Lost a hen yesterday.

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


In the Brooder
12 Years
Aug 29, 2007
Springdale, AR
Got home from work to find a dead hen. She had never seemed quite right. Not for a long time. She was nearly 2 years old, and to my knowledge, either had never laid an egg, or at least hadn't laid in quite some time. I could barely fit two fingers between her pelvic bones. Her comb had always been a light shade of pink, not the strong red of a healthy barred rock. In hindsight, I probably should have culled her long ago, or at least quarentined her. I guess I just got used to her looking that way as she didn't seem like she was really all that ill. She drank and ate, hung out with the flock, etc. I got curious about her a week or two ago, as she started acting a little more different than normal. She stayed away from the flock more, just standing by herself. She wouldn't chase after scratch unless I threw it right to her. She just didn't seem as active as she used to be, and really paid less reguard to me. She would stand there and let me pick her up, almost as if she didn't see me, then sit quietly on my knee, not even bothering to stand. I was starting to question her eyesight a bit by the way she was acting.

I didn't take any pictures, I just didn't think about it at the time, but I did find some odd things when I performed a necropsy. Her liver was very light pink and nearly 1/2-2/3rds of it was greenish black, closer to black. Yes BLACK. The gall bladder was intact, so I know I didn't rupture it and stain the liver. I have eviscerated my fair share of chickens, but I have never seen a liver like this one. Her gizzard was full of small stones (normal) and what appeared to be a slightly damp, almost mud-like substance, probably 2-3 tbs. worth. It almost had the consistency of mortar. I'm not sure what ground up food in the gizzard should look like in it's various stages because in the past I usually haven't saved the gizzards, but this didn't look right to me either. The last gizzard I cut open had what you could identify as "food" in it. Her crop appeared empty, although I really didn't investigate it that closely. I was just feeling bad for her by then, I guess, so I just wrapped up the necropsy and put her to rest. I am assuming she had a bad liver, but the gizzard contents strike me as odd. Any thoughts?
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The gizzard contents don't sound that odd to me. There is some liver disorder I've heard mentioned here that will take them out; afraid I don't remember any more about it, but I'd guess that's what happened to her. You gave her the best chicken-y life she could hope for. Sorry for your loss.
I'm so sorry for your loss. She's at peace now.


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