Hen got sick and died

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I have six rhode island red hens and had two yellow buffs and they are not quite a year old and I do nat have a rooster at present. Well one of the buffs started sitting the nest remember no rooster and within a week it started loosing color in it's comb and beard until they went from real red to nearly flesh color. Then I found her dead in the nest. Any ideas? Thanks

-- Gary (rgmattox@yahoo.com), June 05, 2000


Gary: Some, not all, hens seem to be so dedicated to the task, that they refuse to get off the nest to eat or drink. Had a buff like that this spring, so I tried everything. She would not leave to drink, until almost the end, so I started putting about 1/2 c. of canned corn kernels in the nest right in front of her. She would gobble them up right away. I figured she was at least getting some moisture and nurishment, as she wasn't interested in eating the laying pellets. The color does fade in their combs and wattles, but returns after a while when the chicks hatch. This may not have been your hens problem, but if another becomes broody, you might try it. Maybe someone has some fertile eggs she could sit on, so the effort isn't wasted. Good Luck, Jan

-- Jan (Janice12@aol.com), June 05, 2000.

It's not a strong chance, but costs nothing, so I'd check and/or treat the nesting material and cracks around the nest for parasites. Could make the difference if a hen was starving herself anyway.

-- Don Armstrong (darmst@yahoo.com.au), June 06, 2000.

Jan has it pretty well figured out. However, I have noticed, with somewhere between 30 and 50 hens for the past few years, that some of them spend a lot of time looking for a way to die. Lost a previously healthy Black Austrolorp just yesterday. 2 yrs old. Why, I have no clue. But this is the reason I stopped raising sheepies! They do the same thing! But chickies are easier to absorb, at least monetarily. Sometimes, you just have to accept it, and hope for better luck. Even the most astute and caring will lose an animal from time to time. It happens! Someday, your Guardian Angel(s) will lose you! Not a flaw! Life Happens! Anyway - Good Luck!

-- Brad (homefixer@SacoRiver.net), June 07, 2000.

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