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New member - have Q's re: oyster shells, what to do when hen dies

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Quetuk, May 10, 2011.

  1. Quetuk

    Quetuk Hatching

    May 10, 2011
    Hi everyone - I'm a new member who has visited the site many times and finally just joined today. I have been reading through lots of old posts and thought I would also raise my questions here in case folks had additional ideas or suggestions. I have raised four chicks (one each: rhode island red, easter egger, golden laced wyandotte, and speckled sussex), but sadly today one passed away. She was about 7 months old and had been acting listless for several days. I thought she was perhaps going broody because she had shown an interest already in lingering for awhile on the nest. But, today we found her deceased in the hen house. In hindsight I probably should have separated her from the flock and perhaps sought medical care but this is my first experience with a sick hen. The other chickens all seem fine but I'm wondering if I need to take any measures to try to protect them since we have no idea what led to the death of Winnie, our golden laced wyandotte. For example, do I need to clean out and disinfect the whole coop and run? Should I try changing their diet? I'm open to any suggestions....

    I also have questions about whether/how I should supplement their feed. The chickens eat layer pellets made by Modesto Milling and then when we are home we let them free range in the yard where they eat a lot of clover, some rose bushes, etc. Do they need oyster shells or other calcium supplements? I thought the feed was supposed to be completely balanced and not need supplements, but I'm not sure how the free ranging affects the balance. If I do need to supplement, how much? Will they really self-regulate if I just provide it? Also, what about grit? There is plenty of it in the yard and also sand in their run (under straw) - is this sufficient or should I specifically add it to feed?

    Thanks so much for any input on these issues to help out this newcomer!

  2. KlaHaYa Gardens

    KlaHaYa Gardens Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    Welcome, Quetuk! [​IMG]

    I hope you find all the answers you are looking for with your birds. I hope you have fun while finding those answers.
  3. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    [​IMG] I'm not sure what happened with you hen, but sometimes they just die [​IMG] and sorry for your loss [​IMG] and as far as adding oyster shells I add them when ever I'm getting thin shelled eggs and I add grit every once and away just in case both free choice, not mixed in feed.
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC. It sounds like your wyandotte might've been egg bound and died as a result of it. Next time you notice one of your chickens acting like this...put them in a container of warm water and gently massage her underside for about 15-20 minutes. Then remove her and dry her off. Then wear a disposable plastic glove, put some olive oil on your finger and insert it inside her vent gently checking for blockage or broken eggshell. Then remove your finger and put olive oil around her vent area. Placing her in warm water expands her innards, massaging helps move the egg along, finger in the vent helps stretch it and the oil helps her push the egg out. ETA; you can add crushed oyster shell as free choice...they seem to know when they need to eat it.
    Last edited: May 10, 2011
  5. 10 point

    10 point country boy

    Feb 19, 2011
    LaFayette, NY
    [​IMG] from NY
  6. schellie69

    schellie69 Songster

    Oct 8, 2009
    [​IMG] from Kansas. I offer free choice crushed egg shells to my girls they eat what they need. I am not sure on your hen, It could be egg bound or sometimes they do just die. Sorry about the loss of your hen.
  7. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from Ohio. So glad you joined. [​IMG]

  8. Desert Rooster

    Desert Rooster El Gallo Del Desierto

    Sep 4, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca
    Hello [​IMG] from Hesperia,CA and [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. True Grit

    True Grit Songster

    [​IMG] from MN and sorry about your hen. Good advice from dawg53.
  10. weimarmama

    weimarmama Crowing

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Really good advice given [​IMG] Good luck

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