Hen feathers turned white and then she died.

kellyjeanne

Chirping
Jul 19, 2016
68
24
71
Atlanta
My Coop
My Coop
i figure this is probably one of those random chicken deaths, but I haven’t seen anything that matched this, so I thought I’d post it and see if anyone has suspicions.


My 2.5 year old campine’s feathers started turning white in August. I thought she might be early to molt. They got increasingly more white, but she didn’t seem to lose any. Today when she didn’t come out to range with the others, I found her flat on her back in the nest box with her feet stretched out and her neck twisted under her.

I have a newborn and was (still am) home alone and didn’t want to handle a dead bird while carrying the baby, so unfortunately she’s still in the coop...but it didn’t look from the glance I took like she had any injuries and yesterday she was being her usual self. I know chickens are really good at hiding illness, but this is my first bird loss and I’m wondeing if whatever this is could be contagious.

I’m attaching a picture I took of her a few weeks ago. She turned whiter since then.
 

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Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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Sorry for your loss. It would be hard to say what killed your hen without a necropsy, but molting can be a very stressful time for them. Many people report that their chickens’ feathers may come in a different color or white after molting. Sometimes it is hard to tell if they are molting if they lose a few feathers as new ones come in. Here is a thread about another chicken’s feathers turning white:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/feathers-turning-white-on-adult-bird.1255999/
 

kellyjeanne

Chirping
Jul 19, 2016
68
24
71
Atlanta
My Coop
My Coop
She was eating well, they free range most days and get new organics feed and kitchen/garden scraps when we have them- they recently got sweet potato peelings and cabbage ends. No new birds, I got them all together in 2016. No mite or lice issues that I’m aware of. The other 4 are healthy (as far as I can tell- will be watching especially for the next few days) and done molting.
 

Kiki

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 31, 2015
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Houston, TX
My Coop
My Coop
She was eating well, they free range most days and get new organics feed and kitchen/garden scraps when we have them- they recently got sweet potato peelings and cabbage ends. No new birds, I got them all together in 2016. No mite or lice issues that I’m aware of. The other 4 are healthy (as far as I can tell- will be watching especially for the next few days) and done molting.
Look them over real well for lice and or mites.
 

kellyjeanne

Chirping
Jul 19, 2016
68
24
71
Atlanta
My Coop
My Coop
It’s a grain mix. I fill their feeder most days (although not if they’ve free ranged and gotten kitchen scraps) and have a scoop that I’ve weighed out, so I know that about .25lb per bird is what’s going in.
 

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