Hen died, worried about flock infection as we sell eggs, any ideas?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Shan30, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Shan30

    Shan30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am concerned that we may have an issue with our laying hens but have no clue how to determine if we do.

    We first lost 2 to a hawk and thought at the time that it had hit another who died two days later. Now that we have lost one who was acting similar I am starting to wonder if we were wrong about the cause of death.

    I assumed hawk with the first as there was a large about of blood on her head though no evident major wound. She way lating partially on her side and was alert enough to notice my approach but did not get up. I brought her to an area of the coop that we use for storage and the other chickens can't access. Made a nice little hay bed and propped her up and brought her food and water. She would not eat much only a few bites of steamed pumpkin and a bit of high protein canned pet food (the kind used for animals in recovery). She would not drink unless you showed her the water and then put it right under her face. Then she would drink as though extremely thirsty. Seemed tired and possibly having vision issues. I assumed possible brain damage from being hit by the hawk. No obvious visible injuries other than the bloody comb. She died a few nights later. When I found her she was stretched out very long with her legs extended behind her.

    The one that died last night had seemed a bit slow 2 days before but nothing serious and I assumed it was the cold wet weather. The next night she was on the floor rather than the roost. Rather hunched up almost like she was cold. She was slow and barley flinched when I picked her up and put her in a nest box. I surrounded her with extra bedding to make sure she would be warm. Could find no visible issues. She was also dead in the morning also all stretched out.

    As we sell eggs to a few people I want to rule out disease. I can't find anyone who would do an autopsy here. These hens are about 2 years old all rescued from battery farms about 6 months ago. Everyone else is acting normal, good weight, nice red combs, eating, drinking, no swelling and happy to see me.

    Any advice would be welcome. I would give my own autopsy a shot as I know what everything is in there (used to do meat birds) but won't know what I'm looking for.
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Inspect them closely for lice/mites. The next time you do a necropsy, cut open their intestines and look for worms, abnormalties with the liver and other organs, tumors etc...
     
  3. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    California has a free necropsy service for residents that I use. I would do all of them myself, but I can't do the lab stuff.
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    If you decide to do your own, these might help:

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  5. Shan30

    Shan30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Casportpony: Thank you for the diagrams and photographs. If we lose another I'll do it myself if I still can't locate anywhere to have one conducted.

    I handle them quite a bit and haven't seen any parasites but will take a closer look at a few. As they are hybrids I'm guessing poor genetics are playing a role. I just don't want to sell eggs from unhealthy birds. Egg production is down to, but thought that may be due to stress from the resident hawk harassing everyone.

    Are there any preventative measures I can take in the mean time? Maybe treat everyone with.... Something. :)
     

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