unknown death cause? what to do now?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rhodeislandred1, May 29, 2016.

  1. rhodeislandred1

    rhodeislandred1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2012
    I've had my chickens for 5 years, and never had a problem. Recently, one of my hens (Fifi) has been walking slower than normal and not eating as much, but still ate. The only weird thing I noticed was that her comb was not up and not as red as usual, and her vent was always covered in poop. I washed it last week and dried it and it was very beautiful and clean, but then it became dirty again. I cleaned the other chicken's vent too, and it stayed clean, unlike Fifi's.

    Yesterday when I went to feed them and close their coop gate (I let them roam around the yard and lock them up at night), Fifi was in the coop already eating. I was happy because I don't normally see her by food unless I bring it up to her. I watched her, then she sat in the corner. I was alarmed because it was such an odd move since she never sits there, but she looked comfortable, and I didn't want to bother her.
    This morning I woke up to see my beautiful baby dead in that same corner, heavy with blood and a bloated vent with MAGGOTS all over. She was not breathing, and I could not believe she was really dead!! The egg she layed was covered in blood as well My parents made me get rid of the body quickly so that it won't attract any predators or spread the infection or anything that would harm the other chicken. With a heavy heart, I thoroughly cleaned the coop and changed the feed and water and everything for the remaining chicken.

    What do yall think has happened? Could there have been an infection in her vent and caused the maggots to eat her flesh? I don't know how to explain the blood. I'm still in shock by the whole situation.
    Also, what should I do now to ensure that the other chicken has no infections or maggots or anything?
    An help and advice would be much appreciated.Thank you!!
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I am sorry that you lost your hen. There is a condition called fly strike that happens when a chicken has a soiled vent or gets a wound that gets infested with maggot larvae laid by flies in the coop. You were wise to bathe them before, but she may have already been infested. Some chickens have a provlem with their droppings getting stuck, especially if the droppings are runny or there are feathers that get soiled. Try to use some fly traps or permethrin spray in your coop. There is SWAT ointment that you can apply to keep flies off. Controlling flies, keeping extra fluff trimmed from soiled bottoms, and washing droppings off is about all you can do to prevent this. Bathing in soap, epsom salts, betadine water will usually get many of the maggots off, but some may need to be removed with tweezers. If the maggot get inside the vent, or eat through he flesh, that is when it can kill. There are many threads available to read by doing a search at the top of this page on fly strike.
     
  3. rhodeislandred1

    rhodeislandred1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2012
    Thank you SO much for your insight :) It sounds like that could be the cause.
     

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