Hen died within 48 hours - perfectly healthy beforehand!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bmarie, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. bmarie

    bmarie New Egg

    Sep 28, 2016
    My young hens (less than a year old) were brought to us and were happy and healthy for a solid few months and then one fell ill. Every morning I go to the coop to collect the eggs and top up food/water if need be. Here's a short play out of what happened.

    Morning/Day 1: Walked over to the coop, chickens were already out and on the grass. Noticed only 3, thought nothing of it - fourth chicken was in nesting box so I waited on collecting the eggs until later (they tend to lay in the same box for some reason). I came back later that afternoon and said chicken had moved underneath the nesting boxes in the corner. Collected 3 eggs that afternoon.

    Morning/Day 2: Same routine, checked the food/water and checked nesting boxes for eggs. Fourth chicken still hadn't moved (I assume) from underneath the nesting boxes, I now started to think something was really wrong or she was just having trouble laying. I was banging a stick on the side of the coop and putting my hand under but she didn't even flinch. I honestly just needed to see her move for own peace of mind, at this point I'm really worried. Finally got her moving she moved about a foot from the corner and she was very stiff. I was able to see her back end and it was bloody/oozy and very gross. At this point, we just agreed to keep a close eye on her. That evening she was back in the corner and very lethargic.

    Morning/Day 3: Quickly checked chickens food/water etc and then left to go horseback riding. She still hadn't moved at this point. Was gone for a few hours and when I got back she was out of the coop and across the grass on the far side of the run, dead.

    I freaked out and checked for eggs while I was there and there were two LARGE but clean eggs in the nesting boxes. (Could have been from the others). I have been told that an egg too big can kill a hen very fast but I just want to know what you guys think happened? Thanks in advance :)
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Sounds like egg binding and/or prolapse. Both are treatable but will kill quickly if left untreated. Whenever you see a bird acting off, you should always perform a physical examination and segregate the bird to monitor it.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  3. bmarie

    bmarie New Egg

    Sep 28, 2016
    Thanks but as these are our first chickens we really weren't sure. They do rest in the coop often and are picky of when they want to be outside etc. A lesson learned I guess but it all happened so fast. They are also too skittish to handle, so that was a problem aswell.
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Almost every day is a lesson learned when keeping chickens. Don't beat yourself up about it - be positive. Almost without exception, you will have one or two skittish flock members. The easiest way to examine them is to pick them off the roost, as night falls.

    Best wishes

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