Help!

Joeboe

Hatching
Dec 18, 2020
4
7
3
Hello. My chickens have been acting very strangely. They have been laying for about a month now and just recently I noticed that one of my chickens was laying away from the coop in a random location. When I picked her and her eggs up and brought her to the coop she quickly ran back to the same spot without eating my treats and leaving the flock to walk through the snow (which all of the other chickens are hesitant to do). I simply thought she would need to be confined in the coop to reestablish a since of home as the articles said online; however, while I was out getting food for them and I got home 20 minutes later i saw that the same chicken had passed away all of sudden even though she was running around and seemed completely fine. I buried her and not 10 minutes after that another chicken was very desperately trying to run away from the coop to lay in a different spot on her own. I am afraid that this same behavior will lead to the same outcome. Can someone tell me what's wrong with my chickens? They are leghorns, it's the middle of winter, they are young, they have food and water and there's 4 of them (now three) that have 3 nesting boxes that they never used but they also have never laid outside the coop.
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
3,670
6,223
471
Lincolnton, NC
Sorry for your loss. Leghorns don't do well in cold weather. Do you have a heat source in the coop for them?
I have leghorns and they do fine in the cold. There is no need for additional heat; it’s the ventilation that you need to be on point with leghorns since they have larger combs that are susceptible to frostbite.
I don’t think the OPs chicken death has anything to do with cold; a chicken that freezes to death isn’t going to be fine one minute and then drop dead the next. I’m suspecting egg binding or possible poisoning with the sudden onset of death.
 

Joeboe

Hatching
Dec 18, 2020
4
7
3
I have leghorns and they do fine in the cold. There is no need for additional heat; it’s the ventilation that you need to be on point with leghorns since they have larger combs that are susceptible to frostbite.
I don’t think the OPs chicken death has anything to do with cold; a chicken that freezes to death isn’t going to be fine one minute and then drop dead the next. I’m suspecting egg binding or possible poisoning with the sudden onset of death.
I agree the cold was not the cause. However, the chicken had laid two eggs the day before, away from the coop which she had never done before. My guess is its stress from not being able to go to that spot outside the coop because she seemed extremely persistent. "the spot" away from the coop is a trashy area with poison ivy but I know chickens are immune to the Ivy.
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
3,670
6,223
471
Lincolnton, NC
I agree the cold was not the cause. However, the chicken had laid two eggs the day before, away from the coop which she had never done before. My guess is its stress from not being able to go to that spot outside the coop because she seemed extremely persistent. "the spot" away from the coop is a trashy area with poison ivy but I know chickens are immune to the Ivy.
I would advise having a necropsy done.
You said trashy area, is it possible that they ate something that could have poisoned the chicken and is now making the other one sick? Check their feed and make sure nothing is spoiled or moldy.
 

Joeboe

Hatching
Dec 18, 2020
4
7
3
I would advise having a necropsy done.
You said trashy area, is it possible that they ate something that could have poisoned the chicken and is now making the other one sick? Check their feed and make sure nothing is spoiled or moldy.
I have completed the necropsy and determined there were small plastic pieces and a small piece of glass in her gizzard. She also had a fully formed egg and several undeveloped eggs. I don't think she was egg bound and I have observed her eat plastic months before.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,686
143,847
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
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Could have been stress(heart attack) that did her in.
Sounds like it would be good to keep them confined to coop and run.
Get them back to laying in coop nests.

Oh, and.... Welcome to BYC! @Joeboe
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
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