I just lost a hen and don't know why

Fanny's Mom

In the Brooder
12 Years
Jan 2, 2008
36
2
32
I've seen no sign of trouble in any of my flock. Early ast evening this one hen was under the coop while everyone else had roosted for the night. I shooed her into the coop and she had no trouble getting up the ramp and into the coop to join her cohorts. I thought the fact that she was alone under the coop was strange, but I checked her out and she appeared to be okay. . .alert and perky. Today when I brought some goodies to the girls, she didn't come out to the fiesta. I found her in the coop, dead.

What illness has no symptoms? Should I worry about my other girls? I can't send her to the lab; I've already disposed of her. If there's a problem, does anyone know anyone in NC who could come to my chicken yard and appraise the situation to see if there are any signs of trouble?

As always when one of my flock dies, I feel guilty.
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jjthink

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 17, 2007
4,623
46
274
New Jersey
It is rare that there are no symptoms but if you have a lot of birds it can be hard to tell who is eating and who is not and whose poop is whose. I watch mine like hawks and pick up early on any subtleties but it's easy because there are only 2. Any changes in activity level, eating, pooping, egg laying, comb color can mean trouble. On the other hand,sometimes a sad thing happens without warning, like a heart attack. I had a hen - sweet Annie - who loved life so, and was utterly joyous. Boom - just like that - a heart attack took her. It was heartbreaking.

So sorry about your hen
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JJ
 

Elite Silkies

Crowing
10 Years
Jun 17, 2009
5,410
54
251
Oklahoma
My Coop
My Coop
There are some things that you can watch for. Comb color, check their eyes to see if they are clear and free from any discharge. Ammonia in the coop can also cause some resp. problems, check for mites around the eyes and vents. They like moist places. Now, I believe it's the red mite that you can only see at night time. They hide during the day and then get on the birds at night. So, you could easily miss those if you do not check at night.

What are you feeding them? You can boost their protein with Gamebird Feed, but if they are laying, then you need to add oyster shell. But, mine will not eat the oyster shell.
 

LesGan

Songster
11 Years
Mar 24, 2008
132
1
129
Columbiana, Alabama
Elite Silkies: How do you get enough calcium into a hen who will not eat oyster shell? I have one like that and she lays soft shelled eggs. Would like to change that situation. Thanks.
 

mamabigbird

Songster
9 Years
Feb 11, 2010
760
26
143
Vancouver Island, B.C.,
Fanny's Mom :

I've seen no sign of trouble in any of my flock. Early ast evening this one hen was under the coop while everyone else had roosted for the night. I shooed her into the coop and she had no trouble getting up the ramp and into the coop to join her cohorts. I thought the fact that she was alone under the coop was strange, but I checked her out and she appeared to be okay. . .alert and perky. Today when I brought some goodies to the girls, she didn't come out to the fiesta. I found her in the coop, dead.

What illness has no symptoms? Should I worry about my other girls? I can't send her to the lab; I've already disposed of her. If there's a problem, does anyone know anyone in NC who could come to my chicken yard and appraise the situation to see if there are any signs of trouble?

As always when one of my flock dies, I feel guilty.
sad.png


Was your hen a sex-link bird? I had red sex-links that would seem fine one day and then just die overnight. They were only about 2 1/2 or 3 years old. I have read on BYC that sex-links are prone to cancers and that they are quite short lived.
I am sorry for your loss. It's never easy to lose one of our pet chickens.​
 

Fanny's Mom

In the Brooder
12 Years
Jan 2, 2008
36
2
32
mamabigbird! I think you hit on it! Yes, she was a red sex link that I got about a year and a half ago. I have another, but so far so good with her. Thanks for the info. I think I'm going back to barred rocks from here on in.
Hollywood Chickens, when I try to go to the flow chart your brother posted, it takes me to a Google page that asks me to sign in. I don't have a "sign in" with Google and don't know how to get there!
 

Fanny's Mom

In the Brooder
12 Years
Jan 2, 2008
36
2
32
Oh, and Hollywood Chickens, I love your new goat! I'm jealous. . .maybe someday. . . Good luck with her!
 

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