Had to euthanize a hen today

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kevinnini, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. kevinnini

    kevinnini In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2012
    One of my hens was sleeping in the nesting box the past few weeks. Yesterday while reaching under her to collect she barely moved. What was weird was that she was backwards in the box and another hen was in the same box with her facing the opposite direction. When I pulled her out I found all of the skin on the back of her head removed...about the size of a lime. she was really weak and you could see her skull.

    I can't figure out what did that. Could it have been one of my 2 cockerels? They are pretty aggressive for young roosters. I have 11 hens about 2 years old, 2 pullets and 2 cockerels from this spring. Never had any predator problems before. Any ideas? Thanks, Kevin

  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Songster

    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    Well there's always a chance that a predator could have done it. However another possibility could be that she could of suffered an injury that caused blood to be drawn, and the rest of the chickens could have pecked at it to the point that her skull was exposed. I've never lost a hen because of this, but I've had mild injuries become much more severe due to pecking.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member 7 Years

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Was she very low in the pecking order or molting? I have had a mentally challenged polish and a molting buff orpington attacked by some young aggressive cockerels lately. I would guess it was the roosters. Sometimes when a chicken is weak and sick they will be attacked by the others. Sorry for your loss.
  4. PolkaDot77

    PolkaDot77 Chirping

    Aug 26, 2012
    Boise, ID
    Sorry to hear about your hen! Similarly, I'm thinking it might have been the roos as well. Unfortunately, younger roos have a tendency to pick on "weaker" members of the flock, which makes me wonder where she was in the pecking order as well.

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