Our Big Girl Laverne Died

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MichelleRDN, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. MichelleRDN

    MichelleRDN New Egg

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    Feb 12, 2015
    When my husband went out to our coop yesterday morning our big Australorp Laverne was dead. She was only 1 year and 5 months old. She had some feathers missing from the middle of her back, she was stiff, with her feet sticking straight down, laying flat. We have no idea how she died. Our other two Australop's were fine. The coop has thick wire with very small holes. Though they each have a separate roost they usually all flock together on top of the roost boxes inside the coop. The coop has a roof but the only shelter is inside the roost boxes. We are in South Florida and the past few nights have been in the 40's-50's, which is cold for us here. I suspect that a racoon possibly reached it's hand in and killed her. However, we also have a large German Shepherd in our yard, who would attack any animal that she heard in the yard. She usually sleeps on the front porch and the coop is in our side yard of our 1.25 acre lot. I wish I knew what happened to our chicken. We don't use any poisons in the yard as the chickens free range out there almost every day. Any thoughts?
     
  2. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm very sorry for your loss [​IMG]

    Was there any blood?

    If not I'm wondering if she just had something wrong internally, but wasn't showing signs. Birds are known for hiding their symptoms very well as a defense mechanism. Was she laying eggs like normal?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  3. MichelleRDN

    MichelleRDN New Egg

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    There was no blood that my husband reported. Just some missing feathers on her back. It's hard to tell who's laying what because they all lay in the same bin, even though they have three to choose from. They seem to rotate which bin they will use. About a year ago she was sitting in the bin on the eggs and wouldn't come out. One other time she lost a lot of her feathers and then they all came back.
     
  4. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    That's normal. My girls go broody and want to sit on the eggs all spring and summer long. And the feather loss and regrowth is normal too. They're just molting. (sometimes it could be an illness or bug, but not usuallly birds molt most every year)

    Did the other girls seemed stressed. I would think either some predator scared them and she died from too much stress (which I almost doubt since you said you have a dog on watch) or that she just flat out had a heart attack. The only other thing I can think of is a hidden illness, but if she was acting fine all the way to this point I'm still as stumped as you.
     
  5. MichelleRDN

    MichelleRDN New Egg

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    I think it could have been a heart attack. The dog would have been alerted if all the girls were stressed from a predator.
     
  6. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    That's the best guess I'd have. Unfortunately this happens, especially with larger breeds. I don't think it's an extremely common scenario, just more-so than with smaller breeds. I hear meat birds like cornish crosses are quite susceptible to heart attacks.

    I'm sorry you lost Laverne and I hope your surviving two do well.
     
  7. MichelleRDN

    MichelleRDN New Egg

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    Thank you. [​IMG]
     

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