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Hi

I had four hens 3-4 years old and one of them (Goldy) died this morning. she has been a bit funny for a couple of days and had some black areas on her comb, late last night she lay on her own when it got dark and I had to put her in the coop. Early this morning she remained in coop when others came out and stayed with head in the corner, I planned to take her to the vet this morning but when I went for her she had died.

 I have disinfected the Eglu cube and cleaned it out but notice that the other three also have black areas on their comb, please zoom into attached photos to see. this morning lots of feathers in coop and black one has lost them from around her neck, again you can see in photo.

I last wormed them about six months ago so need to do this but I also notice the blue one has some poop around her vent.

Has anybody got any ideas please!

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It's really hard to see from the photos and I can't zoom in enough to get a proper look - can you post any clearer ones?

Are the areas raised or scabby at all?

Edited by The Dogmother

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I’m sorry to hear about Goldy. I’m afraid I can’t tell from the photos. The top hen from what I can see looks like she has blood on her comb but from your description I’m guessing that’s not it. Dark combs can indicate heart problems, but I wouldn’t have thought that’d be likely to affect more than one hen. If the dark patches are crusty it could be fowl pox. Or I understand if they’ve eaten feed contaminated with certain fungi this can happen - is that a possibility?

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Hi

Thank you so much for your prompt responses. areas are not raised or scabby they are just like a black stain, I will try to get a closer photo in the morning. Goldie the dead one her comb went very pale and completely drooped down, had black edging.

Food is fresh, unless they managed to get into compost bins. their grog water feeders are a constant battle with green algae and require daily scrub. the girls have layers pellets in morning and garden mix in the afternoon.

thanks again

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That does look like dried blood to me. I’m afraid I can’t think of anything that could be causing all of the symptoms you’ve described.

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There is a disease called 'blackhead' which is a big problem with turkeys and far less so with chickens which can carry it. It affects the liver I think? Caused by eating earth worms, which is a possibility as your hens are ranging in the garden. There are no drugs to treat it so all you can do is keep your chickens as healthy as possible.

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Had another thought. Have you tried washing it off, as sometimes dirt sticks in patches after soil bathing, particularly if they have eaten something juicy which has splashed onto their comb?

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Hi Friends

Thank you so much for your help. I have thoroughly cleaned out their Eglu Cube and disinfected, put in fresh sawdust and straw. filled the grub feeders with food with Verm X in it, put some apple cider vinegar in their glug water.

the three survivors look ok other than the black bits on the comb. the black girl appears to be moulting and the blue has some poop on her vent feathers.

Thank you all for your help and advice, much appreciated.

K

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You can't rely on Verm-X as a wormer Keymaster and I'm no longer a user of Apple Cider Vinegar as I think it discourages them from drinking and has no real effect on worms. It should only be used for just a few days every month anyway because it's the sudden change in gut acidity that is supposed to have an effect. Have they ever been wormed with Flubenvet?

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7 hours ago, Beantree said:

You can't rely on Verm-X as a wormer Keymaster ........................... Have they ever been wormed with Flubenvet?

Was just going to say the same thing

I am wracking my brains about the black areas on their combs - definitely not fowl pox. I don't think it's blackhead as (from memory) the darkening of the head is more all over than patches, but happy to be reminded otherwise. It's hard to say without seeing them.

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Hi

I have previously bought layers pellets with Flubenvet. I went to two different vets yesterday morning to buy Flubenvet and neither had stock. the girls have not had Flubenvet for about a year.

thanks

K

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