Help solve this mystery - what killed two of my neighbor's hens?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by stefmech, May 19, 2009.

  1. stefmech

    stefmech Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2008
    American Fork, UT
    My neighbor is a good friend of mine. She has a broody due to hatch out this weekend. She has her separated from the other hens in a crate in the coop. Her food and water are in the crate also, but my neighbor lets her out every day to stretch and dust bath. Two days ago she let her out and forgot to check on her till the evening. She found her in her crate on the nest, but with eggs all over the ground. She had twice as many eggs in the crate. The weird thing was that most of the eggs she was sitting on now where not the ones due to hatch - the ones due to hatch were on the ground. My neighbor quickly candled all of the eggs and put the correct one's back under her. I only tell you this story because maybe it has something to do with what happened yesterday.

    Yesterday, she let her out again, but came to put her back in the crate after only an hour. She found a dead hen a few feet from the crate and a dead hen sitting on the nest. The weird part is that neither dead hen was the broody - she fine, patiently waiting out side of the crate so she could sit back on her eggs.

    There was no blood or any signs of struggle with the two dead hens. My neighbor thinks maybe it was the heat. We live in AZ and it was 110 degrees. Still there was plenty of water, lots of shade and they were all fine an hour before. What do you all think?
     
  2. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    I have NO idea! Is there any way a dog could have gotten to them? Did she hear any commotion outside before they died? Any squawking?

    Maybe it was the heat?? No idea! Sorry for not being more of a help!
     
  3. stefmech

    stefmech Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2008
    American Fork, UT
    They are completely secure - a dog could not get in.
     
  4. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Was the clutch harmed, moved, tossed about or anything? If the clutch was fine and the two hens just dead...I would tag it to heat stroke. Doubtful the hens attacked each other, no harm to the clutch and one be sitting on the clutch.
     
  5. stefmech

    stefmech Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2008
    American Fork, UT
    The clutch was fine - the only disturbance was the one I mentioned a few days ago with the eggs all over the ground.
     
  6. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    I would guess heat stroke. Maybe the eggs got moved by one of the other hens the other day trying to dig down to find a cool spot?

    The one dying on the nest really makes it sound like heat stroke, since she wasn't moved after her death.
     
  7. jus1jack

    jus1jack Critically Endangered

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    Mar 30, 2009
    Orlando
    I would guess a spider, scorpion or snake.
     
  8. Chicks_N_Horses

    Chicks_N_Horses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    South Alabama
    That is strange....I would have to guess heat too. The only thing that makes sense to me at this point.
     
  9. Feathered Wings

    Feathered Wings Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Georgia
    It was the heat a hen sitting on a nest in a crate the temp could have doubled in there.
    The one outside must have been waiting a long time and succumbed to the heat as well
    I would definitely move the broody hen and crate to a cooler place or you could lose her too.
     
  10. stefmech

    stefmech Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2008
    American Fork, UT
    The crate is completely in the shade. I don't know what more she can do except put in some misters and frozen jugs of water. My neighbor is already in the process of doing both of those. Thanks for all of your comments. After reading your thoughts, I think we can rule out a predator, or a hen fight. Wow - now I am worried about my own hens.[​IMG]
     

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