We had our first poultry loss this morning. My husband noticed that one of our hens was craning her neck and 'gasping' for breath last night. We raced into the house and started trying to figure out what it could be. She still wanted to roost with the others, moved around like normal but kept opening her mouth wide and arcing her neck.
I raced in the house and spent the rest of the night trying to figure out how to help her. It hasn't been too cold the last week so we left her in the coop where she was certain to have less stress. We got up at 5:00 this morning to check our forum board questions for answers to no avail. Doyle also headed to the chicken house and she was dead on the floor. I think he is going to try a necropsy on her to see if anything obvious was the culprit. We were pretty discouraged. We knew things could go wrong but we had a false sense of security because we have had such good luck with all the chickens we raised this year. I am sad but I also know that on the 'farm' anything can go wrong.
All of the other girls look good this morning. Begging for treats is the norm for them. Doyle's warm oatmeal during the bitter cold snap must have singed a nice memory in their minds' as they mob you when you walk in the door. We will keep a very close eye on them to make sure nothing seems to be amis with anyone else.