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Re: Flock management

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:37 am
by Marigold
Three days ago, in the morning, I found Rose, the 19-week-old blacktail, in the coop, on a perch, hunched up and looking poorly. No outward signs on examination, and when placed with the others she had a drink and sat down behind the drinker in a corner. Later in the day, and the next two days, she appeared normal, eating and drinking, bossing the others and crowding up to me as usual- as you can see in the second pic yesterday. She's the one nearest the camera, the dark brown pullet.
Today, in the morning, I found her cold and dead on the floor of the coop. No external signs of injury or illness. I suppose it was a heart attack. At least it doesn't look like anything that will affect the others.
I've learned how to make charts on my laptop and have produced some egg record sheets, to show which pullet has laid when, with columns for each bird. I've printed out the personalised sheets up until December, although so far only Lily Leghorn has used them. Now I have a spare column for the girl who never made it into lay. Perfect example of 'don't count your chickens'!

Re: Flock management

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:09 pm
by jaxhen
:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: So sorry to hear your bad news about Rose.

Re: Flock management

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:05 pm
by Icemaiden
:cry: :cry:

Re: Flock management

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:28 am
by chrismahon
That's bad luck Marigold and we have had the same in the past. As you say it looks like a heart problem- her circulation may have been impeded and that's why she was hunched up as they do when cold. Incidentally the same symptoms as Carbon Monoxide poisoning, which only applies to a house chicken near a wood burning stove of course.

We had some good luck for a change. We were left with a distressed solitary Marans after the death of both her sisters. Put an advert in 'chicken keepers in France' for a pair of Copper/ Blacks and found them for sale at €32 each, but then someone just an hour away said she had too many and we could have two for free, which we hastily collected. A year old, very healthy and laying dark brown eggs we couldn't believe our luck. Then we experienced the racket they make after laying- louder than our cockerels and they are by far the noisiest hens we have ever had. Fortunately their coop is the furthest from the house.

Re: Flock management

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:08 pm
by valeriebutterley
Marigold so sorry to hear about Rose,
will you replace her?
Such a sad shame when a seemingly healthy hen dies for no apparent reason.

Re: Flock management

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:52 pm
by Marigold
Thank you, Val. I originally got 5 although 4 should give us the 3+ eggs a day we normally need for their first 18 months at least, in case one of them died, or turned out to be no good as a layer. So down to 4 is fine, actually - they're all still roosting squashed up together on one of the two 24" perches, so at least it was one of the bigger pullets who died, giving the others a bit more room! If another one dies in the next 18-24 months I can then get a pair of new pullets to get back to 5, but I wouldn't consider trying to introduce a single bird at the present time, into what is now a settled and harmonious little flock. I could go up to six in the run, so have the option of another two when it's necessary, but it will be good to space out the introductions in Autumn when it's easier, to have the benefit of a pair of young layers when this lot are slowing down. They have a lovely lot of room at the moment and all have delightful personalities, so all's well. Actually, the one who died had a really loud and raucous voice, so it's quite peaceful now. Just one of those things.

Re: Flock management

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:19 pm
by Margaid
That's sad Marigold. Hope the others continue fit an healthy (and start laying soon!)