My hen suddenly died and puked up these things.... no idea what they are

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LilacLes, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. LilacLes

    LilacLes Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 28, 2012
    My hen (who of course was my daughter's favourite hen - Ballerina - ) was fine until this morning when she was lethargic, refused to eat or drink, and then within a few hours couldn't stand up. She would strain and cry out in pain to pass pasty, pale yellow diarrhea. Of course I thought she was egg bound, but an external and internal exam dissuaded me of that.

    After 10 hours of being in the house and having me fret over her, making her weak tea (St. John's Wort, bilberry, barberry and lemon balm), I was about to give her a warm sitz bath in case I was wrong about the egg binding when she suddenly started to choke, and before I could do anything she convulsed and died.

    The strangest part is that she barfed up some of these creatures as she died. I've had all kinds of parasites on my little organic farm but I've never seen anything like this. If anyone has any idea what they are I'd love to know. Please note that she hadn't been outside to eat bugs in at least 18 hours. The creatures that she vomited were not alive. There were about 6 of the first pic and two of the second.


  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey LilacLes I am so sorry to read of your loss [​IMG]

    I have not personally experienced anything like that and even though the circumstances are awful, I am a little intrigued.

    The first picture, I have no idea, but the second one, I am leaning towards cocoon, maybe a moth.

    I am going to research some more today [Friday‚Äôs at work are always quiet [​IMG]] and see if I can come up with something.
  3. RedDol

    RedDol Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 26, 2015
    Waxahachie, Tx
    Wow. I'd love to know what you find out!!
  4. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    me, too.
  5. LilacLes

    LilacLes Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 28, 2012
    Thank you Teila. My girls are pets, like pretty much everyone else's chickens are to them on this site, I'd guess. Ballerina was such a little character. I just took some dry bread out to my little flock a few minutes ago and Ballerina would have been the first one to come to my feet, her little wings a-flapping as she ran across the yard. I'm drowning my tears in a glass of wine. :/

    If you find anything out I'd really love to hear it. Thanks so much for looking into it - I really appreciate it.

  6. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey Les, you are welcome.

    My girls are my pets also, each with their own little personality and yep, I bawl like a baby when I lose one.

    I hope we can work out what this insect was in case it may be a risk to your other girls.

    So, it is not a cocoon, it is a pupae but I am still unable to find out of what .. it could be moth, fly or wasp etc.

    Anyways, in an effort to narrow it down, when you get a chance, can you let me know what country you are in?

    I will keep looking.

    Edited to add: looking at the top picture, I am leaning towards ruling out wasp as most seem to have long legs tucked up to them in this stage and that guy has shortish, stubby legs.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey Les .. still looking!

    Do you feed your girls meal worms?

    I am not finding anything that matches the larvae [first pic] with the pupae [second pic] and wonder if they are, in fact, connected. All the larvae research I have done points towards beetle larvae on that little guy.

    The first pic looks very much like a meal worm and while I can find fly and wasp pupae that look similar to the second pic, none of the larvae fit with the first pic.

    Also posting in an effort to keep this thread going so that others may join the search [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  8. microchick

    microchick Chicken Obsessed

    I would suggest that you contact either your local farm bureau or extension office and show them your pictures. Somebody will recognize what the are and whether they killed tour girl or she just dined on them prior to dying.

    I grieve with you on your loss.
  9. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    OK, I have way more knowledge about larvae and pupa than I did a few hours ago [​IMG]

    I am sorry Les but I was unable to come up with anything concrete.

    The best I can guess is that the larvae is a beetle larvae of some description and the pupa is a moth of some description .. I could not find anything to match both together.

    I agree with microchick that some local knowledge might be helpful.

    Please keep us up-to-date if you find out anything?
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  10. microchick

    microchick Chicken Obsessed

    I wanted to add that our hens and roosters eat larvae all the time with no ill effects. We heat with wood and when we do our processing, we oft times find some really big and juicy larvae in the wood when we split it. Usually we lay the split wood sections with the side up that has the larvae visible in it and the chickens go to work pecking them out.

    Sleeping on this one question came to mind. Is the cocoon soft shelled or hard? If hard could she have caught it in her throat?

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