Found one of my girls dead in the coop this moring...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by WyoChickenMamma, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. WyoChickenMamma

    WyoChickenMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was so excited to see if I had another pullet egg this morning, that after I opened the pop door I opened the big door to see if I had any eggs and there was one of my RIR hens, on her back, dead. She was quite stiff, so I am sure she has been dead for sometime. No signs of a struggle, no tracks around the coop, no marks on her. She was one of the original flock that I bought the weekend before the 4th of July. She was a mature hen, but by no means the oldest of my girls. She was a great layer, a beautiful little brown almost shiny egg from her every day since she has been here, even through the very hot days last week. My DH and I looked her over for some kind of trauma, but we couldn't find anything.

    I have read about hens getting scared to death, but if this were the case, do you think I would have seen some kind of signs of a ruckus? Their coop is elevated about 18-20 inches off the ground. On three sides it is closed in, but on the front there is a panel that can be removed to make cleaning up under the coop easy. The coop has a wire floor (hardware cloth) that allows their poo to fall through. The guy I bought them from said he kept the front panels off during the summer so they could use that space under the coop to get some more shade and to allow more air circulation through the coop when it is hot. Made sense to me, but now I am wondering if something got under there and scared her to death...although there was no signs of anyting trying to grab her and pull her through. I live too far away from a water source to have coons, but we do have skunks, fox, coyote, rattlesnakes and I have heard of some people seeing badger around her, but we have never seen one. My hen yard around the coop has a 6 foot high fence, but it is not covered.

    It is hard to know if she just died or if something caused her death. I would say she is probably heading into her third year of life.

    RIP little RIR. [​IMG]
     
  2. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    I am sorry about your hen dying.[​IMG] I would suspect either egg binding or heat related causes.
     
  3. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    I lost a bantam cochin to the heat this last weekend. Opened the coop to find him dead. I am sure it was the heat. Its been awful here. Im so sorry I know how you feel. [​IMG]
     
  4. WyoChickenMamma

    WyoChickenMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The worst of our heat was last week. Day before yesterday it was cool, barely making into the 80's. Yesterday was warmer, but cooled off nicely in the evening with a small little sprinkling of rain. The coop was in the 70's when I went to bed. [​IMG] So sorry to hear of the losses due to heat though.
     
  5. whoacowboy

    whoacowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2011
    Town of Clayton
    Very sad. I'm sorry. You could be any of us on the forum. To just wake up and find a a sweet girl has lost her life. It is what comes with animals. You have done your best. You are a good caretaker and don't forget to give yourself credit. I think they know that [​IMG] Give your girls an extra treat today and look up in the sky towards your sweet RIR. So sorry.
     
  6. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Stonington, illinois
    But what the vet told me is heat accumulates and if there are any underlying problems that we dont know about it can take them. My Forrest had a bad hatch, he almost didnt make it at first but then seemed to grow into a healthy cockrel although a little smaller then his hatchmates. I think because of that he was just too weak to withstand this unrelinting heat. I have fans on them give the ice water 2x a day put frozen bottles in the coop hose down their runs give them frozen veggies and fruit anything I could think of to keep them cool and it wasnt enough for him. That may be the case for your little girl. We can only do what we feel is the best and hope for the best. My neighbor just did put a fan in her coop after a month of this. She doesnt do half the stuff I do to keep my chickens cool and her coop gets full sun half the day mine are in the shade but she hasnt lost one. Go figure.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  7. WyoChickenMamma

    WyoChickenMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I would agree..I feel like I have given the last month of my life to these hens. We put a fan in their coop, we built them a covered patio so they would have more shade. They were being fed just scratch, I give them better feed. They free range almost the full day and I give them treats, ice...love on them all I can. The irony...just like the situation with your neighbor, is that I know a lot of people who do nothing as well. [​IMG] And the worst part of it all...if I had to lose one, why couldn't it have been one of the older "freeloaders." I have several who were part of the original flock that are at least 5 years old...Some of them have never even gone into the laying boxes, much less produced an egg. This little RIR has laid an egg everyday. And even yesterday I had to laugh because she squawked at me when I took her egg, so I gave her a golf ball...she sat on it for about an hour making an odd humming sound. I told my husband last night that I thought she would be a good momma. [​IMG]

    I was not aware that the issues with heat can build up over time...good to know I guess. Still sad. I live in the high plains desert are of Wyoming, we have hot hot hot summers and cold cold cold winters...Seems we have a month or two in the spring and fall where the weather is the milder version of hot or cold. Bring a whole new meaning to survival of the fittest.
     

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