Trying to figure out why my hen passed away

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sandbellie, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. Sandbellie

    Sandbellie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Alright, so I'm hoping someone here can help me figure out what happened to my hen so I can have some peace of mind. Sorry for the long message in advance, just trying to give the most information that I can.

    This past Thursday one of my hens was attacked by a fox, who started to run off with her into the woods but my brother managed to get the fox to drop her. She had two pretty bad open wounds near her neck, one on either side, but they didn't appear to go deep enough to cause any problem with her throat + windpipe, etc. And then two much smaller wounds on her far back near her tail. So we brought her in, cleaned up her wounds and I had been keeping her quiet in a room with the door shut. I managed to get her to drink, but she never stood up. She didn't even really lay on her belly properly like chickens normally do. She almost sat like a human, weight on her tail end and feet forward. So I had a blanket propped under her chest so she had some support condidering she wouldn't lay properly all the way down. She either hung her head in front of her chest, rest on her chin like a dog, or layed her head sideways. She spent most time sleeping, and would only really open her eyes if I pet her, talked to her, and tried to get her to drink. I figured she was exhausted from going through such horror and that she would pull through with rest, water, and consistent care of her wounds. The pen that I was keeping her in was the bottom half of a cat carrier. I kept the top off to access her wounds easily and she wasn't walking or moving much so I figured she wouldn't be going anywhere.

    Friday night (last night) I was out, so she was alone in the room, resting and all cuddled up, also just having a drink before I left. When I got home around 4am this morning I was terribly surprised. She had somehow made it across the floor about 5feet from her bed, and she was lying dead on her side. Her feet were sprawled out and there was a brown liquid surrounding her head that came from her beak. It did not look like blood. I just don't know what could have caused this, and I absolutely hate myself right now for not being home as I feel like I maybe could have prevented her death. I am devestated over this and how it happened, I feel so so terrible. I love my girls and they are my very loved pets.

    If anyone has any idea what could have caused her death, please all thoughts are appreciated. What was the brown liquid from her beak? There also was a spot where she went to the bathroom near where she was laying. Maybe she had some kind of seizure? She did have a few little spasms where she would suddenly sit up in a human position like I mentioned, and would flap her wings, eyes wide open and alert, from an almost asleep, calm position.

    Once again any thoughts are apprecieted. Thanks
  2. All Ball

    All Ball Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2013
    El Sobrante, CA
    You may want to see if you can get a necropsy. In my state, we can send our deceased bird to one of the local land-grant universities, and for $10 they will investigate and provide a report on its physical condition. We are asked to keep the carcass in the fridge until preparing it for sending. You can check with your local cooperative extension (I think they have those in every state?) for info.

    Sounds like a very stressful experience for both you and your hen. So sorry for your loss.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by