Lethargic hen down, no other signs, died in only a few hours

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bathsheba8542, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. bathsheba8542

    bathsheba8542 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2009
    Glenelg
    Hi - this is my first posting, and these are my new chickens...we have a small flock that we are raising...they are only 5 weeks old today.

    Yesterday morning our chickens were all fine. Last night, one hen was extremely lethargic, and resting against the wall and being completely unresponsive. Eyes still open, feathers fluffed though, and absolutely no other signs of being uncomfortable and sick, other than extreme lethargy. She let me pick her up, examine her, and her eyes were fairly bright, no discharge, no labored breathing, etc.

    She was upright when I checked her late last night (still sitting, but not with her head down or anything like that).

    And then, this morning, she was gone.

    Nothing obvious, and everyone else is the same bunch of crazy running around chickens that she was, yesterday.

    Any thoughts?

    Again, no change obvious in eating, drinking, pooping, or anything else. Nothing new in the coop, and temperature was stable in there as well.

    I checked her crop area and it did not seem full or hard yesterday, and checked her again this morning and did not notice anything unusual.

    ???
     
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm so sorry to hear this. As a precaution you may wish to put the others on electrolytes or vitamins in case there is something infectious starting. If you don't have any, consider diluted gatorade, or a little sugar. At five weeks they are still sensitive to cold, are thy in a warm draft-free area? Please tell us all you can about the flock, including feed, water, past history...you may be in a position now to intervene for something else. Observe every one carefully and check the droppings. And if a false alarm, well, that would be great!

    Have you examined the carcass carefully? Be sure to clean up thoroughly if you do this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  3. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Sorry that your initial posts to BYC were in a time of trouble. [​IMG] My condolences on your hen.

    They can get sick and we just don't know why without some careful examination. The symptoms you described - lethargy, fluffed feathers, isolation, etc - are typical of a sick bird. Learning to identify those symptoms and act quickly with the appropriate treatment is critical to keeping your flock healthy. If you're not doing so already, read this section of the forum regularly so that, even if you don't memorize it, you'll at least be able to know what others have experienced & talked about.

    Welcome to BYC. I hope your other hens are healthy and happy.
     
  4. bathsheba8542

    bathsheba8542 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2009
    Glenelg
    Thanks for your responses...yes, I did examine her fairly thoroughly. No signs of anything unusual. Everything seemed to look okay, with nothing out of place or odd in color. I clean their coop every day and look carefully at each of them to monitor their behavior, see how everyone is eating and drinking, so it as a huge surprise to see her fail so quickly when she had been fine just a few hours before. Although a friend of mine is a vet tech and mentioned that birds are fairly stoic and you often dont' see anything wrong until it is too late. I did a thorough web search for what it could be, but without any other obvious symptoms, it was hard to find anything of note on just lethargy.

    The other 25 are doing okay as of this morning. Running around and engaged, eating and drinking and acting as they have every morning. We started with 27, lost one chick in the first few days, and the others have been thriving, until Saturday. : (

    We're raising an organic flock, and we got the chicks at 4 days from a very good breeder here in Maryland. They've been well protected from the changes in temperature (when will it ever be spring?), however, it is possible she sustained a chill. The weather was very wet and cold on Saturday and although I was in the coop with the door shut 3 times Saturday morning, maybe just the change in weather did it.

    Anyhow, thanks for your kind words and thoughts and I will be reading and learning alot, I am sure!

    kristin
     
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Kristin

    I too am sorry your first visit resulted in the loss a a bird. It's also possible the bird did something like slam into something and stun herself. I have a hen who is so reckless it's scary and I'm not sure now 'Doe' made it to 11 months! I think her distance perception is 'off' and Ive been expecting tragedy since she was the first to fly out of the brooder onto my chest!

    At any rate, glad to hear the others are doing well- it may be a false alarm, but keep observing. It's part of being a first timer ( like me) to wonder if you can handle things, and I know you can! [​IMG]
     
  6. bathsheba8542

    bathsheba8542 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2009
    Glenelg
    Oh gosh - that almost confirms my worst suspicion. It was when we cleaned the hen house out that we noticed her in the corner. My partner was concerned that he might have bumped her and not noticed...I don't think it could have happened, and he feels badly enough, but I guess it could be a possibility. Oh no! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009

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