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Sep 15, 2013

Sudden Death Syndrome & My Hen, More Rain & Mudslides, Thrifting, Mushrooms?

R.I.P. Little Blackie

Sudden Death Syndrome & My Hen-
Last week Dave found one of our hens dead. What was so strange was that she looked healthy, was eating, and foraging one hour before. She'd also laid an egg that day. Dave checked on the girls, we had dinner, he went back out one hour later and she was gone. I checked her body- no wounds, no blood, nothing I could easily spot. Maybe she ate a nail or something else and she quickly bled out internally? I can't fathom what happened. The other two girls are fine. I always feel so guilty when I lose a hen- like I've been careless, lazy, or stupid. I googled some things and came up with this- while it seems to affect young male birds, it certainly fit the bill:

Sudden Death Syndrome (acute death syndrome, flips, flip overs)-
Chickens and turkeys that die of sudden death syndrome are most often found lying on their backs with their legs and necks extended, although, occasionally, they are positioned on their front side. Other than convulsions observed immediately before death, affected birds do not appear to be sick prior to dying.  The affected birds are usually large, and are most often males.

Sudden death syndrome is a cardiovascular disorder caused by a heart arrhythmia, meaning the birds die of a heart attack.  Mortality can occur in birds as early as one week of age, and normally peaks around three weeks of age.  A fast rate of growth is the major causative factor.  The methods described earlier in this section to slow growth rate will help to reduce the number of birds dying from this condition.

While the articles helped I still couldn't find an answer to all the questions. It gave me a bit of relief thinking maybe there was just some kind of genetic or congenital problem? It's too late in the season to buy a couple of chicks, so we'll do that in the spring. She was a great chicken, happy and gentle....

                                                           Photos from
More Rain & Mudslides-
Several storms have blown thru the last few days. While we've had nothing like Colorado had, we had some mudslides. Many local areas, including a main highway last night, had sudden mudslides and road washouts. It rained heavily last night north of us, but we just had lots of thunder and lightning. It's supposed to cool down to the 70's this coming week and I'm hoping we're going down into a cooling trend. While I've loved the recent rain, it been in the 80's/90's and it just too humid! I felt like I was in the deep south yesterday working in the garden.

Storm clouds over our house, but no rain

While I didn't get out as much as usual this summer due to my foot surgery, I'm catching up a bit now! After our third electric tea kettle died in three years we decided to go back to a regular stove top one. While the electric ones are much faster and use less energy, they only last a couple of years. I make iced tea year round and Dave uses a french press for coffee. The night ours died I remembered I have seen a Revere Ware kettle at Goodwill the day before. The next day I went back after work and it was still there! Nice stainless steel and copper bottom. It was $3.00! It's nice and clean and works great! I also found two brand new top and bottoms for work. I also bought some cheap crocus bulbs to plant next month in our backyard for spring. I also got a beautiful aster to fill in where an annual had died-

With lots of rain, and heat, we had a batch of mushrooms sprout in our backyard. Any ideas as to what they kind they are???


Ginny Poole said...

I'm sorry to hear about your hen. I call it "knock down" b/c it looks like the bird got knocked down.

We've had a few road washouts this summer here in GA - more in the Atlanta area than in the Athens area (where I am.)

It looks like a small village of Smurfs has taken over your yard! :) Besides that, I've not a clue to the variety.

Susan said...

I'm so sorry about Little Blackie. It's always upsetting when you lose a hen for no apparent reason. That has happened to me before and I feel the same way - was it something I did, missed? Will you be getting another hen or two to keep the others company? Wonderful deal on that tea kettle!

Carolyn said...

I think we've had two or three sudden death chickens in the seven years we've had birds. I've never bothered to do an autopsy though, but maybe I will next time....not that I know what I'm looking for :)

Not sure about the mushrooms....I wish I knew more because we have spells of mushroom-o-rama here and I'd love to take advantage of them if they are edible.

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Thanks all. Susan- Yes, I'll be getting a couple of babies in the spring. I still have 2 left. Carolyn- I looked for blood, broken bones, swelling.