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Tough Weekend For My Flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bobbi-j, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    So far, we've had to put one down yesterday, and will probably put another one down today.

    Yesterday morning my husband came in and said, "You have a sick chicken."
    Me: "Which one?"
    DH: "I don't know!"
    Me: "What does it look like?"
    DH: "A chicken."
    Me: Sigh... "What color chicken?"
    DH: "A medium color"
    Me: "What does that mean?"
    DH: "It's not a black one or a white one, It's one of the other ones."

    OK, so in my flock of 18 chickens yesterday morning, I had 1 black one, and probably 3 or 4 that are primarily white, so that really narrowed things down... [​IMG] So, I put on my coat and boots, went out to the coop and found one of my older (about 3 years old) EE hens on the floor of the coop gasping for air. Comb was purplish-black, so I know she's not getting enough oxygen. I also didn't think she had much longer, but why drag it out? So I asked DH to put her out of her misery. By the time he got back down there, she was almost gone anyway, so he just helped her along. Today when I went out to feed and water, I saw one of my Buckeye hens (they'll be 2 in April) waddling like a duck, tail down, and when I picked her up, I felt her abdomen which was distended and felt fluid-filled. She was quite heavy. The last one that had this problem was last May. By the time we noticed that she was having a problem, she was unable to move around very well at all. This one is still getting around OK, but I think we're going to put her down before she gets to the point where she's not. The one last May had almost 16 oz. of fluid in her abdominal cavity (I drained it off with a needle after killing her) and more fluid-filled sacs that I found after I opened her up. (Here is the thread on that, if anyone is interested: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/788134/hen-with-squishy-distended-abdomen)

    Both of these were "older" birds, relatively speaking. Now I remember why we process them after a couple of years. I have yet to have one get old and just peacefully fall asleep on the roost and not wake up in the morning.

    Edited to add - the EE felt pretty light when I picked her up to look at her.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Ohio
    Sorry about your hens, sounds like you are having a run of bad luck this week, hard to lose them unexpectedly even if they were destined to be processed. Your husbands description of which chicken had problems sounds familiar, kinda funny how they all look similar to a non-chicken person.
     
  3. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 3, 2013
    Arizona
    So sorry this happened, it's hard to lose them. [​IMG]
     
  4. sbhkma

    sbhkma Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had a hen that laid eggs for about 6 years and was almost 8 years old when she passed away in my arms. Just so you know, it *can* happen that they live a relatively long life and pass away peacefully.
     

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