Dying Hens

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We have had several Rhode Island Reds die over the last year or so and the way they die seems unusual. They make a choking sound and die. They seem to have no other problems that we can see and it isn't like a disease that has gone from hen to hen. The only other thing we have noticed is occasionally one of the hens will lay a really thin shelled egg, rubbery shell. We are not chicken experts and we really enjoy them. They free range on the property. We feed a mix of scratch and layer. Any suggestions?


-- Steve Elsmore (realty@gj.net), May 26, 2000


Possibly an internal parasite in the trachea? Nest time one dies, do a field autopsy, and if that doesn't show anything, take one to a vet.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), May 26, 2000.

You mentioned that they are free range, is there anything around the property that they could be eating that might be suspect? And Kathleen is right next time one dies open them up and see if you notice anything obvious, especially in the crop as well as the trachea. Keep us posted.


-- Jim Tanner (tanner_jim@hotmail.com), May 26, 2000.

Just yesterday I met a lady who described her peacock dying this same way, and it turned out to be "gapes" (gapeworms?). I think they do infest the trachea in chickens. She said the vet gave her other birds injections right in the throat to save them, and she mentioned putting tramisol in the water to prevent the problem.

-- Shannon (Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary) (gratacres@aol.com), May 26, 2000.

What is tramesol and where do you get it?

-- Louise Whitley (whitley@terraworld.net), May 26, 2000.

I believe tramisol is a wormer, and you can get it at your farm supply store.

-- Shannon (Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary) (gratacres@aol.com), May 26, 2000.

Tramisol is known around here as mostly a sheep wormer in pill form, but I diluted it once for chickens...seems there was a book that told me the proportions, but I don't recall now. Good luck.

-- Anne (HT@HM.com), May 26, 2000.

I'm sorry, I can't remember the web off hand, but just go to ameraserve and look for any posting by G.L. Heywood. She answers a lot of questions for chickens and also does non stop advertising. Her site has a lot on diseases and they sell a lot of medicines. She's very helpful and you can e-mail her.

-- Jill Faerber (lance1_86404@yahoo.com), May 27, 2000.

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