Think my hen is dying — help, please!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by coop d'etat 2, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. coop d'etat 2

    coop d'etat 2 New Egg

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    Dec 26, 2009
    My husband checked on our three hens this morning (they're seven months old), and everything seemed fine. This evening, Rose, our Red Star, was immobile (though still alive), her body was cold and her eyes were white — very strange. It looked like she never had eyeballs to begin with — almost like sockets, but she didn't look pecked. We live in a cold climate, but their coop is in our barn, so it is sheltered from the elements. We also have a light that we leave on to keep them warm and a heated water bowl for the hens. My husband thinks she may have been electrocuted. Is this possible? Our other two hens are fine. Rose doesn't look like she'll make it through the night. Is there anything we can do? Thank you so much for any help you can provide.
     
  2. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pennsylvania
    Check around for hazards, like electrocution. yes it is possible. What could she have been electrocuted by? Is the water heater malfunctioning?
    Also, Could she have frozen?
    Also, could she have ingested any toxins or poisons like rat poison, etc?

    If she is still alive, take her into a warm place (like a garage or basement or such) to warm up. Then you can treat her if possible.

    You must give us more information for us to help you.

    Was she sick?
    Was she laying eggs?
    Is she egg bound?
    Did her poo have signs of coccidiosis or worms?
    Is she thin? or normal weight?
    What temp is it inside your coop?
    What are you feeding her?
    Do the hens have grit?
    Is the crop normal?
    Etc...

    More info please!!

    As for her eyes, their eyelids are kind of white-ish. They move from the bottom up. Are the eyes just closed and you're seeing white eyelids? Or are her eye balls actually gone (you said they were just sockets). Or are the eyeballs themselves turned white? Sorry to be so gross... but it helps to have exact descriptions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  3. Bedste

    Bedste Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sorry...... I wish I knew the answer..... I hope an expert replies soon.......
     
  4. coop d'etat 2

    coop d'etat 2 New Egg

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    There were no toxins in the area, and the only potential hazard was the electric water heater, which was not malfunctioning. It just seems like a poor design, to situate the plug in an area where water can easily splash onto the incoming cord.

    She wasn't sick. She has been laying. I don't think she's eggbound, because I believe this morning's egg came from her. The temperature in the coop is in the high 30F range. She is small, but not particularly thin. We've been feeding her the Blue Seal layer mix. I wouldn't know what to look for in her poo, but we haven't seen anything out of the ordinary lately. I am new to raising chickens, so I'm not sure what you mean by normal crop.

    My husband just checked again and believes she has, in fact, died. I am devastated and would like to know what went wrong so we can prevent this from happening to our other two hens.

    Thank you so much!
     
  5. Bedste

    Bedste Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cut n Shoot Texas
    OMG..... I am so sorry for your loss.....
     
  6. coop d'etat 2

    coop d'etat 2 New Egg

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    Oh, and as for the eyes, I believe we were seeing the lids — it definitely wasn't white eyeballs, and it didn't look quite as gross as a socket. That being said, I've seen them sleeping and don't recall their eyes looking quite so strange.
     
  7. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    So sorry.

    Imp
     
  8. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] I'm so sorry. I hope you are able to find out what happened.

    Sounds like maybe the nictating membrane (over the eye).
     
  9. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very sorry that she died.

    Chickens rarely show they are sick until they are very sick, because they are from a "predator" species and they don't want to show the other chickens that they have any weaknesses or they'll get picked on. It just makes it harder to know what is wrong. but sometimes they die and we don't always know why. If you really want to (not for the squeamish), you could do a necropsy on her if she's dead to determine what the cause was. If you search "necropsy" on BYC forum, you'll see what others have found -- all kinds of internal misfirings and cancers etc.

    If it was electrocution, I would change the situation around to make it safe for them -- I don't know much about the design of water heaters, but others on here have lots of experience with them.

    Although chickens can freeze in very cold, or wet or drafty situations, it doesn't sound like that's what happened since it's only in the 30s there.

    the most common illness is coccidiosis. (bloody poo). Or worms.
    But couldn've been anything.

    when I mentioned the crop, i know some have had impacted crops where the food wasn't passing through and the crop was extremely distended (and never goes away).

    Did you change anything in the coop recently? Like feed, or bedding? I remember one guy had gotten a bad batch of feed that when it got tested it was found to have excess salt. but you would notice if they acted different right after you changed the feed.

    Sorry I can't be of more help. . . perhaps others on here can.
     
  10. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    If it is the heated dog waterer, those are sealed units from the cord to the built-in heater below the bowl. And the cords are wrapped in coiled wire to prevent anything from penetrating the cord. I would really be surprised at that being the problem.

    So sorry to hear of the loss.
     

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