Hen found dead

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11 years 10 months ago #31950 by eunicia
Hen found dead was created by eunicia
Hi

I realize it might not be easy to find our why but just wanted to see if experienced people have any ideas on common causes of why choke die suddenly.

I read the thread about info needed before asking about sick chooks so will try to give as much infO as I can.

Breed coronation Sussex. Young hen probably 8 months old.
Started laying about 6 weeks ago but I'm hindsight had probably stopped laying about 2-3 weeks ago. Apart from that have not noticed any change in behavior. Her and three other hens are housed in a chicken tractor. Others seem ok and 2 of the 3 have been laying including this morning. No changes made to feed etc.

This morning when I went to get eggs and check their water and feed I found the Sussex just lifeless in the corner. It was Pretty stiff so perhaps died in the night?? They all seemed ok yesterday afternoon.

The only other thing I can think of is whether our dog scared her to death?? Our little dog has found a way thru our fencing and had barked at the hens at times. Or any infectious disease or parasites??

We are very saddened by this incIdent but would like to make sure it doesn't happen to the others if we can help it.

I can post a photo but it just felt sick to post one of a dead hen...

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11 years 10 months ago #427673 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Hen found dead
Hi eunicia,

what a sad find but these things do happen. You don't need to post a picture of your dead hen. Just check out her breast bone and her crop and let us know.

Is her crop full or empty?

Does her breast feel plump and full and does she feel heavy?

Or does her breast bone protrude and does she feel light?

Sudden death can happen - chooks are known to fall victim to heart attacks and strokes and that will be the most likely cause if she was in good condition (feels heavy).

If she feels light my guess would be Marek's. There is a form of Marek's where they eat well, look bright and are skinny and then suddenly die. I had one die the day before yesterday but I knew that her condition wasn't great as I handle them every now and then. I opened her up and there were liver tumors.

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11 years 10 months ago #427687 by stephclark
Replied by stephclark on topic Hen found dead
thanks Simkin.. i have had a couple go like this over the last couple of years.. it is indeed a sad find.. one was a young pullet, hadnt started laying, another was about 3years..unexpected, fine one minute ( or putting on a brave show of it! ).. and gone the next....:(

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11 years 10 months ago #427692 by Kevin and Perlita Morgan
Hi The warning signs were there 2 weeks ago ,she stopped laying ,that was the time you should have investigated what had caused her to stop laying ,There a lot of things that could have caused her to stop laying
Cheers
Kevin

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11 years 10 months ago #427694 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Hen found dead

Kevin and Perlita Morgan;425727 wrote: Hi The warning signs were there 2 weeks ago ,she stopped laying ,that was the time you should have investigated what had caused her to stop laying ,There a lot of things that could have caused her to stop laying
Cheers
Kevin

We have winter here and when it's cold even pullets may take a break from laying so this isn't something that concerns me much. The Sussex in particular are prone to stop laying for no reason whatsoever, only to happily re-start again 2 or 3 weeks later. This can happen at any time of year.

Now, in hindsight, yes, I do agree - stopping to lay was a warning sign.

eunicia - one more question - were her poos green?

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11 years 10 months ago #427696 by eunicia
Replied by eunicia on topic Hen found dead

Kevin and Perlita Morgan;425727 wrote: Hi The warning signs were there 2 weeks ago ,she stopped laying ,that was the time you should have investigated what had caused her to stop laying ,There a lot of things that could have caused her to stop laying
Cheers
Kevin

Hi Kevin

Yes in hindsight it was likely a warning sign. However it is winter in New Zealand and to be honest I wasn't even expecting any of them to start laying until the days started becoming longer again. I thought she just stopped because it suddenly got colder and darker in Auckland around that time.

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11 years 10 months ago #427752 by Kevin and Perlita Morgan
Hi
Yes winter could have been a cause for the stopping in laying ,but being a pullet that had just started to lay 6 weeks beforehand i wouldnt have thought that she would just suddenly stop whereas the other 2 kept laying ,Not having had poultry in Nz .And after being in another country ,for a considerable time you forget about things called winter ,Here if a pullet stops laying say after 6 weeks production,it is usually caused by fatty Liver ,and we have to increase the Choline Chloride or NCD
The present flock we have, we have to give NCD vaccines in the water evey 2 months ,otherwise we have a drop in production ,and lots of mortalities Its been handed down thru the parent stock
Cheers
Kevin

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11 years 10 months ago #427753 by eunicia
Replied by eunicia on topic Hen found dead
Thanks Simkin. The crop is empty. Felt like an empty bag. Breast bone seemed to be easily felt though not exactly protruding. She probably was about 2-3kg?? Didn't notice any green poos.

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11 years 10 months ago #427756 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Hen found dead
Hi eunicia,

this is only a guess but lymphoid leucosis is a possibility. It is passed down from the hen via the egg and the typical time to hit is after the pullet has laid a clutch of eggs.

There is nothing you can do to prevent it from taking its course.

Hopefully your other girls will be ok.

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