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Los Angeles Urban Chicken Enthusiasts Message Board › My favorite chicken died this morning.

My favorite chicken died this morning. I'm devastated and also need to know what happened.

Karen C.
user 83873082
Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA
Post #: 10
Brandi...I can feel your pain, but don't blame yourself. Things happen. You gave her a wonderful, loving life and it sounds like she truly loved you back. The results of the test will come in. Maybe you'll learn something from it...maybe not. She will always be in your heart!
Alhambra, CA
Post #: 163

I'm sending her off today. I need to know what happened for the benefit of the others. She had no symptoms at all. So devastating. I just wish there was something I could have done for her.

So glad you took her in to find out. I wish I'd known about this when my beloved rooster Pete died. I found him in the coop and never knew what happened. I too, snuggle with and cuddle my hens--and bring them in the house to hang out! LOL Who knew chickens would bring us such enjoyment and that we would love them so much?! It's hard enough to lose them--but it really hurts to be left wondering. We all want to know about your girl--so keep us posted. <3
Brandi G
user 48566262
Pasadena, CA
Post #: 151
Distressingly, her death was totally preventable. Furthermore, it's exactly what I was trying to hand mix their food to avoid. The only thing I can come up with is too many BOSS. I do toss BOSS liberally on the top of their fermented feed. I think she was really pigging out on those.

I'm so sad that I allowed this to happen. She was not even a year old. I think I will drastically limit the BOSS from here on out because they clearly have been pigging out in a big, big way. I'm concerned for a few others. The BOSS are clearly very fatty and they are hard to control who gets what. Maybe I'll eliminate them except in a premixed feed sort of situation. I know that Claire used to go in the shed with me and eat any I dropped on the floor, which was probably tons, in retrospect.

They don't get much table scraps really, but now, they are getting the full diet. Limited food. Forage you fat asses! I'm so very sad I could not see it coming until now, but maybe it can help everyone to look carefully at the "treats" they get. I think that scratch can be an issue also, although mine don't get scratch, many people give their chickens lots of it. The corn and other grains in it could make for some fat, fat chickens.

The chicken was obese and the liver was very friable and fatty. This led to the rupture of the liver which led to the acute death due to internal bleeding. The ovary is usually active, at least in the early stages, and the metabolic and physical stress associated with oviposition (laying eggs) may be factors that induce the fatal hemorrhage. In older birds diet should be closely monitored so that they do not get obese. There were no underlying conditions in this bird. We will do screening for salmonella, AI and parasites. Results shall be sent out as they become available
user 13913292
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 97
Brandi, We do the best we can. I am glad you posted the results so others can learn. About a month ago, one of my first and favorite Delaware hens died. She seemed perfectly fine the day before and then she was laying lifeless on the floor. I picked her up and knew the end was near and I just held her. When I looked in her beak, I saw BOSS. She was one always in for treats and would be at my feet and trying to trip me into dropping the whole bag. I did not have the chance to take her body to UC Davis but I would assume it was from gorging too much. Thanks again for posting. I am going to cool it on the treats.

Hugs to you.

A former member
Post #: 188
Please de-code "BOSS" I bet more than one person has no idea what this is...
By the way, my Pekin duck, TicTic died 10 days ago after a long, managed battle with coelomitis (internal deposition of eggs and infection of organs bringing on massive distention from retaining fluids) I got her necropsy from the same lab. She had been undergoing xrays and anti-biotic treatment (Bactrim) since December, but had not laid any proper eggs since 2011. Several gloppy egg masses last year, which should have alerted me to Egg Yolk peritonitis issues. Now, I know I must act more quickly, but ducks seem able to persist longer with what would be a death dealing infection in chicken hens. If the masses have not caused adhesions of viscera or intestines, they can undergo surgery to clean it all out and be given a implant to stop ovarian function. But she had gone too far for that, as the necropsy disclosed. She died overnight at the vet hospital
Amanda G
user 12128708
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 148
Brandi you can't blame yourself .... She could have had a genetic predisposition to be a fatty.... I have been trying to fatten up my hens so I have been feeding a ton of BOSS... I still have a few thin hens but I will watch how much BOSS they get! Were you sprouting yours?? I feed them both sprouted and plain .... so hopefully the sprouted has more protein & less fat? hmmmmmm ..... I'm curious if you noticed any weird laying behavior etc etc in hindsight ?

Once again I am really sorry for your loss.... I can only imagine how traumatic finding her was

Brandi G
user 48566262
Pasadena, CA
Post #: 153

Yup. I suspect the same about Claire. I just wish I would have put my foot down sooner. I really loved her. Maybe too much. I think she got extra treats because she constantly was with me when I fed them and when she sat on my lap to get meal worms. I didn't realize how fat she was.

I stand corrected and things will change around here, for certain.
Sunland, CA
Post #: 185
Ohhhhh Brandi, I am SO VERY SORRY to hear of your losscrying
I carry the same belief for animals as I do for humans; that we all come onto this planet with a job(s) to do and when the job(s) is finished we must "move on".
Claire's job,IMO, was to open your heart and make it possible for you to love chickens beyond what you ever thought possible = job WELL done Claire love struck
Her secondary teaching job was to give US all an opportunity to learn, through her death how we, the flock guardians, can have even more awareness of how to provide optimal care for our precious companions.

Claires death was certainly not in vain and has provided a valuable opportunity for us all (on this thread) to come together and not only celebrate the wonderful life you shared with her, but also learn how to be more aware in our own flocks of potential hazards even when we think we are doing what's best (and remembering the old adage of too much of a good thing can be not so good).

I still consider myself to be fairly new to chicken keeping and am both comforted and disconcerted to learn that instant death, for no seeming reason, is possible with these birds. I can also see through reading these posts that hindsight in some situations did bring clearer vision to certain alert(s) that presented themselves along the way.

This forum is such a beautiful way for us all to share and learn about both triumphs and tragedies in this mystifyingly captivating world of chicken keeping smile

I thank you for sharing this sad and, for me, very enlightening experience.
I deeply honor Claire's short but HIGHLY productive life and hope you know that you were her partner here on Earth and enabled her to do her "job", on her own timeline, feeling very safe, loved and well cared for love struck
In the end what more can ANY of us ask for?
Sending many blessings and much love to you Brandi love struck
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 302
BOSS is black oil sunflower seed. Brandi - I'm so so sorry. But I think you would be wiser, under the circumstances, to use BOSS as a reserved treat, rather than blend it into any mix. If the birds are given a choice they WILL pick out all the BOSS rather than eat the other stuff around it. If you want to limit their intake, do it by only using it when you need to reward them for something. Then it becomes a tool that you can use. I measure out about a cup of seeds for my girls each day, and give them as an afternoon treat. But if I free-range them, I reserve the seeds for when I need to get them back in the coop. The crackheads will stampede for the coop if there is a bribe involved, and BOSS does the trick. Other than that, they get their layer mix and whatever greens I have around, so it's eat the stuff that's good for you, or be hungry.
Again, so sorry for your loss. Hang in there.
Carrie G.
user 15135741
Reseda, CA
Post #: 46
I'm so sorry for you Brandi. Thank you for sharing what you have learned. It really helps. Did UCDavis say specifically it was the black sunflower seeds?
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