Hen Died :(


8 Years
Nov 8, 2011
Happy New Year everyone!

Yesterday morning when I let my chickens out, I noticed one of my 2 layers not acting herself. "Little Mama" is what I called her. She and "Big Mama" are a pair of hens that are a few months older than my chicks that I acquired as day olds in August. Big Mama and Little Mama always came running expecting me to give their favorite treat, meal worms. Yesterday, Little Mama came out of the coop with the rest, but just stood around. She'd occasionally eat a few blades of grass, but would mainly stay hidden either under the trailer or under the truck. In the afternoon I put them all back in the coop and approached Little Mama. She's never let me handle her. This time, I picked her up, rubbed on her, turned her on her side to look her over, basically inspecting her all over. When I'd turn her on her side, she'd just lay there. When I put her upright, she'd just sit there. Suddenly Big Mama pecked her hard on the head (she's never done that, at least that I've seen) so I knew the coop wouldn't be safe for her. I brought her in the garage and put her in a "hospital" cage. I felt her abdomen, but didn't find anything unusual. I did notice her crop was empty. I filled the fount with ACV water, and flock raiser crumbles. I gave her a couple of drops of Poly-vi-sol by dropper (she hated that). I left the garage light on in hopes that she'd eat something and perk up. She just sat there. I found no mites, lice, her comb was still red. However she stopped laying about a week ago. She wasn't sneezing, wheezing, coughing or anything else. I don't know what her poop looked like because I never caught her in the act while outside, and she never did poop while in the hospital cage. Late at night I finally turned the garage light off so she could sleep. I was going to continue to check her out this morning. I got up this morning, turned the garage light on, and she was still sitting where she was last night. I decided I'd scramble an egg up for her this morning while cooking breakfast for the family, give her time to eat it while we ate breakfast. After breakfast I was going to bring her inside and put her in a tub of warm water to sit in for awhile to see if she was possibly eggbound. We ate breakfast, and I immediately went to the garage to get the plastic tub and Little Mama. Unfortunately she'd passed away in that 20 or so minutes. Since I couldn't find anything really wrong with her as far as lice, mites, etc., is it possible for a hen to die if they are eggbound? I feel so bad that I couldn't figure it out in time!!
Sorry to hear you lost her. Yes, they can die from being eggbound but you won't know for sure if that's what took her. The only way to know for sure is by a necropsy.
I am so sorry for your loss... Yes, a hen can die from being eggbound. I'm sorry.

You might want to search here on BYC to read up on "Eggbound", "Eggbound treatment", "how to treat for eggbound", etc... so that you are ready.. it seems to happen in the new layers... when they start laying right at first, or after they lay for a week or two, or a month, then get eggbound.. I have only had it happen once to any one hen... seems like once they "get past it" and 'get to laying regular (again)' that eggbound has not happened to the same hen twice.. but, I am assuming it could.

Sorry for your loss... keep an eye on everyone and check them all for the common things like mites. She was most likely eggbound, or maybe an egg broke inside her and she got a secondary infection?

The coop, the flock is not a safe place for a weak or sickly chicken, they (the flock) can and will attack and kill to preserve the flock.

Best of luck.
In the three years I have been raising chickens I have probably had 150 birds and out of that number a few just died... sometimes like you described they seem fine and then within a few days the are gone. And twice I had a hen that appeared either to have been frightened and ran into a wall or else she awkwardly fell from the roost ... never could figure it out. Both of them were fine in the evening and gone in the morning... no signs of illness and not a mark on them and this occurred with different breeds, different time of year and about a year apart. Maybe yours got into something that wasn't good for her. Don't fret too much... there most likely was nothing you could have done. I had a Dark Cornish hen that developed laying problems and finally one day became egg bound... I did everything I was supposed to and she still passed. My thoughts are....I give them a good life, I take good care of them but sometimes things just happen. It sounds like you are a very good chicken "mama" and that while she was with you she had a good life.
Thanks everyone for the info. It's definitely a learning experience. I'm glad to have BYC to turn to when I need advice. I'd have never known what to do at all if it weren't for all of the knowledgeable people here! Just wish I had done more to save her.
I, now, have the same problem. My lead hen is dying, and I'm very distraught.

It has been a week that I noticed that she wasn't herself...not moving much, very quiet, and almost hunched, not being the lead hen, comb is droopy, not bright red, more dull...maybe purplish (bluecomb ?) droppings are liquidy, white, yellow...can't quite say green, doesn't eat or drink much. She is a production red that I bought as my first hen three years ago. Last week, I added tetracycline to the drinking water after I noticed her yellow watery stool and her inactivity.

I isolated her from the other hens, but have not seen an improvement. Today, I have been only force feeding water. Any ideas?

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