Suffocated to death by broody Cochin, RIP sweet hen

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by ParrotsNPullets, May 15, 2010.

  1. ParrotsNPullets

    ParrotsNPullets Songster

    Jun 8, 2009
    Upstate New York
    Just like the title says, I lost my sweet little disabled Easter Egger, Carmen, this morning. I've been blaming myself over and over for this because I should have known what could happen to my girls since my huge Cochin Sprite went broody. Sprite has been hogging the nesting area and has been very aggressive with me and with the other gals. I let the gals out yesterday morning but didn't see my little bantam Cochin Lady come out of the coop, so I went around the side to open the coop up and I saw a tiny little tuft of blue bun-feathers underneath Sprite. I tossed Sprite out of the coop to find poor little Lady panting underneath. I hosed her down a little to cool her off, and figured it was harmless, just Sprite doing what she had always done with our gals since the were little- treating them like chicks and tucking them under her fluff.

    Well this morning we were lazy and taking care of the animals slowly and enjoying the morning, so I didn't get to the coop as early as usual. When I let the gals out all but Sprite and Carmen came out. I figured they were up to laying so I gave everyone their treats and then tossed some bread in the pop hole for the other two. But Carmen didn't run out like she always does when she sees I have treats... So I opened the coop door... and there she was just shoved under Sprite's body, stiff & lifeless with her head painfully tucked under her neck.

    We've been in the process of selling Sprite to make room for kinder more productive hens we are raising from chicks, but I didn't think I would lose one of my girls, almost TWO of them to her broodiness. Has anyone ever heard of this happening before? I'm kind of dazed right now. Knowing my little sweet Carmen won't be grazing with her best friend Lady in the yard anymore, running up to me for treats with that little hobble she had. And my precious blue eggs in the fridge were her last. Now Lady is running around the yard calling for Carmen like she does when they get separated. [​IMG]

    Carmen was a beautiful gal with striking hawk coloring and layer of beautiful large blue eggs... and she laid our very first egg too. I've been wondering all the 'what ifs', what if I got up earlier, what if we sold Sprite or processed her earlier, what if I lost Lady yesterday and hadn't come out to the coop as early! Thank you for reading this, I just needed to write this somewhere that people would understand what it's like to lose a precious pet chicken. We processed Sprite. We couldn't bear the thought of losing another hen or selling her and having the same thing happen to someone else.

    RIP Carmen! RIP Sprite... [​IMG]
  2. So sorry.... [​IMG]
  3. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. Suzie

    Suzie Crowing 9 Years

    Jul 9, 2009
    That is so sad - my thoughts are with you - we have "lost" four this week, three to a hunting dog and one has gone missing tonight - I shaln't sleep and I just hope she is safe somewhere and will show up tomorrow - yours is such a sorrowful story - especially as the broody would only have been following her instincts.

  5. dianneS

    dianneS Songster 9 Years

    Mar 16, 2009
    South Central PA
    So sorry for your loss.

    I hate losing a hen. I've never had an adult hen smothered by another hen though, that is unusual. Those cochins are big though! I have bantam cochins and one was sitting on a communal nest. She hatched one egg that was not her own and pecked that chick to death! She would only raise the chicks that hatched from her own eggs! I'm not very fond of cochins anymore.
  6. nzpouter

    nzpouter Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    why do you cull the cochin for doing what she was meant to be doing (being broody)?
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    I don't think she suffocated. They can breathe under those feathers or chicks under mama would suffocate regularly. She may have been ill and crawled in there for comfort and passed on.

    I'm not sure why you culled Sprite, either. Seems sort of extreme to me in these circumstances, but it's your bird. Sorry about Carmen.
  8. ParrotsNPullets

    ParrotsNPullets Songster

    Jun 8, 2009
    Upstate New York
    Quote:First thank you all for the responses, I know I shouldn't have been so sad, but I didn't see it coming I guess! She was just as vocal, active, and enthusiastic with treats yesterday as always so I don't think she was ill. Birds hide illness but you can tell by appetite, lack of vocalization, being extra fluffy etc. Also she nearly did the same thing to my bantam Cochin so I don't think it's a coincidence that Carmen just happened to be dead underneath Sprite.

    And I guess I should have mentioned we were already planning on processing Sprite if we didn't have an interest in her by this weekend. She's never been friendly or even just ignored us, she's been pretty aggressive to us and some of the other gals and given me some bruises and given some of the gals some nasty bloody pecks to the combs. This was the last straw pretty much, I didn't want to take the chance selling her to someone else even if we did have an offer on her. She had it very good, was always treated very well (as all of our animals have been and always will be) despite being a bit 'scary'.

    I buried Carmen in a spot of the yard I was planning on planting a fruit tree, and put an apple tree sapling there in her memory. None of the gals care for apples but the flowers each spring will remind us of our sweet gal!
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  9. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger 10 Years

    So sorry, such hard decisions............... [​IMG]
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    Some of the decisions you make with chickens are very hard. I'm sorry you lost Carmen.

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