1. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Outside the Boundries
    black australorp hen
    aproximatly a year and a bit old
    got her as a day old chick
    no new birds in the flock since we got them all at a day old form the same place.
    they have free acess to crushed oyster, get safe veggie scraps (corn, cabbage, ect...no tomatoes garlic onions or potatoe peelings)
    the other hens in the flock are showing no signs of illness...
    they also have acess to a food grade DE dust bath.
    their pen is 50 x 50 with no acess to anything poisenous that i could find...
    ive checked for mites, no sign of mites.

    around 6 months old this hen started loosing feathers on her rump, tail, wings and everything from what would be the waist up was fine...no scabs, no open wounds, figured it was picking or riding as she seemed ot be fairly low on the pole, treated with nustock to keep the other birds off...she eventually lost ALL her feathers from the wasit down to the tail, i worried it was mites because again shes never had any wounds, sores scabs ect, but i couldnt find any sign of mites, and then the loss stopped, literally she had a completly nekkid butt, but none of her other feathers started going missing. infact what was left looked shiney clean and very healthy.
    checked her regularly for sores, no wounds no scabs, odly she had kept the feathers around her vent area which i hear is the first to go...

    anywho...we thought given her lack of feathering we were going to loose her over the winter there were mornings her poor tush was bright red from wind chap, but we put a fleece hen saddle on her and hoped for the best as she was still eating, laying and interacting..
    same story through spring, nekkid butt but otherwise completly normal.

    then the day before yesterday nothign out of the ordinary, she ate, she ran, she flapped, she ate grass (no pesticides) ate her treats (was oatmeal and a head of cabbage for them) then that evening mum whent to lock them in and she was sitting on the ground under the roost...now weve found eggs regularly in that spot so mum didnt bother her, and good night chickens.
    yesterday morning mum opend them up for the day and she was still sitting in the exact same spot, usually when the doors open they all rush out, but ronny didnt rush infact she didnt get up...mum figured she must be sitting and let her be...weve had hens sit in the morning who refuse to come out at first, so normal...
    about 2 hours later she whent out and ronny was in the exact same spot, mum lifted her to see if she had an egg under there and she stood up gave her a "look" and wandered off before going to sit in another corner...

    mum brought treats out, and all the birds rished over...ronny kind of came out slowly wandered stratight past the treats and stared blankly across the run...

    then yesterday afternoon mum came in to tell me ronny had died...
    she was next to the ramp going into the pop door from the run, looks like she maybe fell off the ramp? but we cant be sure.

    i gave her body a quick check over, NO open wounds no scabbing, her vent looked normal though she had a tiny bit of poop on her butt (nothing to indicate pastey and no diahrreea that we coudl find) i couldnt feel anything hard in her abdominal cavinty but im no chicken bipology expert.
    she was a good healthy body type didnt seem skinny, crop felt normal for a chicken food in there but not impacted. no sign or mites or lice, she did have little black sugar ants around her vent but nothing that looked like bites (were in ct no fire ants) so i think they started once they found the corps rather than being a potential cause.
    body was cold hard and stiff, but neck floppy, i know this is relitivly normal after rigor but was wondering...

    could she have been not well and then fallen off the ramp and broken her neck on landing?
    its not a steep run and its not high off the floor (the pop door is about 24" off the ground)

    im at a loss with this one...she was fine one day, then that night she wasnt and the day after she was gone.

    weve got a few hens that are missing some feathers at the base of their tails as of yet weve been unable ot figure out which one is doing it but it looks to be riding...
    theres no roosters in the group...so ive no doubt weve got a dominant female puttng everyone in their place...
    but there were no wounds on ronny and they wernt pushing her away from feed ect...

    i dont want to treat them with anything medication wise if its just a simple case of a genetic issue...but i dont want mum loosing any more hens either...

    all the others are acting normal...but this came over ronny so fast that im a tad worried.

    unfortunatly we do not have any chicken vets around here and my avian vet has now decided he wont even talk chickens...and the only farm vet locally isnt interested in 1 chicken said to call him if we loose more than 3 in a week...*sigh*

    were in connecticut, temps this past few days have been in the low to mid 80's with some peeking to the high 80's but noones been panting and theyres plenty of ventilation in the coop and shade in the run, they have free acess to water and food.

