My six month old hen suddenly died.


In the Brooder
Nov 24, 2020
My six month old black frizzle Cochin bantam hen suddenly died last night. I have no idea how it happened and why.
There were a few things about her that maybe seemed a little off but I never assumed anything serious was going on.
Her skin was a very bright yellow color. She was a very shy, skittish chicken.
This is something I found really strange. After September, she basically stopped growing. Our other hens continued to but she didn’t. Her tail feathers still kept getting longer though so I assumed all was fine.
Another thing I thought was strange was that for maybe the last week, she wouldn’t go to the coop on her own. She would wait by our front door for us and she’d make us carry her to the coop.
Other than this she seemed completely normal. The day she passed she was walking around and eating, again, just like normal.
I just want to know what happened to her. I’m so shocked at her death. It came out of no where and I’ll miss her so much.
(Also another thing I wanted to add is one of our six month old roosters was staying somewhat near where we found her even as it was getting darker. Eventually he went to the coop but I found that strange.)
Sorry for your loss. Most of the time it's hard to come up with a good conclusion why the hen died without a necropsy done on the bird itself. Basing on what you've said about there be some odd behavior on her part for the last couple of months, it's possible she has some internal problem going on, possibly a defect since hatcheries tend to breed for numbers, not quality.

The yellow skin you saw, could have been excess fat, if you were finding it in "patches", or it could be related to a high diet in carotenoids.

If you still have her body, you could send her to your state necropsy lab, which in most states is a fairly minimal fee, or if you're up for it, you could try one yourself.
I'm so sorry, I know how sad it can be.

There are sometimes 'runt of the litter' hens who just don't develop as they should, even later in life.
This might not be what is going on here, but it's a possibility as none of your others are affected, right?

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