NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Sudden death of hen  (Read 3033 times)

SLI

  • Joined Apr 2010
Sudden death of hen
« on: April 30, 2014, 07:57:46 am »
Hi,
Went out to my girls this morning & my 3 year old Buff Orp was dead, lying in the coop. Yesterday she was fine, lovely red comb, scratching around as normal, been laying fine.
I lost a copper blue maran in the same way about 3 months ago - again perfectly fine before she died.
My hens have layers pellets and kitchen veg scraps, are wormed, coop is clean and have apple cider vinegar added to their water.
They free range around the garden usually although have been in their run this week as I've been in and out and we also sprayed weed killer around the paths, although nowhere near the hen coop.
I'm at a loss!
I know it's possibly coincidence that I've lost two like this, but I just hate it!  >:(
Voss Electric Fence

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Sudden death of hen
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2014, 08:39:43 am »
I'm very sorry to hear that SLI. As you say it must be co-incidence. She can't have picked up any poison if they have been confined to their run for a week. So perhaps just a heart attack.


We used to put Apple Cider Vinegar in the water on a once a month basis believing it controlled the worms. But we stopped as it seemed to be having absolutely no effect on worms or their general health. We added it at 1% having experimented and found that at 2% they wouldn't drink. I was wondering how often you used it and at what strength, because these sudden deaths may have something to do with dehydration?

SLI

  • Joined Apr 2010
Re: Sudden death of hen
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 09:34:47 am »
Hmm. That's interesting Chris. I put it in their drinking water as a matter of course - and have done for the 5 years I've been keeping hens. I've had no problems with chooks previously and have never noticed any signs of worms. The chooks seems very healthy with firm red combs and are plump and happy & lay well.
I use about a tablespoon per gallon as directed. When I write it down it certainly seems dilute!
Maybe it's just bad luck with my two hens recently, but you've started me on another thread here.
Does anyone else have an opinion on apple cider vinegar for their chooks?  :chook:

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Sudden death of hen
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2014, 11:05:10 am »
I don't use apple cider vinegar - not because I've anything against it but partly because I use metal drinkers and it corrodes those and partly because normally I have ducks in the same enclosure (intentionally or otherwise) and they will empty out a drinker in no time so you end up paying for a lot of apple cider vinegar to be spread around the place.

Have you ever worked the hens? It's worth getting a worm count - the vet will do it cheaply if you just take a poo sample in. You wouldn't necessarily see any signs but if they've been in the same coop for a few years, there is bound to be some worm burden. It won't have killed her - certainly not that suddenly - but it can make them more prone to other diseases.

Other than that it all sounds very odd - I'd have guessed at poisoning too if you hadn't said they'd been inside their run. Three is not old for a buff orp.

SLI

  • Joined Apr 2010
Re: Sudden death of hen
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2014, 05:14:23 pm »
Well it seems that I'm not doing anything wrong, at least. I couldn't work it out, either.
They shouldn't have worms as I use layers pellets with flubenvet regularly, too. I also rake the run and remove the top layer of earth fairly often, just because it gets a bit grotty if it's wet and if they've been confined to the run, if we've been out a bit or working on something in the garden that could be dangerous to my nosy flock.
I think the vet might be my next port of call HesterF.  We're in the process (I of course mean the Royal 'We'!), of enlarging the run, but I think the vet may be my next port of call & get him to check the poo.
Thanks all for your help & advice :) :chook:

Ryder

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Sudden death of hen
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2014, 02:55:32 pm »
Quote
Does anyone else have an opinion on apple cider vinegar for their chooks?

I don't think thier deaths are anything to do with the ACV.  Even if it is a slightly high concentration, if they have no other water source they will drink enough.  I've put upto 2-3tablespoons per gallon without any problems or apparent reduction in drinking.

I put ACV in their water for atleast 3 days per week, if not more.  The ACV may or may not help to control worms, but I know from experience that ACV definetly helps to clear their sinuses.  My flock has got respiratory problems from somewhere, and If I don't put ACV in their water , the worst ones affected start coughing and sneezing as their sinuses start to get blocked. ACV sorts any respiratory problems out.  With ACV I am not at all concerned about repiratory problems anymore (atleast not viral ones, oregano oil should keep any bacterial ones at bay).

I also put ACV for weeks in a row in their water during periods of high stress e.g new members added to flock, or bad weather etc  as I believe It does seem to help reduce stress and any potential illnesses related to the stress.

ACV will only have positive effects on the flock if any.  It should not have any negative effects.  ACV, Oregano Oil, Garlic and Red cabbage are the most important health foods for chickens in my book.

Most chicken deaths are put down to "Unknown cause". 



 

AndynJ

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • uk
  • Says it as it is. don't like it don't look
Re: Sudden death of hen
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2014, 04:07:39 pm »
Send it for an autopsy £58

SLI

  • Joined Apr 2010
Re: Sudden death of hen
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2014, 08:32:37 am »
Ryder, you mention oregano oil for bacterial infections. Can you tell me more, please? I'm always interested in natural remedies.
AndynJ, if I get any further problems I may do that in the future. All the rest seem perfectly fine, no problems at all.
Thanks everyone for the replies  :chook:


Ryder

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Sudden death of hen
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2014, 09:22:01 am »
Ryder, you mention oregano oil for bacterial infections. Can you tell me more, please? I'm always interested in natural remedies.
AndynJ, if I get any further problems I may do that in the future. All the rest seem perfectly fine, no problems at all.
Thanks everyone for the replies  :chook:

I put approx 3 drops of oregano oil in just under a gallon of water almost always, but missing it occassionally on purpose, as it is not neccassary to use it constantly.  Studies have been undertaken to show that it kills about 25 different types of bacteria, probably more.  If you google it, theres loads of info out there.  My main aim is to keep the bacteria under control on the chickens insides.  The less the bacteria the less chance of illness.  Of course hygeine is also of paramount importance to keep bacteria down.  Besides the bacteria i'm sure it has other positive effects also on thier health.

Same with ACV.  atleast 3 days out of the week i have it in their waterer. Don't let anyone convince you ACV is useless.  It's the only natural thing I've found that keeps their respiratory issues in check. (they got the respiratory illness from a couple of hens I bought in).

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Sudden death of hen
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2014, 09:32:49 am »
Ryder, I would suspect mycoplasma if hens have respiratory problems.  If it's a mild strain it will clear up by itself in time, particularly if the hens are otherwise healthy, but some hens will be carriers and reinfect in a constant cycle.

Ryder

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Sudden death of hen
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2014, 12:19:47 pm »
Ryder, I would suspect mycoplasma if hens have respiratory problems.  If it's a mild strain it will clear up by itself in time, particularly if the hens are otherwise healthy, but some hens will be carriers and reinfect in a constant cycle.

Yes you are right, it most likely is mycoplasma but I'm not 100% sure as i think it could be one of the others like coryza (symptoms are very similar), and yes they are carriers for life.  But I don't particulalry care that my flock is myco positive as I am not selling hens and they are producing fine for me.  My light sussex and Rhode Rock (these 2 are the real soldiers in my flock) went on producing all through the winter, about 5 eggs a week, and now in the spring i'm getting eggs pretty much everyday from most of them.  So I am not prepared to cull the entire flock and start over again, which is what is usually recommended.

 

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