Hen found limp with neck twisted backward; what could have happened?

pgr

Chirping
Apr 15, 2020
35
32
51
Central Maine
One of our absolute favorite hens looks like she's not going to make it. We found her this AM on the coop floor, still breathing but eyes closing, neck twisted off to the back/side. Her beak has a small crack; if I had to take a (very) wild guess, it almost seems she could have fallen off the roost (which is pretty high up). I can't tell if her legs are paralyzed, but she doesn't look like the typical Mareks position in books.

She was acting normally yesterday. The only two things - she had very bright red comb, which became pale a couple weeks ago. At that time she wouldn't get down from the roost herself for two days, but jumped from roost to roost when I tried to get her down, and then would act normally once I did bring her down. After two days her comb color returned to normal and she was acting perfectly fine.

Her comb became considerably paler again in the last day or so, but otherwise she seemed completely normal. Yesterday AM there were a few splotches of blood on the coop floor, but I couldn't find anyone bleeding. This AM she was limp and dying.

I think she's beyond help (and my littlest kiddo is especially devastated). I put her in a box with bedding and am just watching her. But what happened to her?? Any thoughts will be much appreciated.
 

MysteryChicken

Unique minded, open minded Chicken Lover
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
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East, Tawas Michigan
We can't help you if you don't take pictures of the bird who is sick.

Is there any blood on, or near her vent?

How old is the bird?

What's her diet like?

When was the last time she laid an egg?
 

pgr

Chirping
Apr 15, 2020
35
32
51
Central Maine
I will get a picture as soon as I can; at a doctor's appt right now. Obviously a photo is much more helpful, but there have been plenty of questions without photos posted with helpful responses...

She is 6 months old. Free range diet with additional layer crumble. I don't know exactly when she last laid an egg because there are 24 hens. I didn't see any blood on her anywhere.
 

MysteryChicken

Unique minded, open minded Chicken Lover
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
28,519
57,347
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East, Tawas Michigan
I will get a picture as soon as I can; at a doctor's appt right now. Obviously a photo is much more helpful, but there have been plenty of questions without photos posted with helpful responses...

She is 6 months old. Free range diet with additional layer crumble. I don't know exactly when she last laid an egg because there are 24 hens. I didn't see any blood on her anywhere.
Okay, everything seems okay.
Given her age, she could have a severe strain of Coccidiosis.
Since she free ranges, eggs will be hard to find unless they're really trained to the nesting boxes.
 

pgr

Chirping
Apr 15, 2020
35
32
51
Central Maine
Okay, everything seems okay.
Given her age, she could have a severe strain of Coccidiosis.
Since she free ranges, eggs will be hard to find unless they're really trained to the nesting boxes.
We did train them after we found eggs in bushes, but they really only just started laying, so it's hard to say who's laying...
I asked my husband if he'd get a photo - he said she has passed, and she's just lying on her side. It's our first loss, other than a sick baby chick. 😭
 

MysteryChicken

Unique minded, open minded Chicken Lover
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
28,519
57,347
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East, Tawas Michigan
We did train them after we found eggs in bushes, but they really only just started laying, so it's hard to say who's laying...
I asked my husband if he'd get a photo - he said she has passed, and she's just lying on her side. It's our first loss, other than a sick baby chick. 😭
Sorry you lost your chicken. It's always hard to lose something you love.
 

pgr

Chirping
Apr 15, 2020
35
32
51
Central Maine
Thank you MysteryChicken and JDChickChat ❤.

Unless I'm missing something, I'm afraid the post mortem photo isn't terribly helpful. Her legs/feet were more rigid and her neck twisted backwards when I found her, not so now.
IMG_9183.jpeg


This is her a couple weeks ago 😢

IMG_0760-3.JPG
 

MysteryChicken

Unique minded, open minded Chicken Lover
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
28,519
57,347
1,141
East, Tawas Michigan
Thank you MysteryChicken and JDChickChat ❤.

Unless I'm missing something, I'm afraid the post mortem photo isn't terribly helpful. Her legs/feet were more rigid and her neck twisted backwards when I found her, not so now. View attachment 2423532

This is her a couple weeks ago 😢

View attachment 2423534
I don't see anything obvious.
The only thing that'll give you the answer of what happened to her is to send her off to do a necropsy, or preform your own necropsy of the body.
 

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