Hi Everyone... I'm Heather, and I am a new chicken owner.... with a LOT of questions :)

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by HeatherJY, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. HeatherJY

    HeatherJY New Egg

    Feb 18, 2014

    My husband and I purchased a home in September that came with a dozen chickens. I have never had chickens before but with the help of internet we have learned a LOT over the course of this winter. We live in Alberta, Canada and have had a gruelling winter for the girls, and up until yesterday managed to keep them all happy. We went through -30C weeks and the girls even continued to lay for me. We added light and heat, made sure to get heated water dish that we change daily, but we lost one of our girls yesterday and i just find this devastating! So i am on a mission to try to figure out what could have happened to Lola and make sure it doesn't happen to any other the others.

    I am very much enjoying the forums and the galleries. Thank you everyone for posting your stories and sharing your wisdom. You don't know how much i have come to rely on you over the past few months.

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens


    I am sorry for your loss of Lola. You can start a thread in the emergencies section and hopefully someone will be able to help you.

    If there were no signs of illness that you could see, make sure to rule out mites/lice and worms. They can kill chickens.
  3. HeatherJY

    HeatherJY New Egg

    Feb 18, 2014
    I am going to be running in and getting the "deworm" stuff, and someone else recommended a wood ash bath for them? so i will be doing a little research on that as well. They seem quite clean, but as I am so inexperienced, I am not sure what I am looking for
  4. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Alright Heather, [​IMG] great to have you joining the flock [​IMG]

    So sorry about your loss [​IMG]

    BYC has a learning center free of charge to research [​IMG]
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop

    Give everybody an over all exam as sometimes what one had that killed her, the others have as well. Check for bugs on the skin, bug eggs near the vent, red irritated skin...all signs of bugs. Have they been wormed recently? Was there too much competition for food that the hen that died didn't get enough to eat or drink? How about the crop....maybe she had an impacted or sour crop? Maybe a bacterial infection ripped thru the flock or possibly she died from egg binding. Check the dead birds body for signs of what she may have died from.

    There are lots of reasons that chickens die. All you can do is keep a close on on everybody and catch things before things kill them. I am very sorry for your loss however. I hope your heart heals soon. [​IMG]
  6. Shalom Farm

    Shalom Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 23, 2013
    Congradualtions on buying the house and coming to BYC!

    So sorry about your loss though [​IMG].

    Chickens can die from multiple things that can really sneak up on us. Certain breeds are also more prone to more subtle illness.

    As others have said check for:

    -Lice, mites, ticks. This can cause birds to get sick or anemic.

    - If the crop is hard, soured, or infected.

    - Fluid in the abdomen can be sign of internal laying, infection, or cancer. This is more common in stains specifically for laying (Leghorns, PR's, etc.)

    - If the bird was found upside down, a heart attack is likely. This is more common in some commercial strains and some meat bred chickens (non-commerical)

    - Age is also a factor. If you aren't sure who old the birds are, sometimes they just die of old age. Usually when sleeping.

    - Internal parasites can be a problem, but I think you would notice your birds getting thin, pale, and lethargic before they would die of parasites. You may so see some worms in feces.

    - Infection from a cut foot, hidden wound, etc. This would be more obvious upon inspection, but some foot injuries can heal and the blood or bone can still be infected.

    - Dog attacks can leave little evidence, as they generally don't eat the chicken but just shake it and leave it. Some dogs down even puncture the skin. If the neck seemed droppy or the position she was in looked flopped about or feathers around, this is evidence of a dog.

    - Weather, sometimes one bird just doesn't realize how cold it is getting until they are a little lethargic. In that state, they don't have the ability to think normally. Same with people. And they just get colder. The result is usually hypothermia. Signs of this would be frostbite on the comb (black or purplish), feet, or wattles.

    Those are the most common causes of death. Very sorry about Lola.

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC.
  8. DuckiesRMyThing

    DuckiesRMyThing Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2014
    [​IMG] . you should keep them warmer, also, do you feed them good chicken feed and water?
  9. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC![​IMG] We're glad to have you.

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