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Brienne the ex battery hen

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

This is Brienne shortly after being adopted at 18 months.

Brienne last year.

Brienne today, 2 years old.

Brienne has been lethargic (eyes closed, sleeping more and laying to one side), stopped laying, and her tail feathers and crest are droopy. Her eggs have always been wrinkly on top and occasionally come without a hard shell.
We have tried treating for worms, mites, felt for an egg trapped inside (nothing), and given a couple of warm epsom salt baths (this seemed to relax her). I have also treated her for scaly leg. She is eating a bit less but drinking a lot of water, compared to normal.

Please help me help her!
post #2 of 6

Sometimes it is a process of elimination (I usually ask a lot of questions).

How does her abdomen feel - hard, squishy, water balloon, etc.?

When was the last time she laid an egg, what was it like?

Also how does her crop feel, normal, possibly impacted, etc.?


She may be having some "internal laying" problems. Could be Ascites, Peritonitis or some other "breakdown" in the laying system.

There are several reasons for shell less eggs and the wrinkly eggs as well. Has she ever shown any respiratory illness?


Here are a few links you may find helpful.


Egg laying issues:


Egg laying problems:

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
She feels a bit bony but soft.
Her last egg was a soft one with no outer shell.
Her crop is soft. Physically she seems normal, if a little thinner. She doesn't seem to have any respiration problems. But her head falls forward when she sleeps. Her poo is very soft and green (possibly from lettuce).

Thank you for your help.
post #4 of 6

If you can separate her that may be helpful so you can monitor her more closely.

The green poo could be from lettuce.

Sometimes it can be an indication of not properly processing nutrition or it can be a sign of infection. You can try to help increase nutritional uptake by giving vitamins. I know you are in Australia so I'm not familiar with what you have available, but most of the time they can be found online or at your local feed store.

Just in case, I didn't ask what you feed, but you may want to offer oyster shell free choice if you aren't doing so (I'm sure you are).


If you suspect it is infection, then separation would be best to help minimize the spread of bacteria found in the poo. Infections can sometimes be treated with antibiotics.


Here is a poop chart:

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your help. Unfortunately, Brienne passed away last night.
post #6 of 6

I'm sorry your loss:hugs

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