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RIP Ruby and Pamela - help needed!

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H all, a couple of months back our girl Ruby just suddnely died one day. We came home from work to find her collapsed and dead in the run. We have 5 other girls and all other 5 were fine, running around, clear eyes, good comb etc and we just could not work out what had happened to poor Ruby.


Then all of a sudden yesterday we came home to find that one of the remaining 5 girls, Pamela, had also passed away suddenyl and was laid in practically the same place as Ruby.


The girlies are about 3 and a half years old, they all looked healthy, there are no red mite n the coop as we check regularly, there are no signs of rats or cats.


What's going on???

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Sorry to hear about it.


I guess they are hybrids, in which case 3 and a half is a good age for them as they are bred as laying machines so can have problems with laying as they get older.

Chickens are flock animals so often hide weakness very well, it sounds like you are doing everything right with mites and health checks so I would just keep an eye on the others.

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As said, they are very old and that is probably the reason. There is one other thing that I read about and that's Botulism. It can be caught from compost heap beetles and worms and also from maggots feeding on rotten flesh as from dead mice or rats. Is anyone using rat poison near you or are your hens free ranging on the compost heap?

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I'm sorry to hear about your hens but the most likely explanation is their age - three and a half is quite old for a hybrid, they can live a lot longer but sudden illness and death at this age is not unusual.


If it were illness or poison I'd expect the whole flock to be affected. Two deaths two months apart doesn't suggest any serious underlying cause.

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i think if they'd eaten something bad, there would have been at least a very brief period of illness.

Sounds, as everyone else has said, like hybrid old age to me.

You don't say what type they were, but in my (admittedly somewhat limited) experience, warrens seem especially susceptible to dying suddenly/quite young

Sorry for your loss

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