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lost our first girl yesterday...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by montanaSarah, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. montanaSarah

    montanaSarah In the Brooder

    Apr 22, 2011
    hi everyone-
    we lost our first chicken yesterday, and i haven't been able to figure out a reason- i was hoping someone could shed some light on my situation?? we have (had) 6 seemingly healthy pullets that are all laying and quite happy. they free range for the most part, but are offered layer feed, scratch, grit, scraps, and fresh water every day. the weather here has gotten nasty the last couple of days, lots of snow and was around 10 degrees yesterday. i went out a couple of times to check their water and give them food. all the girls were perky and acting normal. i did notice lucy laying on the ground near the water when i first went out, but she jumped right up when i threw in some scratch for them to snack on. i went out again much later to shovel snow and switch out water and she was still laying by the water but gone. i looked her over but this is my first go with chickens, so i really have no clue what to look for. i noticed her feathers right on her "stomach" area were gone. there was a tiny bit of dried blood near her vent. i felt her stomach and it was hard- but that could be because it was cold out or because she was dead. the rest of them look fine...other than concerned she's missing. is there a cause that i'm missing? did i do something wrong? any info is much appreciated.

  2. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Songster

    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    can you tell us what kind of chickens you have? Im sorry that you lost her [​IMG] If her abdomen was hard, she may have been egg bound or had egg peritonites... [​IMG] maybe someone more experienced will chime in soon.
  3. montanaSarah

    montanaSarah In the Brooder

    Apr 22, 2011
    thank you. she was a barred rock, 7 mos old- i got her from our local feed store last spring.
  4. EmmyGirl

    EmmyGirl In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2008
    Skippack, PA
    I'm sorry about your hen [​IMG]
    It's tough to guess for sure what happened to poor little Lucy if she wasn't showing any other symptoms, but the blood around the vent and the hard tummy makes me agree that she might have been egg bound--the blood is from trying to push out the egg. Do you know if she laid an egg every day or was she a little more sporadic? If she was lethargic, a sporadic layer and had a squishy tummy, I'd guess it was egg yolk peritonitis since the infection causes fluid to build up in the abdomen. Again, I'm so sorry about Lucy. You didn't do anything wrong--it sounds like she was well-loved and well-cared for. Sometimes the egglaying anatomy goes haywire and it's not easy to tell what's going on to help since they don't show any signs of distress until too late.
  5. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Songster

    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    How old are they? It seems like especially young pullets, new to laying, get eggbound.
    You can and should use the Search here on BYC -- search for Eggbound and see what comes up.
    Do you know if she, if she in particular stopped laying at all?

    Depending on the age of the chickens, have you ever wormed them? When, with what, twice? It may be time to worm at seven months. Worms can cause a variety of symptoms and can cause illness and death. (Search "Worming with Valbazen"... there is good info out there, check posts by dawg53 in recent years)
    Have you checked, when you found her, did you look her over and see any parasites? Mites? Around her vent, or under her wings (armpits)?

    My brother and his wife, in Missouri (I am in So. CA, so it doesn't apply)... but, they in the winter add a little blackstrap molasses to the water?? They also feed laying feed in the winter, but scratch in the summer. I feed laying pellets all year around. And, put Apple Cider Vinegar in the water.

    Someone else asked what breed of chickens you have... some are more cold hearty than others.
    Well.. I am so sorry for your loss.. I hope you find the answer, and don't lose anymore.

    Good luck

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