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    • CommentAuthorjoannec
    • CommentTimeJul 12th, 2009 10:55pm (Jul 12th 2009)
    Hello its Jo, havent been on here for a while sorry but busy busy busy....

    I have 2 hens that had stopped laying eggs, thought it was due to moving stuff round in the garden. For the past couple of weeks they have been fine and normal apart from no eggs from either, tonight i went to clean them out and specks wouldnt get out of the nest box where she sleeps and her comb looked pale, she was litterally checked on about 15 mins before i went outside and she was fine. I told my other half that she didnt look right and wasnt moving much so we wrapped her in a towel and i held her, she had water coming out of her mouth and looked sleepy. Well it only took about 5 mins and she had 2 mini fits and died, she was only in her second year and was i thought healthy.

    What do you think she died of, could she have been egg bound ??? there was no sign of illness, how will goldie cope on her own now specks has gone they did everything together im so upset : (

    Any comments will be appreciated thank you x
    • CommentAuthorTrevs Mum
    • CommentTimeJul 13th, 2009 1:46am (Jul 13th 2009)
    Oh Jo I am so sorry to hear about specks, I am glad you were holding her at the time as that would have been a comfort to her.
    I dont have hens at present but I know Red and the other hen owners will read this and try to offer some explanation as to what may have caused her illness.
    Goldie may need a new companion so she isnt lonely.
    best wishes. TM
    • CommentAuthorjoannec
    • CommentTimeJul 13th, 2009 7:11am (Jul 13th 2009)
    Thank you for your kind words TM, didnt really sleep much and got up really early this morning to check on goldie, she is very quiet, she came out of the hen house looked round then went back in, i feel so sorry for her she has lost her sister, i think she just may give up herself now .......
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 13th, 2009 7:34am (Jul 13th 2009)
    O Jo, I'm so sorry...I don't know enough either but I'm sure Red or Neil will know. You could always ask the vet to do a post mortem...or even just ask them about the symptoms. Perhaps her sister ought to be checked out in case it was something infectious? Thinking of you...:heart:
    • CommentTimeJul 13th, 2009 10:07am (Jul 13th 2009)

    Keeper of the hens

    Sorry for your loss... :(

    It's hard to say what it was for definite, but what you describe sounds like what happened to our first hen Libby - she was ill one morning, very droopy and lethargic, and on the way to the vet she had a fit and died. :(

    It was due to been egg-bound - it's hard to tell they are, and it very quickly gives them blood poisoning which leads to death - often by the time they are showing symptoms and you've noticed it, it's too late.

    To be honest if one of our chickens became egg-bound today, it would be hard to tell because we don't expect them to lay every day anymore now they're a bit older.

    As CC says, until you can rule out something infectious it is a good idea to have Goldie checked over by the vet...

    Good luck. x
    • CommentTimeJul 13th, 2009 4:21pm (Jul 13th 2009) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Sorry to hear that Joanne :bighug:

    First of all, did she feel thin when you picked her up? Just wondering as sometimes chickens can be very good at hiding illness and, due to their feathers, they can be masters at hiding weight loss. My friends' chicken had been acting healthily and then one day she found her dead. It turned out she had died from emaciation due to an unknown illness, but they hadn't realised how underweight she had been...

    She could also have been egg bound, as my dad said. That would explain finding her sat on the nest box and the sudden death. It's a difficult thing to treat and horrible to witness :(

    Check Goldie over for signs of illness - give her fave treats and see if she eats them, watch her behaviour making sure she can walk normally, check for lice, make sure her poops are normal etc etc.

    You can add Apple Cider Vinegar to her water, or finely chopped garlic (known to have amazing medicinal qualities for chickens) or grapefruit seeds. These are all 'pick me ups' for chickens and can be added in small quantities to their water and can help the chicken fight any infections.

    Giving the coop, nest box etc a good scrub will be sure to get rid of any lingering nasties too :)

    Once again i'm real sorry you had to lose your girl that way, and i hope Goldie remains healthy. She'll be a little lost on her own though as chickens are flock animals, so you might want to look for some new friends for her in the near future :001_smile:
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJul 13th, 2009 6:51pm (Jul 13th 2009)
    Oh Joanne, I'm so very sorry that your Specks died. I know how hard it is to lose one..I've lost several over the never gets any easier for me. You should really think about getting another companion for Goldie as soon as you can...they do get lonely without their friends.
    • CommentAuthorjoannec
    • CommentTimeJul 13th, 2009 7:32pm (Jul 13th 2009)

    Thank you all so much for your comments and kind words. Specks wasnt thin at all was plump and looked very healthy her comb was bright red up until last night when it looked pale, pruning eating and causing havock as usual again up until last night. Goldie today has been very quiet but is eating all treats, pruning, pooping and enjoying sitting in the hallway. Im not sure about getting another hen as she is very teretorial and i am affraid that she could hurt another hen, she can be abit of a bully she does have florence the rabbit in the garden with her who runs loose so she does have some company.

    We have buried specks at the top of the garden under the big tree where she loved to sit, so very very upsetting and she was only 2.

