Strange neck movements and squawking. One hen died overnight.


Jun 13, 2016
Has anyone ever experienced their hens moving their necks oddly? Specifically, similar to a snake? One of my hens was squawking or chirping (not sure which to call it) last night and stretched her neck oddly...not straight out, but if it were a snake almost. She only did it a few times and the noises were more of an alert than a complaint. She seemed fine when she cooped and went to bed, woke up this morning and she was dead on the floor of the coop. Now I have a second hen making the same motion and sound, but seems fine otherwise. My husband and I thought maybe the first was overheating and wanted to keep our coop open tonight, but had a fox attack a few weeks back and lost a hen and severely injured another. Opted for a fan, plenty of water and ice. Not sure what to do, but so scared I'm going to wake up to another dead hen. :(
It may be poisoning from a plant or other toxin, but I would refrigerate the body (and if the second one dies) send them to the state vet or local poultry lab for a necropsy. Do you have any known plants in the area, any old lead shot or paint chips, insecticides, or chemicals they may have been exposed to? Heat exhaustion is very common this time of year. I place a shallow wide feed pan with a few inches of water for them to cool their legs, plus extra water dishes with cool water, changed twice a day. I hope that you can figure out what is happening.

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