Losing hens and don't know why

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by etmt96, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. etmt96

    etmt96 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 29, 2014
    I have lost 2 1 yr old hens in the past 2 weeks.
    The first, 2 weeks ago was a Barred Rock who has been a great layer and friendly chicken. She came out of the coop when I was giving treats and sat at my feet but I noticed her feathers were fluffed. I picked her up to check her, everything seemed fine. Her vent was clean, her eyes clear, no signs of injury...I sat her back s down and continued putting everyone up for the night. I noticed that she was still sitting by my chair and hadn't moved. I put everyone up and brought "Henny" back to the house. As I walked back, she relaxed in my arm and closed her eyes. By the time I got to the porch, she was gasping for air and seemed to be having a seizure. She died within minutes.
    4 days ago, I noticed my Black Maran, "midnight" was not jumping down from her roost. She eventually did and started eating. I checked her and couldn't see anything wrong. The following day, same thing, she wouldn't come down but finally did....that evening, she was huddled in the corner of the coop and was not eating. I brought her to the house, checked her out and couldn't find anything obviously wrong. I put VetRX in her water, put a heat lamp in the corner and fed her yogurt, fresh greens & crumble, She was eating and drinking, poop looked fine, loved the heat lamp at night- her comb was originally a little pale but the color had come back nice. I was planning to put her back with the flock today, but I woke to find her dead.
    I'm at a loss- will try to find someone who can do a necropsy Monday. The rest of the flock seems fine but so did these 2 - any ideas??
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Welcome To BYC, I'm sorry for your loss.

    There's no way know for sure what the cause of death is without necropsy, so that is a good idea.

    Look around to see if there is any moldy feed, bedding/litter that they could have gotten into. Also anything rotten or decaying.
    Check to see if they could have gotten into any type of toxin (rat poison, fertilizer, weed killer, etc.).

    You may also want to consider taking a fecal sample to your vet for testing of cocci, worms or bacteria while you wait for necropsy results. This will give you some immediate information if you need to treat quickly.

    Necropsy and State labs

    Independent lab testing:
  3. etmt96

    etmt96 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 29, 2014
    Thanks so much -- I will try the fecal sample for sure and check around.
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I agree totally with Wyorp Rock. Egg binding, crop impaction, cocci, worms, or dehydration in a sick hen can be things to check for, but a necropsy would be best to find a cause of death. To get a necropsy, check with your state vet or poultry lab. Refrigerate but do not freeze the body in a plastic bag. You may be able to drive the body or ship it on ice. Here are some details and info:

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