Losing my hens one at a time....help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Flowerbh, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Flowerbh

    Flowerbh Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 24, 2012
    Dawsonville, GA
    I was out of town and my husband called and said he found one of my young pullets dead by the coop. No blood or any sign of something attacking her. He said she seemed healthy the day before. That was 2 months ago. Last month, I went out of town again and when I got back, my frizzled Naked Neck was just sitting under a heat lamp all day....not coming out to get treats or anything. I put her in a crate in the garage and two days later she died. She had bright healthy looking eyes, no discharges, no mites/lice. So now, I was outside and I saw my Black Australorp just sitting under a bush. All the other chickens are out foraging. I went out and threw some scratch to see what she would do. She just sat there until I picked her up and set her down near the scratch.. She ate a bit, but then went and sat down again. Again, no discharges, no lice/mites, color looks good. WHAT IS GOING ON???? What do I need to check for? How would I check for worms? These birds have no coughs, no gasping, just all seem healthy and then they are down. Any suggestions?
  2. ChucktheChick

    ChucktheChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2012
    The coop
    I'm so sorry! I don't know a lot about Marek's disease but this sounds like it. I hope someone else comes along and helps more than I can. Good luck, thinking of you!
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    There can be many reasons that can cause a hen to die--egg binding, coccidiosis, enteritis, Mareks disease, impacted or sour crop, even worms or mites, heart, liver, or kidney disease, and many more. You can spend $25 to c\get a stool sample checked by your vet, or $10 on some SafeGuard horse paste and just go ahead and worm them twice a year. Learn to insert and gloved lubricated finger into the vent to check for an egg stuck. Check the crop in early morning when it should be flat and empty, for a full and hard crop. It may have just been natural causes in both deaths, but learn to notice huddling, color of stools or diarrhea, and symptoms of common diseases. There are many good links to read about most diseases if you do a BYC search. Sorry for your loss.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  4. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Agreed. There are many things it could be, and chickens, like all birds, are very good at masking illness until it is too late. Signs of a problem can be very subtle and only very close supervision catches them, sometimes.

    If you continue to lose birds, please consider having a necropsy done on your dead bird so that you might have a better idea of what is going on and how to address the issue with the rest of your flock, both present and future.

    The University of GA has one of the best poultry sciences labs in the USA, I think they are about an hour from you. If that's too far to drive, you can ship a hen to them if one dies.

    U of GA Poultry Sciences: http://www.caes.uga.edu/applications/personnel/deptunit.cfm?caesdept=Poultry Science


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