  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Sorry about your loss:hugs
    Am afraid I have no idea what the problem could be, but I'll ask my vet when I see him. He doesn't mind helping, even if it's just one chick.
    You should ask your avian vet why he studied birds, considering there is more chickens than every other species of bird in the world? He'll probably get more sick chickens than parrots. As for the farm vet: does he wait until the farmers have 3 sick cows/pigs/horses before he goes out? People with that kind of attitude makes me mad:mad:
    Good luck!
  3. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Outside the Boundries
    unfrintatly its the type of area were in...
    here livestock are looked down upon unless your a large scale farmer....have a couple of chickens or a goat and your nothing more than someone pretending...and not worth the "farm vets" time (which are very few and far between around here)
    and the avian vets are HIGH price, alot of rich folks here in faifield county with "exotics" there in it for the parrots weve got alot of macaws around here including one of the countries largest hyacinth macaw collections.
    i only see him for my macaw, and thankfully only once in a blue moon... but he admits freely that while generally its the same basic system hes not comfortable with chickens or any of the game birds...
    its kinda frustrating...but im moving soon so.
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I hope the next place you live in has a chicken loving vet! Good luck, hey.
  5. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Outside the Boundries
    update. lost another one today..
    about 3 weeks after loosing our astralorp we lost our buff orphington today

    i have no idea whats going on.

    the buff orph didnt have any missing feathers but otherwise everyting was the same as the australorp.
    wondered if it might be egg binding but she had no vent swelling, no rump or abdomen swelling , i couldnt feel anything in the abdominal cavity, she was active and happy yesterday, and today she was lifeless, dull, essentially just like she had no energy.

    none of the other chickens are displaying any similar symptoms, once again...

    could this be egg binding?! something else?!

    it seems odd that if it were viral or such it would wait 3 weeks befor effecting the next hen...
    no signs of worms...
    no bloody poop, no diahrrea...her feathers were shiney, eyes bright, wattles nice color, eyes clear, no nasal discharge, no panting...other than being lethargic she had no other symptoms...

    im so lost and so upset...she was fine yesterday...ate, was drinking normally yesterday...
    then this morning just as if she had no energy, she was just lethargic.
    at one point this morning mum said it looked like she was straining to pass something (which is why i palipitated (gently) her abdomen) but it lasted about 3 mins and after that she was just letharcis again...no other periods of straining that we noticed. mum checked on them at about 6pm she was lay on the ground under the ramp but breathing normally looking around, just again...lethargic...then when she whent out at 8 to check on them shed already passed.

    theres no blood, no runny poops...no signs of lice, no maggots around the vent, nothing stands out...i dont want to loose another in 3 weeks. wth is going on with our girls?!

    right now the others are acting normally...but as with the last time, they all were then too...its been 3 weeks with normal laying, no thin shells, no shell less eggs, 9 hens have been giving us 6-8 eggs a day for 3 weeks...then today one seems to go from fine to dead in the space of 24 hours...she was fine when she whent to bed at 8pm last night, and by 8pm tonight she was gone.
    its not even like shes skinny, shes a lovely weight and has always been a good eater.

    i talked to the only farm vet in the area today, told him what was going on and he said and i quote "odd" i dont know what it might be...my only suggestion woudl be to deworm them, give em a course of antibiotics and see what happens.

    i realy dont like using chemicals and antibiotics if i dont need to...i mean why treat with anitbiotics if its nothing to do with a biological agent?! why deworm if the hens are showing no signs of worms.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  6. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member


    sorry to hear about your losses.

    Although you don't have access to chicken vets, you may get some help from your county agent. Because there are some chicken illnesses that are of 'public safety' concerns, they may wish to inspect the dead chicken and diagnose. If there is an agricultural university---perhaps they would provide help/diagnosis or suggestion.

    it must be very frustrating -- I hope you can get help. The land grant colleges are in each state, I believe, and they should be concerned about small and large flocks.
  7. kaybats

    kaybats Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    The mysterious situations are always hard to digest. I'm so sorry for you [​IMG]:hugs

    But thank you for posting. I am now not so shocked that my vet's office was so clueless to help with my troubles today. I suspect it would be a waste of time to call or see the doctor tomorrow (as he was not there today).
  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I'm sorry for your losses. Consider worming them. Lethargic as you stated is a good reason to worm if they arnt eggbound nor have lice/mites. There are no signs of respiratory problems. You dont have to wait and see worms in their poop to have them.
  9. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Outside the Boundries
    yeah i think im going to deworm them, just to do it...itll be a pain in the butt to loose all those eggs. any brands suggested?!
    i do have ivermectin on hand...and they have acess to food grade DE at all times for bathing and grit.

    but if theres something full spectrum that would be a little less harsh than the ivermectin...im all for it.

    i would have thought though that 3 weeks since the first death would be long enough for them to begin shedding worms if that were the case?
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  10. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    I didn't read the whole post but I've had a lot of baldness in one hen that was finally remedied by ivermectin pour on and sevin dust. You don't want to ivermectin unless you've wormed them before. The thing is, I can't say I've ever seen bugs on my girls either but those things do suck the life out of them.

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