What Killed My Hen..It Wasn't Marek's-WARNING graphic photo

microchick

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If anyone follows the Old Folks Home thread you'll know that I've been nursing a sick hen for the past three days. She had presented with extreme weight loss, lethargy, fluffed feathers but good appetite and was drinking. Stool was normal. Vent looked normal. Physical exam was unremarkable with no drainage from her beak, eyes or nose. Crop had food in it. She hadn't laid recently but nobody had due to cold weather we have been having.

I did everything I could think of. Having lost a juvenile bird recently to Coccidia and worming the whole flock, that was the first thing that hit my mind. So I gave her a few drops of Corid, but held off starting it in her water as I had held off isolating her till the next morning when she wasn't showing any improvement. Day two I gave her terramycin in her drinking water but by that night she was looking a little worse, standing with her head tucked under her wing so fearing it still might be coccidia I switched her water from terramycin to corid.

Yesterday morning as a last base to touch I gloved and KY jellied up and did a digital exam on her. I could feel something high up that may or may not have been an egg aat about shell gland level so did the sitz bath and calcium treatment. She enjoyed the blow dry immensely but by last night she was barely eating and looking worse.

This morning I found that she had passed peacefully in her sleep.

I'm not a big fan of necropsies in spite of being a retired nurse and curious by nature. I've been fighting Marek's in my flock for three years now and have had my fill of dead chickens to deal with but something about this little girl (BTW she was a 1 year old OEGB cross) begged me to find out what had killed her. My first thought was Marek's....again but when I opened her up I noticed that there was a lot of odiferous white liquid in her lower abdomen. Liver looked normal and her gizzard was full as was her crop. Intestines looked normal. I remember then about the 'egg' I had felt and fearing she had terminally egg bound herself, I hooked a finger in, found the 'egg' and pulled. The uterus ruptured and out came what is in the picture above.

A big lash egg. It was egg sized and part of it broke off leaving more in her uterus.

My girl died of a salpingitis and sepsis. Oddly relieved that it wasn't Marek's related this time. No sign of tumors or abnormalities. Just the lash egg.

Thank you Snowflake for being a part of my flock. Fly free little girl.
 

ronott1

A chicken will always remember the egg
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If anyone follows the Old Folks Home thread you'll know that I've been nursing a sick hen for the past three days. She had presented with extreme weight loss, lethargy, fluffed feathers but good appetite and was drinking. Stool was normal. Vent looked normal. Physical exam was unremarkable with no drainage from her beak, eyes or nose. Crop had food in it. She hadn't laid recently but nobody had due to cold weather we have been having.

I did everything I could think of. Having lost a juvenile bird recently to Coccidia and worming the whole flock, that was the first thing that hit my mind. So I gave her a few drops of Corid, but held off starting it in her water as I had held off isolating her till the next morning when she wasn't showing any improvement. Day two I gave her terramycin in her drinking water but by that night she was looking a little worse, standing with her head tucked under her wing so fearing it still might be coccidia I switched her water from terramycin to corid.

Yesterday morning as a last base to touch I gloved and KY jellied up and did a digital exam on her. I could feel something high up that may or may not have been an egg aat about shell gland level so did the sitz bath and calcium treatment. She enjoyed the blow dry immensely but by last night she was barely eating and looking worse.

This morning I found that she had passed peacefully in her sleep.

I'm not a big fan of necropsies in spite of being a retired nurse and curious by nature. I've been fighting Marek's in my flock for three years now and have had my fill of dead chickens to deal with but something about this little girl (BTW she was a 1 year old OEGB cross) begged me to find out what had killed her. My first thought was Marek's....again but when I opened her up I noticed that there was a lot of odiferous white liquid in her lower abdomen. Liver looked normal and her gizzard was full as was her crop. Intestines looked normal. I remember then about the 'egg' I had felt and fearing she had terminally egg bound herself, I hooked a finger in, found the 'egg' and pulled. The uterus ruptured and out came what is in the picture above.

A big lash egg. It was egg sized and part of it broke off leaving more in her uterus.

My girl died of a salpingitis and sepsis. Oddly relieved that it wasn't Marek's related this time. No sign of tumors or abnormalities. Just the lash egg.

Thank you Snowflake for being a part of my flock. Fly free little girl.
Lash eggs are usually in older hens than one year.

It was one of those things that happen sometimes

:thumbsup

I am sorry you lost her!

:hugs
 

microchick

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Yeah, Ron, I have about 4 hens that look identical in that flock. I called all four of them 'Snowflake' because I couldn't even keep them straight. She was no older than 2 and I guesstamated that she was closer to one because she hadn't molted yet which with that flock means she was born sometime last spring/summer. The oldest of the lookalikes was 2 in March. Still a young bird for that to happen.

Thanks @ronott1 and @soontobchixmom.
 

microchick

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Thanks @superchemicalgirl. Yeah I was just thinking that if you have chickens long enough you are going to have witnessed about 75% of the health problems they can die from. Just when you think you have it figured out one just ups and dies from something new.
 

superchemicalgirl

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Thanks @superchemicalgirl. Yeah I was just thinking that if you have chickens long enough you are going to have witnessed about 75% of the health problems they can die from. Just when you think you have it figured out one just ups and dies from something new.

That is definitely the truth! I saw one once ran over by a goat. That was entirely unpleasant for all parties involved. Well, the goat didn't seem to notice. But I didn't enjoy it and nor did the cornish.

My favorite saying is: If you have livestock, eventually you'll have deadstock.

It hurts and it's sad, but it is life (or death). I try to tell myself that.
 

microchick

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Thanks @pameladru.

I've heard that saying too, @superchemicalgirl. From the Amish guy we bought our farm from. Of course he lost about 10,000 dollars worth of livestock from the estimate we made from the number of skeletons we found in our pasture and ravines. He had the saying down to a fine art!
 

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