Pullets Unexpectedly Died Today

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kiwiblossom, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. kiwiblossom

    kiwiblossom New Egg

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    My red sex link(a Golden Comet from a hatchery) died today. She was almost six months old. She was top of the pecking order and very quick and active. She started laying on November 13 and laid an egg a day for just five days, then stopped and never laid again. Her comb faded and shriveled up. Over the past two weeks she gradually became withdrawn, quiet and slow moving. Yesterday she stopped eating and drinking and stayed inside the coop all day. This afternoon she laid down in the coop and had trouble opening her eyes so I brought her inside and tried to help her with a warm bath and then a heating pad, but it was too late. She died in my arms. I am a first-time chicken owner. I have four other pullets the same age who seem healthy. Two have started laying. Any ideas on what could have happened to my Little Red? I am afraid it is contagious and the others could die too. She wasn't sneezing or wheezing, didn't have a drippy nose or eyes. She had diarrhea today and maybe yesterday but before that her droppings seemed normal. We got our first snow yesterday and last night was very cold. The coop is unheated. It didn't seem to bother the others though. Could she have been egg bound? I am so sad and would like to know what happened.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    We can't tell you why your little pullet died. Even if you had a vet look at her, they wouldn't be able to tell you much. The only way you can find out what killed your girl is to take her body to a lab and have a necropsy done.

    We all have a chicken die from time to time, and most often they behave just as yours did before she died. There are so many things that can infect chickens or toxins they can be exposed to in the course of their ranging and pecking, it's almost impossible to guess.

    I'm so sorry your little one died. I doubt it was contagious, but you need to find out. The only way is a necropsy.
     
  3. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like she was eggbound.Most people think that you have to let a vet do the necropsy but they are fairly easy if you know what your doing.
     
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Howdy kiwiblossom

    I am so sorry for your loss [​IMG] It is heartbreaking when we loose one of our flock and it can also be quite stressful when we do not know why and the ‘was it contagious’ thoughts enter into our head.

    The fact that she stopped laying could not necessarily be the cause of her demise [egg bound] but may be the ceasing to lay was actually a side effect from something else; worms, mites, lice, infection, EYP, genetic issues etc.

    As azygous mentioned, a necropsy is really the only way to get a definitive diagnosis.
     
  5. kiwiblossom

    kiwiblossom New Egg

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    Thank you, that's comforting information [​IMG]
     
  6. kiwiblossom

    kiwiblossom New Egg

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    Jul 12, 2016
    That's what I keep thinking, after reading about it.
     
  7. kiwiblossom

    kiwiblossom New Egg

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    It seems so strange that she was healthy and happy enough to lay but then stopped so abruptly and declined. Thank you for your help and comforting words.
     
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Sorry for your loss. [​IMG]

    The original end of laying could have been the natural day off. There isn't much consistency in new layers. I know the sex link often have egg binding problems...

    If you are capable of doing your own necropsy, that would be awesome. I probably will in the future if I need to. We do eat our extras, so we are getting familiar with what things SHOULD look like in there.
     
  9. hensareus

    hensareus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry for your loss. I had one pass today,also a golden comet. And the exact symptoms that you describe. My girl was eight months old. The other 8 and roo seem perfectly fine. My husband and I are worried too.
     
  10. kiwiblossom

    kiwiblossom New Egg

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    Thank you. I had to take a break from BackyardChickens for a few days. I know new layers sometimes are irregular and that's why I wasn't too worried at first. I'm a newbie to chickens and I thought I'd read enough,but I just learned something new: what a sick hen looks like. Now I'm watching the others carefully. They all look fine so far. I can't do a necropsy but I'm guessing it was an egg binding problem.
     

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