My hen died mysteriously

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by PipiOli, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. PipiOli

    PipiOli In the Brooder

    Feb 15, 2011
    Hi everyone

    This morning we found out that one of my hen died last night. We don't know why and we were wondering if anyone might have an idea.
    We found her sitting in her laying egg coop sitting like she was laying egg with her head bowed down like she was sleeping. There actually was an egg underneath her.
    She didn't have any obvious injuries to her body. But I did notice that her butt was kind of open little wide and little of the inside of the butt was coming out.
    I wonder could she die of some laying egg complications? She wasn't showing any strange behavior the previous day as far as we are concerned.
    We cleaned out the whole hen house and disposed of all the egg we collected in past few day just in case she died of some disease.
    She was americana hen. She was quite young (about 2 years old) so we don't think she died of natural causes. We got her together with her other three sisters and they seem to be fine.
    She layed egg almost everyday or every other day or so. We have 5 hens (including the dead one) and one rooster. We have them as our pets in our backyard and we feed the well with hen feed and lettuce and tomatoes everyday.
    Do you have any idea what could have happen? We just hope there is no disease going around our coop.
    My hen Katerina was wrapped in pink tissue paper and buried this morning [​IMG]

    p.s. I forgot to mentioned we have found a dead bird in the chicken yard earlier this week. We think it was a dove. Not sure in that has any importance....

    thank you for your responses

    Katerina (yeah I named her after me [​IMG] )
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member


    Very sorry to hear that your hen died.

    I'm not sure where you are, but in a lot of places in the country right now, the heat is very intense. Chickens can die from being over heated. It is very sad.

    I hope that there is no disease, and that all your other chickens remain well.

    If you have a thermometer, put it in the area that your chickens are. If the temperature gets above 90, it would be a good idea to do something to make sure that they are able to get cool. Search on heat and chickens in BYC forum, if you go to my BYC page, there is a listing on the charts-and-quotes page that tells you the effect of various temperatures on chickens and there is a link to a good internet article on chickens and heat.
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I'm sorry about the loss of your chicken. It can be difficult to determine why a chicken died. Heat stress is one possibility, but she may have had a prolapse that caused problems.
  4. PipiOli

    PipiOli In the Brooder

    Feb 15, 2011

    we live in bay area in California. Well it wasn't so hot yesterday. The also have water tray to drink from. There is also a shade in the morning and late afternoon and they have shade inside the coop.
    Thank you for the idea ;-)
  5. sherylreno

    sherylreno Songster

    May 13, 2011
    Reno, Nevada
    It sounds just like a prolapse that caused this issue and can lead to death if they become egg bound which this seems to be the case.
  6. PipiOli

    PipiOli In the Brooder

    Feb 15, 2011
    Thank you guys for responding to me.
    I just read about prolapse. I knew egg can get stuck inside sometimes but I didn't know much about it. I am very upset now because we could have probably prevent this.
    So does that mean the hen can actually die of untreated prolapse? Even she did push the egg out? I tried stick finger inside her butt and I didn't feel any egg there.
    So the big question I have: How do you prevent this? Does that mean you have to check you hens butts every day? We didn't see her acting strange...
  7. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    From what I have read prolapse can sometimes lead to infection. I guess it doesn't sound like she was egg bound, but in general if a hen spends a lot of time in the nest box and isn't broody then she may be egg bound. Chickens can be awfully good at hiding their symptoms, so you can't be too hard on yourself for not catching every problem.

    I don't feel up my hens every day. I just do my best to notice each of them when I am doing chores and feeding them treats.
  8. edselpdx

    edselpdx Songster

    Nov 10, 2008
    Portland, OR
    So sorry for your loss. Sometimes, this just happens. I wouldn't actually assume that the partial prolapse was the cause of death necessarily. That usually doesn't cause immediate death, and may just be related to how things "relax" when a creature dies. Sometimes, you just don't know what really happened.

    I lost a 2 year old GLW a few weeks ago very unexpectedly, too. Looked like she just died in her sleep and fell off the roost. She had been happy and healthy the day before, laid her egg every day like clockwork, nice red comb, no external parasites. No changes in behavior, no weight-loss, no lethargy nor tail-drooping. Just dead on the floor of the coop in the morning. I'm assuming a heart attack or other natural cause.
  9. poca77

    poca77 Hatching

    Dec 3, 2010
    I'm really sorry about your hen.[​IMG] The same thing happend to my buff orpington hen only she was younger, only about 5 months. She laid her first egg at 19 weeks old . She was a great layer and laid large eggs. We found out that sometimes the hen gets an oversized liver and its puntured by the egg, causing almost instant death. Maybe thats what happed to our hens.

    PotPie is now buried in my backyard.

    - Chicken fan [​IMG]
  10. Egg Rookie 2010

    Egg Rookie 2010 Songster

    Jun 21, 2010
    North Idaho
    Thanks for your post...I experienced the exact thing myself..TODAY. My favorite girl. I wonder if it was the heat. Bad part is that we went camping...only gone 30 hours...neighbor watching them so I feel guilty that I want here to spray off the run twice a day like usual.. First time I left home since I got them in February and I feel sick about it. She too was on an egg. [​IMG]

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