This past week, I received a message from a friend of Tilly’s Nest.
“This weekend we lost a big beautiful black australorp hen – seemingly out of the blue – but as I look back, I should have know something was wrong when she did not roost with the others for two nights. (I just thought it was because we had recently – within the past month – introduced 3 new flock members and there was some re-arranging.) I had noticed an increase of flies in the coop, but thought it was due to the change to warmer weather. ….We have been in near drought conditions – so the coop was nice and dry, and clean with fresh shavings and DE. On Sunday, we noticed her out in the run with the flock, but laying down and not dust-bathing -just laying down. My son picked her up and screamed that she had maggots! In fact, it was fly-strike and she was plumb full of them – to the point that her innards were eaten away and rotting. I have never seen anything like it – she died within the hour and we buried her immediately. All of the other hens look fine. I can only imagine that she had a scratch or wound when it started.”