RIR sudden death...


11 Years
Sep 15, 2008
Huntington Beach, CA

I'm a new backyard chicken farmer in So. Cal. my flock was made up of 3 Rhode Island Reds and 3 Americanas all except one Americana are laying. Last month one of my Reds suddenly couldn't move. She had all the signs of being egg bound, after trying all the recommended procedures she lost her battle and died. My flock seemed to be doing very well, I feed them a balanced diet of organic feed, oyster shell and all the vegetables and fruit I give them is also organic. As in so many other cases that I've read about, my flock seemed perfectly normal yesterday. This morning I found my Red dead under the perch. I'm not only sad, I'm very confused and worried that I'm doing something wrong. They are free to roam in our yard every afternoon, we've never sprayed any type of pesticide, but if they were to ingest a black widow or any other type of poisonous spider could that cause death? I've heard of the West Nile infecting local birds, could it be possible that it could infect my flock too?

Also, is it okay to add new hens to my flock to replace the two that I've lost or would that upset the balance? Would I even be able to find hens of the same age?

Thank you for any information, wisdom or sympathy.
Could be lots of things, like internal laying, which you can really do nothing about. Have you wormed them? Any symptoms at all we can go by to help you better would be good to know. Hard to say exactly what happened. If you do add birds, please, please quarantine them for at least 4 weeks away from your others. If they then do not have any apparent diseases or pests, then you can add them, but they will have to work out a new pecking order.
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I've lost three hens this year to internal laying and think I'm about to lose another one soon. She hasn't laid in months and is acting very unlike herself. Lost two SLWs and one RIR and the one I mentioned is also a RIR, all hatchery stock, all the same age, all over 2 yrs old when they died.
very sorry for your loss. I lost a chick yesterday to an as yet unknown illness. It's hard, but it sounds like your doing a good job. Keep it up! Things WILL get better!

My flock is only 7 months old. I suppose you have to keep a healthy perspective on how fragile nature can be and enjoy the process for what it is. I'll continue to enjoy my flock and to learn as much as I can from them and all my fellow chicken farmers. Many thanks!
welcome, lantonmay,
to the BYC forum ! You will find a lot of good info and hands on experience here, I've had many questions answered just by reading the posts. Enjoy, and again Welcome !
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