We lost our first chicken this morning.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Hardknockshomestead, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. Hardknockshomestead

    Hardknockshomestead Songster

    Sep 3, 2018
    Northwest Wisconsin
    This morning we had to put one of our hens down. She was from our batch of chicks this past April, so from our 2nd, younger group. She was a production brown (isa brown, golden comet, or cinnamon queen?) and the only one of our 44 chickens to have any health problems.

    She never did start laying, and her comb didn't fully develop like the others' did. Today she was 7 months. She spent most of her time on the roosts and she never seemed quite right, lacking the energetic vigor of all our other hens.

    Day before yesterday she didn't come out of the coop, as far as we could tell, and yesterday she stayed on the roost, fluffed up and hunched down at the same time.

    We had checked her over many times and we never could find anything wrong. No respiratory or digestive tract or musculoskeletal symptoms, parasites, injuries, or anything else that we could detect. The only thing any of us ever noticed was a very subtle head movement that our granddaughter mentioned, which I looked for but am not even sure if I actually saw or not.

    This morning our granddaughter opened the coop door on her way to the bus stop and checked on the chicken, and our hen was laying on her side/chest and clearly dying. Her toes were curled and legs drawn in and spasming, and her eyes closed, and she was shaking. She also had thick green mucus coming from her mouth, although her breathing had been fine, and still sounded normal when we found her. So we didn't want her to suffer and we sent her on her way to the Great Chicken Coop in the Sky.

    Anyway, two things. First of all, I'm surprised at how humbling it is to lose my first chicken! I felt so helpless. Secondly, I'm thankful for the experience of losing her if only because I understand better how hard it can be to lose a "mere chicken"!

    I would love hearing from any of you if you have insight about what went wrong for our hen!
    Sorry for such a long post but i wanted to give detail and history so maybe some of you could help me figure this out. Thanks for helping!
  2. janiedoe

    janiedoe Crowing

    May 7, 2017
    East Texas
    I'm so sorry for your loss. Someone will be along shortly to help you identify symptoms.
  3. FortCluck

    FortCluck Free Ranging

    Sep 9, 2019
    Central Virginia
  4. Cedar Creek Farm Lady

    Cedar Creek Farm Lady Crowing

    Oct 12, 2019
    Eastern Oklahoma
    I don't know what it could've been, but there's several on here that know what questions to ask to help you figure it out. I can tag a few, hopefully they don't mind. @Eggcessive @Wyorp Rock
  5. cluckmecoop7

    cluckmecoop7 Crowing

    Jan 4, 2019
    North East USA
    I'm so sorry for your loss. :( :hugs Poor chicken. I'm glad she isn't suffering anymore...although I know how hard it is to lose one. :hit She's free and happy now - lives up above somewhere -- -- somewhere good!
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    So sorry for your loss. It sounds like she had something wrong with her for a long time, possibly failure to thrive or process nutrients, organ failure, or a chronic illness. We can only guess without having a state vet perform a necropsy. It is very difficult to lose your first and it doesn’t get much easier. Cudos to you for being able to end her suffering—that is very important with having chickens, not to let them suffer.
  7. Hardknockshomestead

    Hardknockshomestead Songster

    Sep 3, 2018
    Northwest Wisconsin
    I welcome the help! I just want to learn from what happened to my hen.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  8. Hardknockshomestead

    Hardknockshomestead Songster

    Sep 3, 2018
    Northwest Wisconsin
    Thank you. My granddaughter has been very upset.
  9. Hardknockshomestead

    Hardknockshomestead Songster

    Sep 3, 2018
    Northwest Wisconsin
    Thank you eggsessive. I thought of failure to thrive too. We believe that if an animal is suffering with no hope of recovery then it is better to help end the suffering. We had no idea our hen was going to go downhill so fast. Here in Wisconsin the temps have rapidly gotten colder and I don't know if this was a factor in her decline. I don't have the finances to have a necropsy done and I took no pics.
  10. Pigpye

    Pigpye In the Brooder

    Nov 8, 2019
    If she was the only one displaying any symptoms id say it's safe to assume was an isolated problem only she had.
    glassdragonfly likes this.

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