The worst day....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by littlemissjellyfish, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. littlemissjellyfish

    littlemissjellyfish Chirping

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    Jun 16, 2010
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    Luna, my 9 month old Easter egger, was acting strangely when I went to feed the girls this morning. At first I thought she was laying in one if the nesting boxes, but when I peeked in she had her eyes closed and was very still. I watched her for several minutes and she still had her eyes closed so I took her out of the box and brought her in the house. Her pulse was rapid ( not sure how fast chickens heart rate is) and her breathing really shallow, her feet felt cold.( I kept her warm) I checked her vent. No blood but she did have white stool around her vent on the feathers. Her eyes looked clear the few times she opened them. I tried to give her a little water( not knowing the last time she had any) but when I tried to tip her head up to dribble a little into her beak she put up an weak fight. Her neck feathers were really puffed up. She wouldn't/ couldnt stand. She couldn't hold her neck up. Sadly she passed away within an hour. The thing I did notice was a weird smell. Usually She smells like pine shavings and layer mash you know, those good chicken smells. Luna had this smell... Hard to describe.... Almost like that sick smell we humans have when we've been throwing up and have been having diarrhea. Only this was a sickly yucky chicken smell. I know that she has passed but I'm worried about my other 11 chickens. Any ideas on what she might have died from? Do I try and sanitize my coop in case of infection? It's 16 degrees here today should I remove the chickens from the coop to my basement? Any medications I should have on hand just in case? What should I with her body? I put it in a cardboard box outside for now. I'd rather burn it than bring her to the dump. Thank you for you help in advance.
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    So sorry to hear that. Did you feel her crop to see if it was hard and bulging? A sickly smell can mean some type of infection, but sometimes you never figure out what went wrong. For now, I would just really keep an eye on the flock. I always hate to medicate them if they seem fine.........

    Hope everyone else is OK!
    Sharon
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Judging by her location I would say she had a reproductive issue. Not uncommon in laying hens. I doubt it was an infection unless your other birds have been sick or displaying signs of problems. I wouldn't move the chickens inside unless you feel it is absolutely necessary. Likely if you moved them inside they would be there until the weather warms up, which is too long to have full-grown birds in your house. There are several meds you should have on hand for emergencies, but I don't think in this instance they will be needed. I am pretty sure she had a problem that was just related to her, unless there is other info you didn't include in your post. You can do what you want with her. Cremating her is going to be difficult and stinky- bodies don't burn as well as you'd think. My suggestion would be to put her in the freezer until you can bury her. Putting her in the compost pile is an option, bagging her and putting her in the trash is another, or leaving her body in a forested area will give back to nature by feeding the local wildlife.

    I hope this answered all your questions. I am sorry for your loss. I hope the others are okay. I think they will be.

    Good luck.
     
  4. littlemissjellyfish

    littlemissjellyfish Chirping

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    Jun 16, 2010
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    Thank you for the advice. I checked on the remaining girls today and everyone seems to be eating & laying just fine. ( despite the -2 degree weather!) I would like to increase their protein levels. Can I buy the BOSS I see packaged for wild birds? I hard boil the cracked eggs and mash them up for them. The girls love eggs and yogurt! Very messy though!
    I will continue to watch my hens for signs of illness. What meds should I gave on hand just in case?
     
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    BOSS would be a great idea, and you can purchase the stuff that's packaged for wild birds.

    A quick search through the archives on "chicken medical kit" will give you all the info you need and more. I have had chickens for 4 years now and have learned to keep some basic essentials on hand. Everyone's kit is different depending on where they are, what problems are most prevalent, their experiences, etc. In my area I don't have too many problems with disease, but I have big time predator issues, so my kit is comprised of a lot of first aid supplies. Someone down south might have several different kinds of wormers, but here in the north we don't have as many issues with worms because our ground freezes solid for 4 months of the year, so I only have one kind of wormer. Everyone's kit is a little different. The point to having a kit is to be prepared when something goes terribly wrong. It's so frustrating having a sick/wounded bird and having nothing around to deal with it. That happened to me once, and it won't ever happen again.

    Good luck.
     

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