Lost a hen, not sure why, here are the symptoms

nyra

In the Brooder
May 31, 2020
16
8
31
Hi everyone,

I am new to raising chickens , here is her back story

I have purchased 4 grown chickens from a farm, allegedly about one year old -
Lucinda was a silver laced wyandotte , two weeks ago she laid back-to-back 2 shell-less eggs, from my online research
I thought it was a dietary issue and supplemented her with oyster egg shells, the next day her egg was back to normal and
she had been laying normal eggs consistently .
We had a couple of hot days and I noticed all hens mouth breathing and that also went back to normal.
Yesterday I found her dead in the coop.
I feel terrible and fell like I have failed her and I am worried about the other 3 hens, if anyone can point me on what to look
for to make sure they are safe?

Thank you
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,754
34,236
1,122
Colorado Rockies
Being new to chickens, you likely didn't pick up on the warning signs of heat stroke. This can kill chickens when their electrolytes get out of balance due to dehydration. The symptoms that will cue you to this are weakness, stumbling, imbalance, lethargy. At the first sign of those symptoms, be ready to treat the affected chickens with Gatoraid or a homemade emergency concoction of sugar water with a pinch of salt and baking soda.

Chickens are too hot when you see them with their beaks open and wings held away from their bodies. Cherry red combs signify a dangerous elevation in body temperature that can precede heat stroke.

The issue of two back to back shell-less eggs needs to be addressed, as well. At the first sign of a laying issue where you see a shell-less egg and the hen is behaving lethargically, with her tail held low and flat, you need to give her a calcium "jolt" that can only be accomplished with people calcium supplements such as Caltrate. Oyster shell and egg shells haven't got enough of a dose of calcium to supply the "jolt" a hen needs to strengthen her contractions to pass a stubborn shell-less egg, which is more difficult than a normal egg.

Sometimes two eggs are in the works during a 25 hour cycle, and this can cause at least one of the eggs to be shell-less, and that runs the risk of getting bound up. The calcium can help get that egg out before it collapses inside and starts a chain reaction of reproductive woe.
 

nyra

In the Brooder
May 31, 2020
16
8
31
Being new to chickens, you likely didn't pick up on the warning signs of heat stroke. This can kill chickens when their electrolytes get out of balance due to dehydration. The symptoms that will cue you to this are weakness, stumbling, imbalance, lethargy. At the first sign of those symptoms, be ready to treat the affected chickens with Gatoraid or a homemade emergency concoction of sugar water with a pinch of salt and baking soda.

Chickens are too hot when you see them with their beaks open and wings held away from their bodies. Cherry red combs signify a dangerous elevation in body temperature that can precede heat stroke.

The issue of two back to back shell-less eggs needs to be addressed, as well. At the first sign of a laying issue where you see a shell-less egg and the hen is behaving lethargically, with her tail held low and flat, you need to give her a calcium "jolt" that can only be accomplished with people calcium supplements such as Caltrate. Oyster shell and egg shells haven't got enough of a dose of calcium to supply the "jolt" a hen needs to strengthen her contractions to pass a stubborn shell-less egg, which is more difficult than a normal egg.

Sometimes two eggs are in the works during a 25 hour cycle, and this can cause at least one of the eggs to be shell-less, and that runs the risk of getting bound up. The calcium can help get that egg out before it collapses inside and starts a chain reaction of reproductive woe.


Thank you, I really appreciate all this info. Because the eggs went back to normal on day three it was out of mind . Thank you again
 

RumneyRoost

Songster
Jul 24, 2018
286
422
131
Ontario
Without a necropsy it’s impossible to know.
Heat stroke is possible.
Stress from the heat could have caused her to end up egg bound.
Reproductive cancers are common.
Possible that all of your birds could be affected by some disease or parasite, and the stress from the heat pushed her over the edge.
 

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