My favorite BR hen is dead...


12 Years
Feb 27, 2011
Grand Junction
So when I went to collect eggs yesterday late afternoon after getting home from work, I saw one of my two BR hens laying just inside the coop. I knew immediately that this was not OK. One hen has been broody and sitting in a chicken nest box in approximately the same spot and she is doing fine. I went inside the run to get a better look and she was just laying there, not bleeding, but pecked at on her back and dead. I had to call my FIL to come get her out as hubby was working the night shift and had too many calls backed up. He got her out and looked her over. No gashes or bleeding. She was right next to the nest boxes and the position she was in leads me to believe that it likely wasn't that the tom mounted her and accidentally broke her neck or anything.
What the heck happened???? She was completely fine the evening before, no signs of a fight. She was just around a year old and my much better layer!
So sorry. It is a bummer when one of your regular birds passes. Part of the process, unfortunately. The fact that you care enough to let others know shows that you care for the welfare of your birds.
sorry to hear of your loss
Could it be the other hen smothered her? sorry for putting it that way but this actaully happened to me - i came home from work and found BOTH of my bourbon red hens sitting in the same broody box, and unfortunately the one had smothered the one who was originally setting there. # 1 hen was quite dead, and it was a rude surprise, there had been no fighting or prior indications. I mention just because you say you have one setting nearby. Could there have been a squabble over the eggs or the 'right' to sit in that particular nest box? The lesson i learned is that once i have a broody turkey, i isolate her asap so no one else can sit on her or otherwise stress her out, bsides i don't want any damage to the eggs under a broody hen. Sometimes we just aren't meant to know why they pass but it is a rotten shock to find a good layer dead and it is natural to drive yourself a bit crazy thinking 'why? why? and how could this happen?' - very sorry for your loss of your bourbon red hen. May you carry on and have a decent season despite your mystery.
I had one of my one yr old BR die on me with no warning as well, I was told it sometimes happens wiht point of lay hens with no warning. Pretty upsetting when you can't figure out why she died, I am soory for you're loss.

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