So today was a busy day taking care of my grandsons, 1 and 12. Of course I went out to do my chicken chores in the morning before they came, everyone was happy and healthy it seemed. However, my girl Henny (RIR 22 months), who always comes running to me, I didn’t see for a minute and then noticed she was in the far corner of the run, just standing there. I walked over to her and she seemed to be sleepy. I thought that odd, asked her if she did not sleep well or what? I feel so dumb now, but I’m a new owner and although I read all the time, and just about everything on BYC, I didn’t realize something was seriously wrong. I was concerned and knew I needed to check on her often today. A little while later I had time to put out my 11 week old girls that are still spending the nights in the brooder with two other little girls who are just 6 weeks old. I put the older girls out In an adjoining cage so they can socialize with my 22 month olds (5 hens and one Roo) through a shared poultry net wall, for the day. When I was done I looked for my Henny Penny and there she stood in the closer run, by the water, but she was just standing there, but I noticed her back feathers were all fluffed. So I picked her up. She didn’t resist, though she is pretty friendly, and i checked her over. She looked fine! Her weight is good, she has a healthy dark red comb and her eyes looked good, though sleepy. I did not think to check her vent, and know now I should have. A few of my girls just started laying. I saw she laid an Egg, I think her first, two Days ago. The other two girls have been pretty consistent laying daily then skipping a day or two, now for two weeks. I did find a shell-less egg and didn’t know who it came from almost a week ago, and it may have been her first egg. So after my grand kids left I went and looked in on her and she was under the coop but was just standing there. Tonight when I went to see if they were all getting on the roost ( we have had some bullying I think) I saw the rooster pecking at her face as it was flopped out of one of the nesting boxes. I yelled at him and went around to the egg door and there was my Henny dead in one of the nesting boxes. I could not believe it. I don’t know if maybe she had a egg stuck or what. My husband took her out and we looked for mites, wounds, any sign of injury and there were none. There was no egg in the box. Short of getting a necropsy to see if an egg was stuck, I just don’t know how to figure it out. We won’t be doing that. She is buried with my other pets on the property and we are all sad to loose our first chicken, and my favorite one to boot. Breaks my heart. I know, I know, but, they are our pets we raised for eggs, not to eat and she will be missed. I feel the most ignorant over the Possibility that I could have prevented her death if it was a egg that was stuck. I have read now about the warm bath, etc...and feel awful that I didn’t realize it was as serious as it was. My other girls will not be happy with how closely I will be watching over them now! There are two still not laying, so I am even more worried now. Sad in California.
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