So confused about what is going on.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ty48fan, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. ty48fan

    ty48fan Just Hatched

    May 28, 2016
    Well! We got 5 chickens (don't know the exact age) in April 2016. I say We but they belong to my dad [​IMG]. In October we got 5 more. These were 6 months old. In December one of the original girls stopped laying eggs and became sick. We took her to the vet and he said he could feel a large mass in her stomach (not eggbound). The vet said it was likely a tumor and didn't give us much hope she would make it. A few days later we had her put down. They went ahead and did an autopsy... they found that the large mass was egg yolk! We made sure the rest were getting good feed, grit, free choice of egg shells & oyster shells. A few months ago another of the original 5 fell ill. Stopped laying, lost weight and became weak. A few days later she died. Yesterday, we lost another of the original. Unlike the other two this one never laid eggs. She looked older than the rest and we figured her egg laying days were over and she was just a chicken. We were okay with that. The only thing we could really say about her was that She had lost some weight. It was totally unexpected. The last two of the group seem okay. They are still laying eggs and eat everything they can. The new 5 are doing great but we worry that this is going to repeat. I've spent so many hours reading this forum but nothing seems to help me figure out what is going on. Maybe they were older than we thought? Anyone have any ideas?
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Are the second group from the same place as the first group?
    First death sounds like egg yolk peritonitis.
    Did you autopsy the other 2 that died?
  3. zephyricle

    zephyricle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2017
    Hm.. did you see any differences or changes in the egg quality before each of the instances? Who did you get them from?
    Sometimes your chickens just happen to die at once from completely unrelated illnesses. If she never laid, she was probably older. I'm assuming these were all older hens and are prone to more possible health problems than younger birds. I have two of the origoal chickens I started out with since I moved into my house. They are about 6 or 7 years old. Two out 15 left. (Of course, we have other younger gals and roo) sometimes, they outlive others. One hen was acting senile and eventually died of health problems, others went of sickness or predators. It just happens that way. Some chickens live to 10 and even longer. It all just depends on the overall health of the bird to be honest. Nothing you do wrong could change those things.
    Some issues come with age.
    I would check back with the original owner to see how old they were and go from there. It could all just be coincidental. I had a time where I lost 5 birds in a week, completely unrelated. One eggbound, one hawk, two bobcat, and one the turkeys killed.

    Anyways, it could be something, or just cooincidence. I suggest looking up each symptom individually instead of trying to piece them together, you know?
    1 person likes this.
  4. ty48fan

    ty48fan Just Hatched

    May 28, 2016
    We didn't autopsy the other two. No change in egg quality. We got all of them from a family member and I don't think he knew the ages of the original 5. He had 50+ Hens on his farm when we got them and he raised the second 5 from chicks so we know the ages. We normally let them out in the yard to look for bugs for a few hours and then return them to the chicken run and eventually the coop at bedtime. We found the last one wandering around in the yard after they were returned to the run.. We have no idea how she ended up out in the yard. I do know there is a pair of hawks nesting a few houses over and I'm wondering if she got picked up and dropped. She didn't have any cuts, bites or missing feathers... she went quick. Maybe a stroke from the stress?
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    So... the ones that died were from the first bunch of chickens that you have no idea how old they were. It's possible that they just got old and died from age-related complications.

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