My Mary died today - please help me understand why

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Suzie, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 9, 2009
    Mary was a black and gold chicken - always appeared to be healthy and happy but three days ago she appeared to lose interest in everything around her - she ate and drank as usual but seemd lethargic, I stupidly thought that as she was moulting that it would be the reason for her altered behaviour - last night I isolated her from the main flock, she looked almost grey in colour - I found her dead this morning in the isolation unit ( I use this area for any sick chickens) - she had no apparent injuries but she had barely any flesh on her - she looked as if she had been starved - this was not the case as she was fed extensively when she appeared off colour - she ate and drank as normal and showed no signs of illness - any ideas anyone? ( If I took her to a Vet here in France they would think I was insane). Mary was only 18 months old - too young to die - I have shed my river of tears for her - I just need to know WHY.... what could I have done to save her??? Any comments would be appreciated - perhaps I can help my other babies - my ignorance is no excuse for failing my flock - RIP Mary - you were so special to me

  2. thespinningcottage

    thespinningcottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2009
    Arcadia, Florida
    I'm so sorry for your loss. Perhaps Mary had a case of worms? If she appeared starved, that's the only thing I can think of. I hope more knowledgeable folks will step in with other possibilities. [​IMG]
  3. vetgirl00us

    vetgirl00us Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2010
    Rome, GA
    that's what i would think. Parasites.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Not necessarily worms, though. Internal layers will lose weight so they are skin and bones, even if their abdomens are huge. Some don't hold fluid in the abdomen, just cooked egg gunk in the oviducts and will lose massive amounts of weight, too. Then they get very weak, turn dark in the comb and die. I've been through this about 8 times now and they have absolutely not one ounce of meat on their keel bone (the breast areas).
  5. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Worms, egg bound, heat stroke, dehydration, age, unkown disease/parasites..... any number of reasons really.
  6. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 9, 2009
    Speckledhen - she was exactly as you describe - her keel was like a razor - if it were worms I would have expected others of my 30 flock to show the same symptoms - but all of my others appear fine at the moment - could I have done anthing to help Mary? You have such experience and I do value any of the comments here - my chickens are so very special to me and I need to learn and do what is right for their health and happiness - they are all free range ( except at night ) and have stress free life.

    I have followed Ivy's problems and I value your comments and experience - RIP Ivy

  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    If it was internal laying/egg peritonitis, no, there is nothing you could have done, Suzie. "Keel like a razor" is exactly the way I have described it. I'm sorry about your Mary.
  8. joletabey

    joletabey SDWD!!!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    western NC
    I am so sorry you lost your hen- Speckledhen is, sadly for her, very experienced with the internal laying issues, and I bet she is correct.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  9. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2008
    An internal fungus caused 3 of my chickens to slowly starve to death over the course of a few months, despite being fed well.

    They got it from eating a couple meals of moldy corn, and from there possibly being some mold in a corner of the coop floor (where they might have eaten some food that spilled out of feeders). The other chickens in the coop (who probably ate less of the corn) were okay.

    The fungus uses up nutrients, damages the digestive tract so nutrition increasingly isn't digested well, poisons the chicken's system, and makes them feel sicker and sicker so they eat progressively less.

    I am very, very sorry for your loss. [​IMG] It sounds like you really loved your hen.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I'm not saying for sure that internal laying is what killed Mary, but it is one distinct possibility. There could be, of course, other causes.

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