Sudden death in cochin without prior illness, injury, or complication.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by aerieaviary1, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. aerieaviary1

    aerieaviary1 New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2010
    Our 7 months old blue cochin hen abruptly died this morning.
    She showed no previous symptoms of injury or illness, not even a change in behavior.
    Her only indication that something was wrong was listlessness and weakness when I opened the coop this morning moments before she died.
    Her in take of food and water have been consistent, and she showed no signs of any difficulty laying.
    There are three other birds in our flock, one silver-laced wyandote and two easter eggers, all are exhibiting normal behavior.
    We have had no history of any illness with any of our birds.
    They all roost together in a suncast, vinyl shed with attached run.
    Bedding is straw, regularly changed, and the floor of the run is just the soil and leaf litter of our yard.
    They eat layena crumbles, supplemented with crushed eggshells, charcoal, and poultry grit, plus vegetable scraps and grass from the yard.
    Water is available 24/7 and lightly treated with vanodine to prevent fungal growth in the container.
    We are completely blindsided by this and utterly saddened. Any insight anyone can provide is greatly appreciated as we hope to prevent this kind of thing from ever happening again.
    Our thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm sorry your first post on this forum is on this topic.

    Many things could cause this. You might contact your county extension agent, in the phone book under county government, and talk to them about having the dead hen examined to determine what caused the death. In some states, that can be done pretty cheaply. Others, it can cost a bit.
     
  3. aerieaviary1

    aerieaviary1 New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2010
    Yea, my wife has posted here before, but in 15 months of chicken keeping we've been able to manage pretty well on our own intuition. Just that with this I was at a loss and grasping for anything I could learn to prevent it from happening again. In perusing the forum tho my suspicion is that she fell victim to a case of acute egg binding. She had been known to occasionally lay two eggs in a single day, with the second egg occurring within an extremely thin shell. In hindsight that should have been a red flag, but again, we're still new at this. Are there any practices or supplements we can adopt to remedy this in the future? Thanks again for any insight y'all might have.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Sometimes a hen releases two yolks instead of one at the start of the egg laying process. When this happens, you either get a huge double-yolked egg or you get two separate eggs. If you get two separate eggs, the shell gland does not have enough calcium built up to coat the second egg so it is usually soft shelled. It is not a case of the hen not eating enough calcium. The shell gland just cannot process available calcium that fast. The hen will often skip laying an egg the following day when this happens.

    Sometimes when this happens on a regular basis it is genetic, especially if it is only one hen doing it. That's why a hen that regularly lays a double yolked egg does not make my breeding flock. The double yolked eggs are not really hatchable but the main reason is I don't want a hen that has a messed up internal egg laying factory passing those genes on to my flock.

    Another thing that can cause a hen to release two yolks instead of one is if they are eating too much protein. Just like people, chickens need a balanced diet. Too much of a good thing is often not a good thing. From what you described, it sounds more like your hen had a genetic problem, but maybe the food was too rich and she had a tendency in that direction that your others don't have.

    It is possible that it was egg binding, but it could also have been something else.
     

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