Why did my 6 month old BO suddenly die? Problems laying first egg?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 4myHennyPenny, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    A week and a half ago I went in to check on my girls only to find that our favorite had died. We hadn't noticed any signs that she had been ill, but I understand they won't often be apparent until the chook is very ill. Anyhow, the other girls had pulled off a patch of the downy feathers from the side of her that was lying up; hopefully this was as she was already dead--try to tell myself they were just trying to wake her up. No signs of blood or indications that she was "attacked" by any of the others. No possible predators. Just wracked with guilt as I've been working a lot lately and worry that I missed an obvious sign she was ill.

    Six days after our beloved Henny died, I was worried Sage had fallen ill as well. She was crouched on the coop floor and couldn't really stand or walk around. I moved her into a hospital crate and with water and food nearby; she was very thirsty, so I wondered if our pushy broad Wanda wasn't allowing her to drink. Fretted all night that I was about to lose another one. As I contemplated an expensive trip to the vet the next day with money we didn't have, low and behold... Sage laid her first egg! She quickly recovered after that and is back to normal.

    I had no idea that Sage's type of behavior displayed the evening before was common in first-time layers. Haven't had another egg yet, but anxiously awaiting her second and the first for the other 3. (BTW, Sage is an EE, and we have one more EE and two BR--all 6 mos).

    All of this has gotten me to wondering, is it possible for a hen to die when trying to lay its first egg--blocked vent b/c the egg's too big or something? I'm still looking for some explanation as to why we lost Henrietta. Perhaps she was working on her first egg and had troubles (or naughty Wanda blocked her from water and she wasn't able to fight back in her condition??)???

    Other girls all look well now, BTW. Just wanting to know if there's anything I need to be on the lookout for in the future.

    Thanks for any ideas
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    sometimes there will be pressure which ultimately will strain the heart and they will die of a heart attack which is termed "Sudden Death Syndrom" in the literature. Not saying this is what happened to yoru bird but answering your question specifically on the eggbound and sudden death.
  3. hoosierhen

    hoosierhen Songster

    Sep 26, 2007
    Sorry you lost your Henrietta ): I know I will be upset when I lose my first chicken. I haven't yet, but , it could happen to anyone. Don't feel too guilty. Stuff happens.
  4. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Thanks for your replies. Awful to have lost her, but hoping that it was just "Sudden Death Syndrome" and our other girls won't be afflicted.

    No more eggs from Sage yet, but our mean broad Wanda has been squatting a lot today--maybe a first egg for her tomorrow!
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Sometimes they just die like that. I've had three or so die at point of lay in the nest box. Granted, I've had lots of chickens so it happens, but isn't like in 10 percent of birds or anything.

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