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Lethargic, unbalanced, diarrhea , but still eating & drinking

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I would appreciate any advice. One of my New Hampshire Red hens (about 2 yrs old) is very unbalanced, looking like she's in pain, and mostly just standing around or lying down. Her comb is laying over & quite pale. She has a very dark, liquid diarrhea Because of the comb, I'm thinking maybe some kind of anemia or dehydration? But she is still eating a bit and drinking. Just not moving around a whole lot & she kinda flops to one side when I put her down. She doesn't appear to have any injuries.
None of the other girls (or guys) is exhibiting any of these symptoms. I have isolated her so the others don't worry her to death.(& so she can't spread anything if she's contagious). I apologize to the really involved chicken lovers, but if I can avoid taking her to a vet, I want to. I don't want to say she's just a chicken, but....she's a chicken, ya know?
Any idea as to what the problem is or what I can do to help her? Thanks for any suggestions/ideas!
Deb
post #2 of 4
In some hens around that age, they can suffer from reproductive problems or diseases. Internal laying, egg yolk peritonitis, salpingitis, and cancer are some of the common ones. They can have droppings that are often runny, they may lay around being uncomfortable walking, or may walk upright or waddle. Has she had problems laying eggs? I would give her a good once over--check her crop to see if it is emptying overnight, look for any lice or mites on her skin especially around the vent, feel of her breast area for loss of weight, and feel the lower belly for any swelling or tightness. Has she been eating or drinking, and have you wormed your flock recently?
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much. I don't know how to do any of that stuff! My ancestors (well they weren't ancestors when I spent summers with them) were all old time farmers & their chickens were just food or food providers. Nobody ever did anything with them except provide them with an open coop, collect eggs, (or let them hatch), & eat them. They didn't worm them or any of that. So, no, I never have. What do I get and from where, to do that? I hate to see her feeling so bad, and I don't want her to suffer. I was trying to keep it all organic. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
post #4 of 4

Hi there, I am all the way down in New Zealand! I have just had to put my beloved hen down because of these very symptoms.  This particular hen has been a great layer and we let her sit on some fertile eggs, last time she was broody, which she did a lot!  She raised them fine and started laying again as normal but then suddenly stopped.  Her symptoms progressively got worse but still continued to eat and drink happily.  Her body weight halved and in the last two days we have felt her crop go very hard like a baseball.  I isolated her and only gave her coconut oil, soaked layer pellets and water.  She still continued to sit awkwardly A LOT and seemed very sad and mopey.  Her comb paled and her tail was droopy. She was walking oddly like she was injured but i could not find any, and they are in an enclosed area safe from predators (not that we have many here!).  I did a big forum search and found that quite a few people have had chickens pass from the same issues and its usually they are egg bound, internal layers and/or crop impaction.  I decided i didn't want her to suffer anymore as she has been this way for a while, and is usually such a perky wee thing.  Losing fur/feathered friends is awful.  I have lost 3 hens in under a year and have started to think i am the worst chicken keeper ever!  My chicken areas are very tidy in comparison to the generic farming lifestyle that kiwi's have here.  They have constant fresh food and clean water,  nice warm coop etc.  I have wormed mine, as i suspected the first one died from gapeworm.  Good luck with your hen. I hope you find out what is wrong with her and she makes a full recovery! 

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