My 9 month old hen died! How?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by flyawayca, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. flyawayca

    flyawayca Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2014
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    I have 4 hens. All approx. 9 months old. A SLW, BO, Barred Rock, and EE.

    My EE stopped laying eggs about 3 weeks ago. I assumed because of the time of year. She stopped squatting around the same time. Other than those changes she has seemed fine. She continued to eat and drink regularly. They all stay in their coop and run when I'm not home and then free range the backyard when I'm home. Today my husband got home early and went outside to let them out. The EE didn't run out and upon checking the coop he found her dead.

    My husband didn't want me to see her but he looked at her himself. He said other than some discharge from her beak she looked fine. No sign of her being egg bound. Her crop felt normal as well.

    Any ideas what may have caused this? She was my favorite, but I am really concerned for my other three hens. Thank you.
     
  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    I'm not sure what she has...usually diseases where birds have no seen symptoms are dangerous ones (such as Avian Influenza or New Castle Disease).
     
  3. flyawayca

    flyawayca Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2014
    Northern CA

    Do you know how birds could typically get those diseases? My girls are true backyard chickens in a subdivision. Since I got them they have never been exposed to other chickens, but I suppose wild birds do go into my backyard.
     
  4. Cluckies

    Cluckies Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I don't have anything to offer, terrible. So sorry for your loss. Can you get a necropsy (sp) from a university? That way you'll know if the other girls are at risk. Did he check her neck? Maybe she flew into something and broke her neck?
     
  5. flyawayca

    flyawayca Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2014
    Northern CA

    I just asked about the neck. He said it was fine. He said she looked like she went to the corner of the coop to die. She was curled up :(

    He already got rid of her body so it may be to late for a necroscopy.

    I did just remember seeing odd dark yellow, like a mustard color, droppings on her back feathers. But because she was acting fine I assumed it was just something she ate.
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    The dark yellow droppings stuck to her feathers could possibly be an indication of coccidiosis, parasites or she may have started laying internally, or perhaps an egg was broken inside her. A little discharge from the beak is normal at the time of death. If she'd had some kind of respiratory disease you would have seen other symptoms.
     
  7. flyawayca

    flyawayca Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2014
    Northern CA

    I'm wondering if maybe an egg broke inside her. I remember a few days ago when I saw the yellow on her feathers I picked her up and looked at her vent and the area seemed fine. But if it leaked from inside and was broke maybe that's why there was no noticeable bulging.
     
  8. flyawayca

    flyawayca Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2014
    Northern CA
    Does anyone have any experience with west Nile? could that have been it? We have high occurrences of that in the area with wild birds.The more I think about it the less I think it was an egg that caused it.
     
  9. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    It's not West Nile. Sounds like your EE was an internal layer, sorry for your loss.
    http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs/un192.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015

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