This morning I went into the hen house to check for eggs, to discover the queen (our light sussex hen as named by the kids) was dead on the floor. She had just grown new feathers after moulting, but had never seemed herself since and as she was still eating/drinking we just assumed that she was getting her strength back. Of course finding her dead was a shock.
I have just been out to give the ducks more food and have noticed that one of them stood back (which they are prone to do at times) when the others went to eat. There was one extra duck egg on the floor near her (we have only been getting two eggs from 4 ducks these past weeks), and her breathing seems slightly more laboured than the others. I filled up the pond next to her and she had a drink, but had no desire to then check for bugs in the mud with the others.
She seems to also have a slight limp, but I can't see anything obvious and she won't let me near. I have looked out the window and she is sat down away from the others which again, they are prone to do at times.
Does anyone have any idea what could be up or any advice as to what I could do? I'm not sure whether to think the hen and duck are connected, or if this is just coincidence.
All four ducks have just finished moulting and their new feathers are grown.