mystery dead hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Ole and Lena, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Ole and Lena

    Ole and Lena Chillin' With My Peeps

    389
    39
    123
    Jul 22, 2011
    Wright Co Minnesota
    Just put the chickens to bed and found one dead, frozen stiff in a nest box. All were acting normally the last few days, went out and milled around even in the bitter cold today. No signs of trauma but she's missing most of the feathers on her butt. Don't know if they were pulled off by a predator or fell out due to some disease.

    They're in an insulated room in the barn with a heat lamp and they are not all huddling up underneath it so I don't think they're too cold. They have free choice lay ration and a supplement of scratch and corn oil on cold days. Any ideas? She's an 8 mo old Wyandotte and should be in her prime.
     
  2. Elko Stacy

    Elko Stacy Out Of The Brooder

    29
    0
    22
    Feb 9, 2012
    Elko NV
    Sorry for your loss..it sounds like everything was in order..do predators have access? She must have been dead for quite some time, right?

    How cold is it?!
     
  3. Ole and Lena

    Ole and Lena Chillin' With My Peeps

    389
    39
    123
    Jul 22, 2011
    Wright Co Minnesota
    High of 4 degrees today. Around 20 in the coop tonight. Much warmer on the side with the heat lamp and roosts. I think she died some time this morning and was curled up in the bottom box against an outside wall, coldest part of the coop. Coop is pretty secure from any large predators, a weasel or mink could get in, we have them around, but no sign of trauma or feeding. She was missing tailfeathers so I wonder if she suffered some internal injuries from a near miss with a hawk or fox and took awhile to die. Wife just told me she's been missing feathers for a couple days now.
     
  4. Michigan Transplant

    Michigan Transplant Chillin' With My Peeps

    215
    1
    111
    Mar 7, 2010
    Marionville, MO
    I have been loosing a hen a month and then went for a month and a half with no deaths. NOW I have another hen acting strange. By this I mean she stands a lone in the corner, not egg bound. She is doing just like the others did before they died. Her comb is pale and she is just standing around. I brought this one into the house and she is still acting strange. Not eating as of yet or drinking. They all acted this way and finally died. Started out with 15 and down to 10. Any thoughts?
     
  5. AshPack

    AshPack Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    21
    Feb 11, 2012
    If it was a weasel or mink you would find some damage to the neck area maybe only toothmarks but a weasel or mink will always go for the neck! Where is your coop located? is it possible something could be running around the coop causing stress? Water consumtion is always a great sign of stress or problems with your birds and it pays to keep a daily record of water consumption.
     
  6. AshPack

    AshPack Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    21
    Feb 11, 2012
    What do there droppings look like? The birds is obviously stressed about something and trying to
    find some droppings from the bird can be key to identifying the problem. What age are they?
     
  7. Ole and Lena

    Ole and Lena Chillin' With My Peeps

    389
    39
    123
    Jul 22, 2011
    Wright Co Minnesota
    The coop is inside the barn, 2 heavily insulated outside walls, stud and chipboard sturdy walls, predator baffles at the entrance to keep out foxes, coons, possums. no chance of anything running around and stressing them. Like you say, a mink or weasel would have left signs of attack. They go out in the yard during the day and are used to some playful herding from the dog and horse. Don't think they were chased around during the day, no sign of loose feathers or canine tracks. Keeping them all inside today to be sure. We live near a large wetland and even though I put a dent in the predator population this fall trapping, the occasional fox or coyote still passes through our property (at extreme peril).

    I'm more concerned about the missing feathers. Is it possible she started a molt at a really bad time of year? Are there any diseases that can cause feather loss on the butt? Want to make sure this is nothing contageous to the rest of the flock. All are acting normally and eating/drinking today.
     
  8. AshPack

    AshPack Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    21
    Feb 11, 2012
    I would say its probably a random moult i dont know of any specific diseases that would cause this but have a god inspection for lice and mites as this could be a possible cause.
     
  9. Michigan Transplant

    Michigan Transplant Chillin' With My Peeps

    215
    1
    111
    Mar 7, 2010
    Marionville, MO
    The one I have in the house, her droppings are a yellowish mixed with green. One of the chickens did get snatched by a chicken hawk two days ago. One of the same breed as this one. Is she missing the other chicken? She was fine two days ago and yesterday a little stand offish and last night she slept over by the nest boxes alone. Her comb and waddle are pale so thought maybe she is sick from what I don't know. I am really stumped on this. Tired of loosing chickens. Ordered 18 chicks and 2 ducks for the end of the month but don't want them out there and getting sick too. After the last death around Christmas I started Tetracycline Hydrochloride soluble powder in their water and they have been doing great till now. She looks pathetic and just sits in the cage and will close her eyes but will jump when there is a noise. Do they remember the hawk attacking and taking one of their flock mates?
     
  10. Michigan Transplant

    Michigan Transplant Chillin' With My Peeps

    215
    1
    111
    Mar 7, 2010
    Marionville, MO
    They are about a year old now. Sorry, forgot to add this to the last post.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by