hen died this morning, HELP!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cindy leigh, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. cindy leigh

    cindy leigh Out Of The Brooder

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    we have 14 hens, most are a year and a half old, and 2 are ~7 months old.
    A month ago the ALL stopped laying eggs. They look molty. They had a spring molt where egg production dropped by 2/3, and gradually came back up to ~80%. Not all grew ALL their feathers back. then last month they stopped completely.
    No cough or sneezing, no diarrhea, no other symptoms.
    a few still have areas with sparse feathers.
    Coop is clean, run is dirt (pretty large), and fenced, due to heavy predators.
    We did throw away and replace food when they first stopped laying, just in case there was a problem with it.
    We are now getting one to two eggs some days, none other days.
    One australorpe was weak last night, and dead this morning. No outward sign of injury. The hens ahd not acted "off" before that.
    What could be wrong with them? How should we treat?
    Would a broad spectrum antibiotic be helpful? Should they be wormed routinely? (I have no knowledge that they HAVE parasites, but wonder if treating anyway would help?)
    HELP! My daughter raises these hens for a girl scout project to provide fresh eggs to soup kitchens. So they are her pets, for a good cause!
    Thanks!
     
  2. Highlander

    Highlander Tartan Terror

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    Have you checked for lice or mites?
     
  3. cindy leigh

    cindy leigh Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:not yesterday. My daughter has sat down withthem and gone through skin/feathers and has not seen anything, but she could have missed something. Would chickens die from lice or mites? Or stop laying eggs? How to treat? Thanks!
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Most hens stop laying when they molt. The ones who are a year and a half old are in their first big molt. They need lots of extra protein. Molting makes every problem larger. And if they get hold of any moldy feed, the crop can just stop working and they can slowly starve to death. It's hard to say why your hen died. Don't give extra treats, back off on scratch almost entirely, just give good quality layer pellets, plus add some protein like canned salmon or mackerel every couple of days, maybe 1/4 of those big cans at a time. Game bird breeder feed is higher in protein and may help, too. They can die from lice/mites, yes, but if you dust them with poultry dust, that should fix any of that. Remember, hens are not machines. All sorts of things make them stop laying, including extra hot weather, cold weather, molting, stress of any sort like predators hanging around, etc.
     
  5. cindy leigh

    cindy leigh Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thanks for all the good info.
    the curious thing is, even my 8 month old pullets, who were laying regularly, stopped laying. And they are not molting. I think the first slowdown in eggs, in the late spring, was a regular molt, and I'm dealing with some other issue now.
    As you mentioned above, if moldy feed makes a crop stop working, what can get that going again?
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    There is a sort of mini-molt at about 9 months old. It's usually quite subtle, but I've had some hens lose weight, feathers and stop laying for a bit at that time, too. Hard to say, really.

    If you feel the crop and it feels like it's full of playdough, plus the keel bone is "meatless", then you know they're losing weight and the crop may not be working. Crop stasis is almost impossible to fix unless you operate on the crop, remove the stuff, and see if that helps, not something most folks would want to do. I've lost two hens to that when they got hold of moldy feed straight from the bag (the co-op had a flood and they missed this bag, being plastic and not showing water marks and we didn't catch it soon enough) and they were both in heavy molt at the time. Surgery was done on one, but she died the next day anyway. I can't tell you if your hen has crop stasis and you shouldn't assume she does. Feel the crop, feel her weight on the breast bone area and see.
     
  7. RedRoosterFarm

    RedRoosterFarm **LOVE MY SERAMAS**

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    I had a few die from mites. the blood was sucked dry and cant really see them. They were so skinny. Hope they get better and u find out whats wrong.
    Quote:not yesterday. My daughter has sat down withthem and gone through skin/feathers and has not seen anything, but she could have missed something. Would chickens die from lice or mites? Or stop laying eggs? How to treat? Thanks!
     
  8. cindy leigh

    cindy leigh Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:not yesterday. My daughter has sat down withthem and gone through skin/feathers and has not seen anything, but she could have missed something. Would chickens die from lice or mites? Or stop laying eggs? How to treat? Thanks!


    Thanks, maybe we will treat them for this regardless.
     
  9. cindy leigh

    cindy leigh Out Of The Brooder

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    my feed store has Sulmet in stock, which is good against several things, i guess? They also have aramycin, which is just for respiratory, i believe. they've got wormer, too.
    What do I use to dust for lice/mites?
    Can i use the systemic wormer, the lice dust, and the Sulmet all at the same time?? or is that too overwhelming?
     
  10. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hot weather and moulting probably. Since they're not laying it might be a good time to treat for parasites. Get something with extra supplements in their feed. Treat them for lice and mites.
     

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