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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I lost my favorite pullet today. A little crested Crested Cream Legbar. Beautiful chicken and it came out of nowhere it seems. Was fine and eating and drinking this morning, acting totally normal. I spend about an hour with the chickens each morning to just observe and for enjoyment-it's almost therapeutic and this morning nothing seemed amiss. Then this afternoon she was just sitting all ruffled up and open mouth breathing, her nose was bleeding. I picked her up and took her inside immediately to have a better examination and the minute we stepped into the house she convulsed and died. We were on our way out to do last minute Christmas stuff and I couldn't do a post mortem. A few days ago my most expensive rooster decided to NOT go into the house with the rest of the group at 4:30. By the time I went out at 6 to lock them in he was half frozen. His feet were frozen solid. We slowly brought them back to normal temperature and he started walking on them right away. The next day there was extreme effusion, which caused huge blisters to form and burst. After daily soaks/compresses, dermcare gel application and pain killers both feet look pretty good and I'm anticipating a full recovery. As of last night he wasn't jumping to roost yet which was a good thing but with all the commotion with my pullet today I forgot to latch his hospital cage. I came home from Christmas shopping to my office (which is where he is residing because my laundry room is full of brooding chicks and my spare rooms are both being used for human guests) covered in poop and papers everywhere and he is sitting ON my desk ON my printer! Apparently, I underestimated how well he was using the legs. Then he got into a fight with my broom as I tried to sweep around him. My extended family staying here think I'm nuts. I try to the make my chickens "pets" but this little gal was so sweet. Her name was Kitten because she acted just like one. The only two birds I've ever named (the rooster's name is Rodney) and those are the two that something had to happen to! Out of 40+ birds, what are the odds!? I can't handle this winter anymore and we're only three days in. Ugh.
 

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So sorry to hear about your woes with the birds. What would cause a chicken to have a bloody nose and then convulse like that? Perhaps she got pecked extra hard on the head??? I hope your roo makes full recovery! Keep us informed.
 

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I'm thinking the same. Something major happened with her brain, might even have been an aneurysm. Or a hard slam in to a wall.

Dude should probably be out in the coop. If he gets acclimated to the warm house its going to be hard on him to slam him back out in the cold again. If you're concerned about his returning to the coop them put a cage out there for him.

But, I'm also wondering, is there something wrong within the coop?
 

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Sorry to hear about your loss. I hope you find out what happened. Chickens can do some really crazy things and get injured.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm not sure about the coop. I'll have a few pictures but they're older ones-not recent. Since these pictures-roosts have changed. There are now three roosts per coop running right across and at differing height levels. Two top vents that stay open all the time. I've never witnessed any aggressive behavior between the girls before but a few more are going to start laying any day and have been cranky. It's been very, very dry and very, very extremely cold here. Cold stress deaths are common around these parts for all sorts of livestock. I'm not sure why after weeks of dealing with this deep freeze she would succumb (if that was the reason, which I'm not saying it is) but my husband said yesterday morning he woke up in the middle of the night with a bloody nose and his throat was so dry he thought he was choking and couldn't breathe for a bit without hacking. In Rodney's case I think he's just not that bright. He does weird little things all the time that make me think he's a bit off. This isn't the first time he hasn't gone into the coop. He might be getting picked on though as he was integrated in with the boys at a later age-although, I've never witnessed any evidence of that, but that doesn't mean it's not happening. We are expecting a very warm day tomorrow, only -14c. I'm going to put Rod in with the girls and see if he does better with them.

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What is the size of the coops and how many birds are in each coop? How often are they getting out in to the outside pens?

Yep, he might benefit from being removed from the all male pen. But you can't plunk him with the girls. He's going to have to go through the whole introduction thing with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The coops are 12 x 16. The girls also have an extension for their nest boxes. There are five nest boxes. The rooster coop does not have the nest box extension. They are always outside in the run. They only use the coop to sleep in. The run is completely enclosed with heavy duty tarp. There are 21 hens in their run/coop and there are 14 roosters in theirs. There has never been a day that they've had to be confined, and there won't be either. We've experienced the coldest/snowiest/windiest it's ever going to get and they still spent the whole day out in the run.

Rodney is quite familiar with the girls already however I do plan on putting him in a kennel and confine him to the coop for a bit-so I can continue to monitor his feet easier and to ease him into living there permanently. It's also almost ten degrees warmer in the coop-the window we used is south facing and very high efficient, it traps a lot of heat.
 

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So sorry to hear of your loss and I hope your rooster continues to improve. {{{xoxo}}}
 

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Well, they've got the space. Unfortunately you already know something happened, the question is what. We do lose them without explanation without a necropsy and even sometimes that doesn't answer what happened.

Your under dog boy should be in hog heaven once he's got all those girls to himself.
 
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