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Lost Alice : (....UPDATE....and I killed her

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by ZooMummzy, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I hope this is the right section to post this in....

    I just got back from OSU and dropping my Alice off at their diagnostic lab for a necropsy [​IMG]

    She is the first chicken I have lost and while I knew it would happen someday, I wasn't prepared for it today. I never expected a perfectly healthy chicken to just drop dead. She was fine this morning when I took out their scoop of scratch grains and cat food (they are in a slight molt). Alice came running up to me as usual and then starting eating. I looked out a little bit later and they were all standing in the sun we have been enjoying this week. When I left to run errands around 1pm, I looked over and said goodbye to the girls like I always do. That is when I saw her lying in the dirt with the other chickens squawking up a storm. She hadn't been dead long since she was still warm and not stiff. It broke my heart to have to pick her up [​IMG] I am so glad the other girls didn't start picking at her. They seem lost almost. I was just out there and they all came running up to me wanting attention and talking to me. [​IMG]

    I didn't want to because I couldn't think of them cutting her up, but I knew I had to be responsible and find out why she died. I owe it to my other chickens. I am seriously hoping it has nothing to do with the mouse infestion we found over the weekend though I don't see how since they have been living with the chickens for awhile I think. I am 99.9% positive the mice are not being poisoned since we (my neighbors) all have cats and do not believe in poisoning animals, even mice. Plus they know I have chickens and wouldn't do that. She didn't appear to choke on one either (nothing in her throat) as I have read they can do on mice.

    She wasn't even in a full molt, just a few feathers here and there. She was a very active pullet (11 months old) and ate really well all the time. She just wasn't ill [​IMG] I'm sorry to be rambling on I'm just so sad. The girls are my pets and she was one of my favorites. She had very different and prettier eyes than my other Buff Orpingtons. You can get so attached to these fluffy butts [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This is a picture of her back in the spring.


    And one of her as a baby [​IMG]

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009

  2. SunAngel

    SunAngel Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Chambersburg, Pa.
    Awww, so sorry you lost Alice [​IMG]

    I lost one of my first chickens a couple days ago to some unknown illness...a Silver Phoenix named Pura. Its weird how attached you can get to them and their unique personalities.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    So sorry about Alice. She was a beauty.
  4. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    So sorry you lost her, I just lost one of my little cochin roos to an attack by and older hen.... [​IMG]
  5. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Thank you everyone. I knew I could pour my heart out here and people would care. My family knows how I feel but they don't feel the loss so it's hard. To them she was just a nasty chicken [​IMG]

    I feel bad for all of us who have lost chickens [​IMG]

    It is still very surreal. I took the girls out some treats and it was hard not seeing her there. She was always the first one to come running to the gate. The worst part is not knowing why or how she died. I have no idea how long these tests take but I'm hoping not long.

    My husband is going to go crazy when I tell him I'm getting her body back so I can have her cremated and added to my other pets [​IMG] Maybe I am crazy but I just need her back. I'm making a little garden in my backyard using some of my Mom's snail statues out of her yard (she passed suddenly in November from cancer) and putting the ashes of all my animals over the years in it. I need a little memorial for all those I have lost.
  6. ml

    ml Songster

    Mar 4, 2007
    Very sorry for your loss of Alice. It is always hard when you loose them.

  7. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    I am soooo sorry for your loss! [​IMG] [​IMG] You're right, only on BYC can you talk about losing a pet chicken without people thinking you are crazy. I've got my hen in the outside freezer til we get moved so I can bury her in the garden we are making.

    I hope that it is nothing contagious. Sounds like it just might have been "one of those things" It seems like it always happens to our favorites, doesn't it?

    Again, I am so sorry about Alice. [​IMG] She sounds like she was a very special girl.


  8. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Quote:Thank you, yes that is what I'm hoping and now thinking. OSU just called to tell me they finished with her (I just took her in 3 hours ago so that is fast!) and I can pick her up tomorrow. I should be receiving the results via email tonight.
  9. playswithfowl

    playswithfowl One Earth!

    Jun 18, 2007
    Wow, I wish I had thought to take my hen to OSU when she died for no reason at all.... Sorry for your loss [​IMG]
  10. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I just got the report back from OSU.....and I have no one to blame but myself. [​IMG] Those treats (at least the non-veggie ones - meat and pasta tablescraps) 2-3 times a week were a huge mistake. My girls will no longer be getting anything off my table that is not veggie or fruit related and as soon as I get them semi-free ranging in a few months, no more treats.

    Hepatic lipidosis with liver fracture and hematoma

    The lesions are consistent with extreme obesity leading to fatty liver syndrome, liver fracture and hemorrhage into the abdomen. This is a very common problem in over fed back yard poultry. If the birds are too fat, they will deposit fat in their livers causing their livers to very easily break and bleed. One must be very careful to not over feed the birds,
    but additionally, if other birds in the flock are too heavy, taking them off feed to decrease their body weight can actually make things worse.

    Necropsy Results:
    The carcass of a 2.6 kg Buff Orpington hen in good body condition with excessive body fat stores and in good post mortem condition
    is presented for necropsy on 2/3/09. The abdomen is mildly to moderately distended and the comb and wattles are severely pale wit only a mild pink hue. The pectoral muscles are well fleshed. The coelom contains about 50 ml of serosanguinous fluid and 150 ml of clotted blood that is loosely adhered to the surface of the liver. The mesentery is massively expanded by adipose stores. The liver is diffusely swollen, pale tan to yellow, greasy and friable. The right lobe of the liver is mottled red-brown with 6, 1-2 cm long fissures in the capsular surface. The lungs, heart, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, ovary and spleen are grossly normal.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009

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