitchen scraps are all the same as normal.
    5. One of my White Leghorns was constantly making herself alone during the 2 hours I was cleaning the coop. She was less active as the others (cleaning the coop scares them, so they flurry about). Her butt was dirtier than normal and dirtier than the others, but not by much, I'm probably just looking into it too much. Her eyes were clear and healthy, and so were her feathers.

    So I washed the feeder and waterer with soap and got all new straw down after cleaning out every bit of the old straw. Is there something else I should do to clean it? Does anyone know what could have happened to her?
     
  2. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2013
    White Bluff, TN
    What position did you find her in? When you speak of straw, do you use straw only as your deep-litter method of bedding in your coop? Sometimes hay and straw can produce molds that can be toxic to a chicken's sensitive respiratory system. Pine shavings are usually recommended, only using hay/straw in nests that get refreshed regularly.
    Did you feel her for broken bones or anything?
    I cannot imagine heat was a factor. I live in Tennessee and the past few months we have had temps into the high 90s with over 60% humidity. Like, you would walk outside and be soaked with sweat in about a minute. It has been a challenge to keep the birds cool, but other than slower laying I have not had any incidents.
     
  3. kolstea

    kolstea New Egg

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    Sep 7, 2014
    She was on her side where I found her.

    I use hay or straw, I'm not sure what the difference is. It's whatever the feed store man recommended. He knows I'm deep bedding. Except for a few drips around the waterer occasionally, it is never wet and when cleaning it out it was all very very dry and dusty.
     
  4. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2013
    White Bluff, TN

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