Hen passed away last night

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hdwozniak, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. hdwozniak

    hdwozniak New Egg

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    Jan 22, 2014
    I had a hen that was fine one day, the next she just sat and slept. Then, the next day she died. When I checked her, she had good color, size and she had laid this week. The only thing I noticed was she had lost some feathers on her belly and underside. Kinda patchy. The weather is cold here, and they are let out at least once a day to range, but are mostly in our coop. The are a mixed New Hampshire. All the other hens are fine, I have a Rooster I keep with them. They are under a year old.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Hens can die like that, and many times you never know the cause unless you have noticed subtle changes in them. A necropsy (chicken autopsy) by your state vet might give you answers, but some chickens can die of heart, liver, or kidney problems, egg binding, impacted crop, or coccidiosis and many more problems. Cold weather should not be a problem if she has a draft free coop to sleep in at night. Sorry for your loss.
     
  3. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

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    It doesn't sound to me like the feathers on her belly had anything to do with it. Did you know if her abdomen was swollen? She could've been eggbound or she could've been laying internally.
     
  4. hdwozniak

    hdwozniak New Egg

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    Jan 22, 2014
    Thank you for the replies! She did look alittle bloated. Maybe she was egg bound. Disappointing, but 5 other hens appear fine.
     
  5. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

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    Internal laying and eggbound can catch you by surprise. Do you give them oyster shell or other calcium supplements? It can help move eggs through more regularly so that they won't get eggbound. I'm sorry you lost your hen. [​IMG]
     
  6. barrybigbelly

    barrybigbelly Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2014
    sorry to hear about your loss. Same sort of thing has happend to me before. But it did notice her abdomen was swollen and felt like a water balloon. All my other chickens were fine, so it wasnt something infectous. Ive heard that giving cod liver oil in the feed also helps to stop egg bound - especially during a moult.
     
  7. hdwozniak

    hdwozniak New Egg

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    Jan 22, 2014
    Thanks for the suggestions. I will be doing that in the future. Since I'm an outdoorsman and I hate to waste a bird, I cleaned the hen this morning. She did have an egg inside and her vent had clear fluid. Not entirely sure that killed her, but she did have that egg inside her. I also noticed what I thought was her liver, enlarged and rainbow colored, like oil in a water puddle, and very hard. I assume that wasn't normal?
     
  8. barrybigbelly

    barrybigbelly Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2014
    the liver was hard? no thats definately not normal. I wonder if your chicken had a secret alcohol problem?
    Liver should be soft, just like what you buy from butchers, and normally is the same sort of colour as beef liver.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I realize this is from February but wanted to add "Spotty Liver Syndrome" to the mix of liver ailments. The cause isn't known for sure though some bacteria in the environment seems to be to blame, but it's almost entirely found in free range flocks, young hens in the prime of their laying who may even be currently laying.

    Just lost a hen this morning to what I believe was Spotty Liver Syndrome. Thought she might have an egg issue, but the swelling in the abdomen was bloated, inflamed intestines, which also go along with that ailment. Her liver was double in size with white lesions all over it, first abnormal liver I've ever seen in any bird here. Also, her gizzard was huge, but the liver was the most striking thing other than the big intestines. No one else is affected. I've free ranged flocks for years and this is the first time I've seen this in a hen.
    For educational purposes, here is a write up with photo on this.

    http://www.defra.gov.uk/ahvla-en/files/pub-vet-spotty-liver.pdf
     
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