Help - Found one of my hens dead this morning :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cooleydooley, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. cooleydooley

    cooleydooley Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2010
    First I found a jelly like egg in the nest box. Took it in to take a closer look and it looks like it has a soft outer shell then all jelly like. I opened up the door and noticed only 3 of my 4 hens came out - they all scramble out fast in the morning to eat. Opened up the coop and one is dead under the roost. I am a newbie at raising chickens. Should I bury the chicken ? Not knowing the cause of death should I empty out the coop completely of shavings and sterilize? I use food grade DE in there along with the shavings. I am so sad......guess that is why we should not have named them - I think it's my daughters hen [​IMG]
  2. ThePamperedPullet

    ThePamperedPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    So sorry for your loss [​IMG]
    Had this hen shown any signs of being ill? How old was this hen? Was there any damage to the body? If there was no signs of illness and no damage to the body, then there is a good chance that your hen died of heart failure. Many will tell you to go get a necropsy done but around here that is about $600. I would bury it deep and keep a watch on your other birds for any signs of illness.
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Chickens sometimes just die with no rhyme or reason. It's usually a heart related problem that has previously never manifested any symptoms until the chicken just drops dead one day. The egg you found is a shell-less or soft-shelled egg. Those are not uncommon. They usually show up in new layers or in times of stress, but sometimes they show up without cause. I am so sorry for your loss. Unexplained deaths are hard, but you need to realize that they are also not unheard of in poultry. I am sure you did nothing wrong and there is probably nothing you could have done differently to prevent it. My condolences to your daughter.

    Good luck.
  4. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Previously Barred Babies Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    Pride, La.
    Quote:X2 this. I had the same thing happen with one of my new ones. Just out the blue. And it is the hardest cause it leaves you scratching your head for an answer! Sorry this happened! [​IMG]
  5. cooleydooley

    cooleydooley Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2010
    Thanks :) I just took her out and checked her out and she appears Ok - other than being dead of course... She is the one in the group that had been the odd ball since we got them in the Spring. They are about 2 years old. She always had a dirty butt and was definitely at the bottom of the pecking order - I never saw her on the roost, always in a corner down below the others. I only have 4 and even with that I don't see how you would know who is laying when and who is not eating etc. unless I spent lots of time sitting there and watching. As it is my kids are always saying what are you looking at when I watch them!

    I did notice that Dolly often ate a little then went under the coop where they hang out, always the last one out when I brought a treat. I have never had any weird looking eggs before. Perhaps she was not feeling great, so did not eat well, hence was not getting the calcium she needed.

    Thanks for the support - this forum is great isn't it!
  6. ChickieBerryFarm

    ChickieBerryFarm Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 9, 2010
    Southern Indiana
    So sorry to hear of your loss. We lost one earlier this year as well. I am a newbie to this as well and was stunned by it. She was about 3 months old and when we looked inside the coop she was just sitting there with her "shoulders" up, kind of hunched over. She would move around and eat and drink, but when she would be still, she had this really weird stance. We kept an eye on her, but after a couple of days, my husband (go figure...I was out of town) found her deceased. He buried her for me. It was the strangest thing. Haven't had any other problems and all of the other chickens are thriving. [​IMG]

    Keep an eye on the rest...I'm sure they'll be fine.

    P.S. I also use DE and have never had a problem...I don't think this had anything to do with the death.
  7. OrpingtonHopeful

    OrpingtonHopeful Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2009
    So sorry! I know how awful it feels, especially when you are trying to do EVERYTHING right. We lost a hen last year out of the blue as well- She was about a year old, totally fat and happy and I found her in the run dead one morning- like she came out for the morning and just died at the end of the ladder. It was really odd and I wormed the rest of the flock, etc as a just in case right after that. Thankfully, the rest have been fine so far and that was about 6-7 months ago...

    The folks here were so helpful, relating their own stories and assuring me that there was nothing to be done.

    Hang in there!
  8. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    I know most people are not willing to, but there is no harm in doing your own necropsy. Ideal to have a vet do it with access to the best equipment and testing facilities, but it does not take 6 years of vet school to recognize many of the basic problems like internal laying, worms, mites, major infections, tumors, diseased livers ect. Also doing a necropsy is about the best lerning anyone can do to understand a chickens internal workings and improve future treatments of problems or diagnose underlying things that may be going on in your flock.
  9. Jeeper1540

    Jeeper1540 Chillin' With My Peeps

    So sorry about your loss. I lost my Favorite Hen, Chloe, earlier this year [​IMG]
  10. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Besides heart, this is often a problem with egg laying machinery. Could be something else, of course.

    Sorry for your loss.

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