    Oh another thing to mention when i picked her up from the nest box last night there was egg yolk under her and when she had her last fit an empty egg sack came away from her, does this point more to her being egg bound?????

    Kindest regards as always

    Jo x
    • CommentTimeJul 13th, 2009 8:13pm (Jul 13th 2009) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Yes, sounds like she was eggbound and the egg cracked inside of her. If that happens it makes it even harder to treat, and the fitting can be a result of poisoning. It is horribly upsetting when a chicken dies, no matter what their age. When our BO chicks died they were only about 16 weeks old but it was still devastating :( :bighug:

    As for Goldie, i'm glad she is acting healthy that's good :001_smile:

    Integrating chickens can be difficult and there will obviously be some fighting taking place. We've had a lot of trouble integrating chickens - Eva was probably a lot harder to integrate than Milly, as Milly was so insanely jealous she couldn't stand any time that Eva and I spent together.

    However chickens do need other chicken companions, especially if they are used to being around other chickens. Chickens rely on other members of the flock for a sense of security, not just companionship. That is why chickens stay in groups or, if there are just two of them, they do "everything together" as you said yourself. Chickens alert other members of the flock to danger and predators, and enjoy talking to each other - Goldie is probably feeling more than a little nervous about being on her own right now :heart:

    If you were to get another chicken you could buy a large breed so they're harder for Goldie to pick on (what breed is she?) or buy more than one so her aggression is spread...there are also more dominant or submissive breeds out there so you could choose the temperament of her friend too.
    • CommentAuthorjoannec
    • CommentTimeJul 13th, 2009 8:50pm (Jul 13th 2009)
    Red thank you, i feel better knowing that specks was egg bound and not something i had done : ( although it is still really horrible.

    Goldie is a goldline????? im hoping that is right so she is quite a large bird anyway, we will probably give it a week or so and see how she gets on what do you think???
    • CommentTimeJul 13th, 2009 11:51pm (Jul 13th 2009)
    I just wanted to add my condolences Jo. I don't know how supportive your friends and family are - some people can be very cruel when a non-standard 'pet' dies (as a rat owner I found this out quickly) - but everyone here will be saddened by your loss.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do about a companion for Goldie. x
    • CommentTimeJul 14th, 2009 1:45am (Jul 14th 2009)
    So sorry about Speckles, Joanne. Very sad news. May she rest in peace and Goldie live on for many happy years.

    You remain the queen of thread titling through. Do you write headlines for a living by chance?

      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 14th, 2009 3:08am (Jul 14th 2009)
    Yes, that one was right up there with 'What Shall I Do With The Body?' I reckon!:)
    • CommentTimeJul 14th, 2009 2:51pm (Jul 14th 2009)

    Keeper of the hens

    Jo, you obviously love your chucks a lot and do whatever you can to make their lives as good as possible - as long as they are fed a healthy diet and kept in sanitary conditions, you are looking after them properly. I'm sure Specks had a great 2 years and you shouldn't feel guilty about her death. Sad, yes. Guilty, no :bighug:
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 14th, 2009 5:23pm (Jul 14th 2009)
    Absolutely right, Red. It's horrible...but think what her life might have been if you hadn't had her.:heart:
    • CommentAuthorjoannec
    • CommentTimeJul 15th, 2009 10:40pm (Jul 15th 2009)
    once again thank you, i also kept pet rats but there life was soooo short i couldnt put myself through it anymore as it was far to upsetting.

    I did love my chooks and still love goldie dearly.

    Thanks for all your support.
    • CommentTimeJul 15th, 2009 11:41pm (Jul 15th 2009)
    Yes, I'm not sure I'll have more rats for that very reason. When they're young and healthy I want more, but when they're sick and die it breaks my heart.

    How is Goldie coping? (And you of course - do you want more chooks?)
    • CommentAuthorjoannec
    • CommentTimeJul 16th, 2009 8:40pm (Jul 16th 2009)
    Hi all

    Goldie is doing realy well apart from being very vocal which my neighbours are not to pleased about, how can i shut her up, also when do you think she will start laying again as she hasnt laid for months now???
    • CommentTimeJul 16th, 2009 11:22pm (Jul 16th 2009)
    Perhaps its the neighbours that need shutting up! She's a chicken (newly bereaved) - what do they expect her to do?!

    Sorry - I don't have any suggestions (or chickens). Anyone else help out?
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 17th, 2009 5:48am (Jul 17th 2009)
    Yes, another chicken! Are they moaning about her day-to-day noise or ealry mornings?
    • CommentTimeJul 18th, 2009 11:49pm (Jul 18th 2009)

    Keeper of the hens

    She's making enough noise to count for two chickens, is all! I agree with Kate, tell your neighbours she is mourning for her best friend!

    Chicken noise is a difficult thing to cope with, as there's not really much you can do about...treats can make a good distraction but Goldie will soon learn to use this to her advantage.

    Specks' death may have affected her laying too. She could start any time, depending on what has caused her to stop - just keep feeding her good healthy foods and she should start when she feels ready :)