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Silkie hen, 1 year old, died in my arms...what the heck?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by My Lay D's, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. My Lay D's

    My Lay D's Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2011
    Im so confused and in a state of shock right now...my Silkie hen Deva just passed away in my arms and I think it was my fault! About 5 weeks ago now she sat on 4 eggs for me and raised 4 baby bantam Cochin chicks. It seemed like she never "came back" from being broody. Wasnt eating very well, wanted to be with the chicks all the time. I also thinking during this time she went into a molt as she had LOTS of new feathers coming in etc. I have read that when chickens molt they can be lethargic, not their usual selves because it takes a lot of energy to produce new feathers. So I figured her behavior was due to this. I picked her up the other day to move her out of the area with the chicks and felt she was super duper skinny. So I started forcing some electrolyte water and protein shakes to help boost her appetite. I gave her a syringe full of liquid this morning and she seemed to perk up by this evening. (I had tried to give her eggs too but she wasnt having that). Not even meal worms. Tonight I went out again to give her some baby food banana mixed with electrolyte water. Started to syringe feed it to her, she pulled her neck forward, opened her wings and dropped dead. Literally in a span of 30 seconds. I have worked with domestic and wild life for many years and have syringe fed many different animals. I think maybe the mixture was too thick and I suffocated her to death? Oh god...Ill die. The mixture was really smooth though a smidge thicker than water, much like baby formula. I started to give it to her and she spit up some water fluid that smelled FOUL. It also appeared to have been tinged red. Do you think she stopped digesting things? I was just hoping someone out there may have a clue as to what happened. I am sick with greif to think that I may have lead to her death. Any thoughts?
     
  2. My Lay D's

    My Lay D's Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2011
    I would have thought too if I had gotten some into her airway she would have gaged or tried to get it up. I hadnt even put that much in? She was so weak - Im afraid she wouldnt have made it to morning. So terrible...my little Silkie girl :(
     
  3. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    First of all, I'm so sorry that you lost your girl. That's a heartbreaker. Second of all, if you have syringe fed other animals, I'd trust your instincts that you were doing it right. She wouldn't have suffocated instantly- I don't want to give you the horrible visual, but you wouldn't have had a doubt as to what was going on. If you wouldn't have tried to help her tonite and found her expired in the morning, you'd have felt guilty forever for not intervening. I'm not putting your concerns aside, but for the time being try to find some peace in the life you gave her!
     
  4. My Lay D's

    My Lay D's Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2011
    Thank you :) I was so confused by the entire situation. I thought I was crazy but literally I had just started and she passed. I dont think aspiration would cause death that quickly. Still so very sad. She was young one of my original girls :( Ugh.
     
  5. Tracyree

    Tracyree Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
    Please don't blame yourself. It really sounds like a timing thing, she was passing and you happened to be there. You would know if she were aspirating. Inknow as I've done that to a chicken who was near death. It was very obvious, you could hear the liquid in her lungs.

    You were doing all you could, some things are just out of our hands.

    Take extra care of yourself.
     
  6. My Lay D's

    My Lay D's Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2011
    Thank you Tracyree. I really appreciate your words. I didnt hear a sound come out of her...I even tried to help her upside down to see if I could force any fluid out but nothing. Man I hate losing them :(
     
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I am so sorry for your loss. What matters is that you did your best. She knew you cared and were trying- I believe they know!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. lclough1998

    lclough1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    So sorry for your loss. You did your best and you tried, some just dont make it.

    I don't know how she was when she was broody and setting, but at least once a day we take our silkie broody hen off her eggs, set her by the food and water, she poops and eats and scratch and then about 10 minutes later she heads back to her nest, or if I dont have time to keep an eye on her I put her back on the nest. I also scramble eggs and give moist nutritious treats as often as I can, just in a little bowl right at her head by the nest. I dont know if she would go off the nest daily herself to get food, I do know that they are intent and content to set for long periods of time. After the chicks hatch, she should have been eating chick starter along with the chicks so she shouldnt have starved herself if she was showing the chicks how to scratch and eat the food. If sounds like it must have been something else.
     

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