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Hens Dying!!! HELP!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MamacatPatch, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. MamacatPatch

    MamacatPatch Songster

    Jul 10, 2007
    We had seven hens in our coop/run which are about a year and a few months old. One died about four months ago of unknown causes. Another died two days ago and another yesterday. They had lost a lot of feathers, but the one that died yesterday had not lost any feathers. In fact, the day before, she looked and acted ok.

    We are at a loss. We didn't change feed. They have fresh water, good shelter, are good egg layers. There wasn't anything about them alerted us to any sickness. No animals are getting into their coop/run either. We can't afford to take chickens to a vet either. This is our first 'batch' so we're learning as we go. What could cause them to die so fast? I fear I will lose them all before long and have to start over in the spring again.
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    How old is your feed and how do you store it? What type of feed do you give and any treats? What is the bedding material (and how often do you change it) ... has it been wet there lately? Have you noticed any odd poos or pale combs?
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2008
  3. MamacatPatch

    MamacatPatch Songster

    Jul 10, 2007
    I am in north central Indiana and I believe this has been a record breaking season for rain. Skeeters are thick as well. We just use a local Rural King brand feed and store it in a large black plastic garbage container [the really big ones]. We use pine bark shredding for bedding. We usually buy feed every two weeks. I also feed them veggies when I can, some fruit and try to put sod with grass into the run almost daily. I also catch grasshoppers for them!

    I wish I could let them be free range, but we still have four roos who like to pounce on them often. At first I thought that was the reason for the feathers coming off and we took the roos out of the run so they couldn't get to the hens. But they've been losing their feathers still, not all, but most of them, for about six months now. I have noticed the bare skin sometimes breaks open and then all kinds of troubles from bugs to infection, etc., start. I'm going to try and totally clean out the shed today and put in fresh bedding on the floor and in their nest boxes.

    Haven't noticed pale combs or odd poo, but I am pretty new and being a chickie mom so I am not always paying attention to everything like I should. The roos show no signs of any sickness and they are still fully feathered!
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2008
  4. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    What breed?

    How many hens, and how large is the run?

    Are they also getting access to grit?

    How often are waterers changed out and cleaned?

    When you pick up a handful of feed, how does it smell? Like fresh grain/grass/molasses/hay, or does it have an off smell like cardboard, dirt or anything else not pleasant?

    You might also check their appearance carefully. Are their eyes clear and alert? Combs and wattles nice and red, and free from spots, blotches, blemishes? Any eye or nasal discharge? Try lifting tail feathers and checking vent area ~ notice any bugs crawling around?

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