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One of my girls died this morning, any ideas?

11 replies

SparkleRainbow · 06/09/2010 15:42

I have four, now three layers, one black rock about 4 now, and three rescued battery hens now about 2 1/2. One of the ex battery hens was dead this morning Sad. She has not been well for a couple of weeks, but I have not been able to get to the bottom of it. She was very thin at the end, breast bone felt razor sharp, but her eyes were still bright, comb normal bright red colour and standing upright, although not as active as normal no visible diarrohea, no nasal discharge or cold symptoms, plenty of layers pellets and fresh water available. I clean out the house weekly, and change the nest box material twice a week or more if needed, I use fresh dry shredded paper. Only my blackrock is laying at the moment, in fact all birds laid well throughout the winter, but all the rescues stopped laying in late spring. They free range, either in their very large enclosure which is full of thik grass, or they are out "long ranging" in our three acre smallholding. One other rescue hen has always been susceptible to having white diarrohea, she is looking/feeling a little thin too but is behaving normally. Any ideas? I am stumped.

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SparkleRainbow · 06/09/2010 18:05

The other rescue is looking a bit sorry for herself, I have been obsessing over my girls today, and spent more time with them than the dc! It could just be the wind and rain, but I am worried she is beginning to suffer with whatever killed the other hen. I have scoured the run and the house, there is only evidence of normal poos, no diarrohea anywhere, she does have dirty feathers around her vent though, stained white, not greasy so not northern fowl mite. I had already thought of that but ruled it out. Anybody have any ideas? Sad

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missbeehiving · 06/09/2010 21:39


When were they last wormed Sparkle?
ChickensHaveNoEyebrows · 06/09/2010 21:47

Sparkle, if your ex-batts are 2-3 years old, they've had a good run. Hybrids just do not live as long. Their egg production is at the expense of their longevity, sadly :( I doubt very much that you'll find a cause as such, it's likely to be just a case of old age. Your routine sounds absolutely fine, and the fact that your girl showed no classic signs of illness suggests it was just her time. Sorry, because I know how attached we can get to our ladies x

bramblebooks · 06/09/2010 21:58

Sorry to hear of your loss.
One of my pepperpots was prone to white poo - I just kept cleaning her bum. When she suddenly went downhill the vet explained that he thought it was kidney failure - the white bits are urates. She kept going whilst she had quality of life, but had a fast downturn and the vet did what was in her best interests.

ex batts do tend to live shorter lives. They've had such a happy time in their rescue homes.

Two of my girls also ended up with sterile peritonitis - is your girl's tummy distended like a balloon? - she may need to see a vet if so.

SparkleRainbow · 07/09/2010 08:48

Her tummy seems normal, not distended, she doesn't seem any worse today....so far. They were last wormed about six months ago, so they are due, I will do that today, and keep my fingers crossed. I am beginning to think that it may be their time Sad Does make me wonder if my ex battery with the white poo stains has always had a kidney issue,she has never been quite as healthy as the others.

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bramblebooks · 08/09/2010 23:37

Fingers crossed sparkle xxx

bramblebooks · 08/09/2010 23:38

Fingers crossed sparkle xxx

SparkleRainbow · 09/09/2010 17:58

All the remaining girls are still with me, looking ok.

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SparkleRainbow · 09/11/2010 13:38

Well she lasted an extra couple of months but my slightly sickly ex battery hen died this lunchtime. I had her inside with me in the warm, and she passed peacefully, I couldn't bring myself to dispatch her even though I knew it was inevitable Sad

My Black rock has only just gone back outside as she has had a reoccurance of her respiration problems. She is fine now, but missing her "sister" I am sure. My in laws think I am slightly mad having them inside, my dc just think that is what people do! Grin

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noniks · 09/11/2010 18:18

so sorry to hear that you lost your girl,
I lost 2 ex batts since I got them 2 years ago, one almost immediately - the shock of the move they reckon at the battery hen welfare trust - and the second a year later.
Happened within 24 hours - hunched up, sad and not eating.....but peaceful and no reason for it seemingly. All the advice I sought suggests that it sometimes just happens.. You gave them a second chance.....and a very happy second life,

SparkleRainbow · 09/11/2010 21:48

She had a fanastic time free ranging on 3 acres..... a good end of life I guess!

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