Hen death - Should I worry about the rest? *photo*

spacemonkymafia

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Sep 17, 2014
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I went out today to feed and water everyone and found one of our hens dead. I haven't noticed anything unusual about her behavior, so it was unexpected and I'm not sure if I should be concerned about our others. I took some photos of the only thing I could find wrong with her and was hoping someone would have an idea about what could have happened. I feel like I must have missed something wrong with her vent area during my quick daily checks... it looks like it maybe she had a prolapse that ruptured? We did find one egg with blood on it a few days ago, that's why we were checking them, but we weren't sure who laid it and didn't notice anything wrong with any of them. Obviously we missed something, but I'm not sure if I should worry about the others. I plan to check them tonight when they're calmer.

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dawg53

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It appears there's a piece of broken eggshell in or on her vent. If an egg broke inside her, a severe bacterial infection would set in and that would possibly kill her.
 

Eggcessive

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Welcome to BYC. Your picture looks like there is an egg stuck inside the vent, but it also looks like her vent may have been attacked or pecked at. Can you put on a glove and try to get the egg out, or have you disposed of her already? It could be that she died off being eggbound, or perhaps was egg bound with a prolapsed vent that may have been pecked. So hard to find one like this. Sorry for your loss.
 

spacemonkymafia

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Sep 17, 2014
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There is an egg in there, but she has been disposed of - between the kids and the dogs I didn't want anyone coming across her. It is entirely possible she was pecked at, I have no idea when she died between yesterday evening and when I went out today, so she could have been there for several hours. I didn't notice any possible pecking anywhere else on her though.

Is dehydration a possibility? We're still in the 80s-9th here daily and they are always knocking their water over. It's something we had planned on finding a solution for this weekend actually. We've been having forest fire smoke issues the last several days as well.

I'm really just hoping it's not something that's going to affect the others. We only have four (now three) and I really hate to lose any of them.
 
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Eggcessive

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Dehydration can actually be a cause of egg binding. I actually use several types of waterers, but the heavy 2 gallon metal waterers seem to stay upright in my coop with horseplay by young cockerels early in the mornings. Also 1 gallon black rubber bowls are good, and easy enough to place more than one in the coop. Some types come with a handle that can be secured by hanging from the ceiling. Here are a few:
http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/sto...ftrk=gdfV27960_a_7c2509_a_7c10868_a_7c2167646

http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/farm-tuff-top-fill-poultry-waterer-5-gal?cm_vc=IOPDP
images
images
 
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dawg53

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Welcome to BYC. Your picture looks like there is an egg stuck inside the vent, but it also looks like her vent may have been attacked or pecked at. Can you put on a glove and try to get the egg out, or have you disposed of her already? It could be that she died off being eggbound, or perhaps was egg bound with a prolapsed vent that may have been pecked. So hard to find one like this. Sorry for your loss.
You nailed it Kim, good job. It looks like she got pecked, I wonder if there was a foul odor coming from her rear end possibly indicating vent gleet.
 

Eggcessive

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Thanks Jim. Doesn't it look like the vent area somehow got chewed up a bit, like there are little pieces gone? I would bet that there was either prolapse or gleet or something that attracted pecking.
 

spacemonkymafia

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Sep 17, 2014
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I didn't notice an odor, and I was pretty close while poking around.

Thank you for the watering suggestions! We're actually moving them to a larger area this weekend, so I'm hoping to put a couple different water spots in there for them, and am definitely looking for something difficult to tip.
 

spacemonkymafia

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Sep 17, 2014
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I should say though, that while I didn't notice an odor, that doesn't really mean much. It's pretty badly smoky around here and I'm notorious around this house for my terrible sense of smell...
 

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