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2 of my 4 year old hens have died quite suddently recently, neither of them showed any signs of illness. I know that rats dig their way into the run, and even though I block the holes, they dig others. Do you think it could be some sort of rat related disease, and should I let the rest (2) die out, or add a couple of new ones. Would this cause a big pecking order kerfuffle. I'm at a loss of what to do. :cry:

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Sorry to hear about your losses, but I agree with ANH - 4 years old is a good age for a hybrid hen and I would suspect they just died of old age. If they had some sort of disease I think you would have seen symptoms.

 

I would add a couple of new hens, read this thread about introductions, and take it slowly.

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I'd sort the rat problem out before getting any more Atilla. You have a legal obligation to do so. Unfortunately poultry keeping usually brings rats. There may be a connection, but we've had rats in runs before and no unexplained sudden deaths. Checked the coop for Red Mite recently?

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Bean tree, just a question.....you have posted 158 times and your posts are so knowledgable.....love them.....how long have you been chicken keepeing :?:

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Eight years now Gavclojak. Our last survivor of the Orpingtons we began with died 6 months ago at the age of 7 ½. I should have introduced myself properly, but I didn't find the place to do it until a fair while after I joined. We had a lot of unusual problems and that has prompted the need to learn in depth. Then there was Morehens disease of course. We had 76 chickens at one stage, including our pet cockerel who is 7 now. And I am still learning of course.

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I've often wondered that too, gavclojac :lol: . No wonder you know your stuff, Beantree, with 76 chickens :shock::lol: .

 

 

Haha so glad I wasn't the only curious one, 76.....hells bells....... :mrgreen:

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Unfortunately,chooks die for no good reason and very sudden too.Very little can be done about it.

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