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What is going on? I'm worried.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by coolcanoechic, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. coolcanoechic

    coolcanoechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is going to be a long post, so please bear with me as I explain.

    Two weeks ago I purchased three hens from a breeder on Craigs List. He needed to make more space for his specialty birds for the winter. One barred rock ( Roxy ) one RIR ( Laverne ) one NH Red ( Shirley ).
    Their first week here consisted of getting used to me ( the bringer of treats ) and being confined as they were used to free ranging at their old place. Everything was going well as they were negotiating their pecking order. It looked like Laverne was going to be the top hen. She was bigger than all the rest. Then things changed. She no longer wanted to roost with the others at night. She wanted to sleep in the nesting box. She waited until last to enjoy the treats I brought out for them when I got home from work. I suspected something was wrong, but was not sure. I noticed Roxie picking on her and pulling out her tail feathers. Roxie was scolded. Well, last night, Laverne died. I quickly removed her from the coop this morning when I went out there. The other two are not in the least bit disturbed by the event. I let them out when I got home to dig around in the garden for a half hour while the sun was setting. They both were estatic about getting out to do their thing. Full of Pi** and vinigar as my mom used to say. Roxie went in first and made a jump for the roost and missed, so she went into the nesting box. Then Shirley went in and hopped up on the roost. We tried to coax Roxie out of the nesting box with goodies to no avail. She is sleeping in there tonight. She has not done this since the first night in their new home. She has always slept on the roost in between the other two. I wonder if she will end up like Laverne. Is she starting to do what Laverne did? I'm not sure why she is doing this. She seems much more vibrant than Laverne was. Lice and the likes are not a problem. I have DE everywhere. I wonder what is going on and why she is in the nesting box tonight. Argh! [​IMG]
     
  2. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

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    Make sure the roosts are higher than the nesting boxes. Also with a larger breeds, they are unable to fly up very high. So if the roosting bar is high, they'll need a ladder or something to help them get up there. Don't know if either of those fit your circumstances, though. You can try blocking the nesting boxes at night. I just tack cardboard over them - then take the cardboard off in the morning. Do that for a few nights until they learn that the roost is where they sleep at night. Good luck!
     
  3. Jferlisi

    Jferlisi i dont eat chicken!!!!

    Nov 2, 2010
    Menifee CA
    Im sorry you lost laverne, it always sucks to lose a bird. How high up is your roost compared to your nest box?
     
  4. coolcanoechic

    coolcanoechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:This is the set up. The roost is 22 inches from the floor and just over the boxes. The hens have been sleeping up there every night and have no trouble getting up. What worries me is I am afraid that Roxie might be getting sick too. It is a mystery as to why Laverne died.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Your coop set up looks good. I'm sorry about the Laverne. I hope that you weren't sold birds that were already ill or exposed to something.

    So, tell us a bit more. What have they been eating? Are they eating and drinking well? How's their poop look? You said you have DE spread everywhere, but just in case they came to you with issues, I would do a thorough check for bugs...near their vents, under their wings...part the feathers and see if you find anything...

    I'm sorry, I don't have any other ideas at this point.
     
  6. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    King George, VA
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    DE isn't a cure for lice or bugs - it's a good preventative measure but not a cure. If she has worms, lice, etc. you need to delice her and deworm her with medication. Treat them both with Sevin or poultry dust to make sure they don't have mites/lice. Ask the person you bought them from when they were last wormed and then get them on a regular deworming schedule. Suddenly dying isn't that uncommon with chickens because apparently they hide their illnesses well. She could have been sick for awhile.
     
  7. roxyblue

    roxyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When one of my hens is about to die.....or got sick.....the other chickens tend to know somethings up. so they will try to avoid her, or if thats not possible, will pick on her to try to keep her away from them. thats usually the first sign to me that they are sick, I've been pretty lucky and they have all pulled through after treatment. I am sorry about your girl [​IMG]
     
  8. roxyblue

    roxyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2011
    pittsburgh, PA
    When one of my hens is about to die.....or got sick.....the other chickens tend to know somethings up. so they will try to avoid her, or if thats not possible, will pick on her to try to keep her away from them. thats usually the first sign to me that they are sick, I've been pretty lucky and they have all pulled through after treatment. I am sorry about your girl [​IMG]
     
  9. roxyblue

    roxyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    525
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    Jul 6, 2011
    pittsburgh, PA
    When one of my hens is about to die.....or got sick.....the other chickens tend to know somethings up. so they will try to avoid her, or if thats not possible, will pick on her to try to keep her away from them. thats usually the first sign to me that they are sick, I've been pretty lucky and they have all pulled through after treatment. I am sorry about your girl [​IMG]
     
  10. farmerChef

    farmerChef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Was the one that died laying eggs? She might have got eggbound. It the one sleeping in the nest get mad when you come near her? She might be going broody.(wants to hatch chicks)
     

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