* update* on jersey giant hen dead... why


9 Years
Jul 12, 2010
Just an update... got my step daughter who has done many dissections with her biology degree and work to necropsy my poor girl. Found no issues egg wise, but we decided to look at the heart at the end and found a massive clot where one of her atrium should have been. It seems fairly clear it must have been a heart attack that killed her. Explains why she did not appear to have moved. No signs of distress. I wish I had done this with the other birds I have lost. Might have given me some closure. We also noted that her sternum was crooked. Seemed odd. Thanks again to those that encouraged me to do the necropsy.

Hope to not have to do again, but I currently have a chicken who appears to have some brain injury from an eye injury. Unable to get to feet if knocked down and his head goes all snaky when you pick him up. Started as a sore eye. Tx did not seem to help and now the eye area remains swollen and the lid closed. Seems to do alright foraging around as long as the other hens and rooster can not get at him. Had to chase my Silkie rooster off Jake today. Sara the Silkie(was supposed to be a girl) was standing on top of Jake and beating at him for all he could do. I place Jake in a lay box each night. Seems to settle alright in there.

Thanks again.
It's very educational to do a layman's necropsy on a deceased bird. We've usually found the internal laying stuff, yolks loose in the abdomen or solid gunk in the oviducts and once, a pullet whose heart pretty much imploded-one chamber collapsed. It's hard, but you really learn lots by doing it. And sometimes, it makes you feel better that you couldn't have saved her anyway and sometimes, it makes you feel just more helpless.
It was very educational. I had never really done any dissections, even in school. My step daughter was great. Pointed out all the parts. At least now I can see what it should look like. Her heart looks like the whole atrium clotted. Thankfully it would have been quick. I know there is nothing I could have done. Only thought is that she was really early laying. At about 4.5 -5 months and I have read that jersey giants usually don't lay till 6-9 months. She was already starting to lay very large eggs. Thinking might have been too early for her young body.

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