Sudden chicken death

palowlander

Chirping
Sep 6, 2019
17
36
51
Today at 9 am I went back to the cool to gather eggs. I found Walker my one barred rock hen who is about 6 months old dead on her side. No injury,not egg bound, abdomen was still warm but legs were stiff, eyes closed. :( She was one of my kids favorites not sure how I'll break the news to them and no idea what happened the other 23 hens are fine. No sign of disease either. There has been one hen laying monster sized eggs and there was one of those in the coop under another hen when I found her...can laying too big an egg kill a hen? What other causes can there be? Absolutely no sign of distress.
 

palowlander

Chirping
Sep 6, 2019
17
36
51
I just took this pic of her yesterday and she was fine:( She is the Barred Rock in front
 

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Wyorp Rock

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Today at 9 am I went back to the cool to gather eggs. I found Walker my one barred rock hen who is about 6 months old dead on her side. No injury,not egg bound, abdomen was still warm but legs were stiff, eyes closed. :( She was one of my kids favorites not sure how I'll break the news to them and no idea what happened the other 23 hens are fine. No sign of disease either. There has been one hen laying monster sized eggs and there was one of those in the coop under another hen when I found her...can laying too big an egg kill a hen? What other causes can there be? Absolutely no sign of distress.

I realize that, just wondering if anyone had any similar situations and if maybe they found the cause is all
I'm sorry for your loss :hugs
Unfortunately, there really is no way to know the cause unless you perform a necropsy yourself or send the body to your state lab for a diagnosis.
Do you think you could do one yourself? If so, take some photos and we will try to help you with what you see.

It would be pure speculation on my part - IF she was the one that was laying huge eggs, she may have had a rupture. What do you feed your pullets? Did she feel fatty in the abdomen? I have had 1 pullet die suddenly, upon exam (my own informal necropsy) I did find an egg in the oviduct, but she had bled out with a rupture, the abdomen was full of blood. It was quick because I had just been out in the coop about 15-20 beforehand and had come back to finish some chores.
 

palowlander

Chirping
Sep 6, 2019
17
36
51
I'm sorry for your loss :hugs
Unfortunately, there really is no way to know the cause unless you perform a necropsy yourself or send the body to your state lab for a diagnosis.
Do you think you could do one yourself? If so, take some photos and we will try to help you with what you see.

It would be pure speculation on my part - IF she was the one that was laying huge eggs, she may have had a rupture. What do you feed your pullets? Did she feel fatty in the abdomen? I have had 1 pullet die suddenly, upon exam (my own informal necropsy) I did find an egg in the oviduct, but she had bled out with a rupture, the abdomen was full of blood. It was quick because I had just been out in the coop about 15-20 beforehand and had come back to finish some chores.
No...Im not going to be able to do one..Weak stomach. She was fine 2 hrs before when my daughter left them all out of the coop. We feed them a layer mash from our local feed store, it's what we have always feed our hens for years. She didn't feel overly fatty in abdomen...felt normal. I felt around at her duct area and felt no mass or egg bound.
 

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