Lost our first hen today...possibly eggbound?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GardenTillers44, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. GardenTillers44

    GardenTillers44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 26, 2016
    Hocking Hills, Ohio
    Went out to check the nestboxes this morning and one of our year-old RIR's was dead in the box. We gave her a thorough checking over and found a larger than normal egg just breaching the vent with some swelling and hemorrhaging around it. It appeared she was eggbound. We found no evidence of mites, lice or other vermin. This same chicken appeared alert and playful earlier that morning, begging for a scratching and petting session, and has been one of our most consistent layers. We are not adding lighting or doing anything to promote laying in the winter to give those chickens that need to rest the chance to do so. Even so, this girl still was laying 3-4 eggs per week. This is our first winter with chickens, and it has been very mild here in southern Ohio, so maybe the hens are laying more than they would in a normal winter.

    Any thoughts? We want to learn from this as much as possible. Maybe we have been lucky but this is our first loss a year into raising chickens.
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    I'm sorry for your loss[​IMG]

    From your description of the way you found her, my best guess would be that egg binding was the cause of death. Another possibility would be heart failure due to straining to get the egg out or a combination.

    There is no way to know for sure without necropsy, but I think you are correct.

    Depending on her age, it can be normal for a hen to continue to lay consistently through winter. RIR are known as good egg layers, so that plays a part as well.

  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    I'm sorry for your loss. [​IMG]I agree with Wyorp Rock's analysis of cause of death.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by