BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures › Lethargic, comb limp, UPDATE!! HOPEFULLY A BIT BETTER!
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Lethargic, comb limp, UPDATE!! HOPEFULLY A BIT BETTER!

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

Hello, I have a fairly old hen who really is  a bit of a pet.  Her name is Hennie and she generally eats a lot. 
We have had a heat wave for the past week and 2 days ago hennie's comb which is normally big and tall became thin and drapped down along her face.  The last 2 nights she has not wanted to go back into the coop and hides.  She still eats and drinks but she walks around very slowly.
Her crop this morning is pretty big and mushy.  It is possible she ate some mash through the night but I doubt it in the dark so it seemed like her crop did not clear through the night.  (as far as I know)   She will drink water. 
What should I do?


Edited by zowieyellowflame - 9/12/10 at 4:36pm
Several mixed breeds as well as purebred barred rock, rhode island red and amerucana.  I am a hobby chicken farmer and an avid gardener with a small gardening business including produce csa and restaurant supply.  Besides that, I am a Master Gardener student and a full time optician/contact lens fitter with a 1 hour commute each way.  Husband helps take care of the chickens!
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Several mixed breeds as well as purebred barred rock, rhode island red and amerucana.  I am a hobby chicken farmer and an avid gardener with a small gardening business including produce csa and restaurant supply.  Besides that, I am a Master Gardener student and a full time optician/contact lens fitter with a 1 hour commute each way.  Husband helps take care of the chickens!
Reply
post #2 of 43

I'd read in the emergencies or FAQ section on crop problems.  There are treatments you can try, I know, but I'm afraid that's about all I know.

post #3 of 43
Thread Starter 

I fed her some yogurt.  Her crop is full, I guess because she has been eating lots today.  I have read I should separate her so that I can remove her food access but I am not 100% sure it is sour crop.  She is eating and drinking well, ate yogurt with extreme interest.  But she just walks slow, sleeps a lot, sits a lot and her comb is limp and was plastered to the side of her face.  Today, first time in 3 days her comb is no longer purple on the tips and it seems to be more full and lifting off her face a bit.  She is also thinner than I remember her being.

Several mixed breeds as well as purebred barred rock, rhode island red and amerucana.  I am a hobby chicken farmer and an avid gardener with a small gardening business including produce csa and restaurant supply.  Besides that, I am a Master Gardener student and a full time optician/contact lens fitter with a 1 hour commute each way.  Husband helps take care of the chickens!
Reply
Several mixed breeds as well as purebred barred rock, rhode island red and amerucana.  I am a hobby chicken farmer and an avid gardener with a small gardening business including produce csa and restaurant supply.  Besides that, I am a Master Gardener student and a full time optician/contact lens fitter with a 1 hour commute each way.  Husband helps take care of the chickens!
Reply
post #4 of 43

Since you say that she is eating a lot and eating eagerly, i would guess that this is not sour crop.

I'm not sure that we have enough information to give you very much help.

Once i had a cockerel who i found acting lethargic a couple of times.  He was having a problem with his crop.  It wasn't impacted exactly, but it was sluggish.  I started very gently massaging his crop about once a day, and it got to moving again, and he grew up to be a nice sized boy.  That's just a thought, but again, i'm not sure we have enough information.

You might also see if she has lice or mites - or depending on how old she is, maybe she's just old?

post #5 of 43
Thread Starter 

I don't know her age exactly because I bought 8 hens that were supposed to be pullet age, about 15 months ago.  I knew immediately that Hennie was older than the rest.  She could be 2-8 yrs or whatever their life span is.  She is very friendly, we frequently let her out to garden with us but not recently so I doubt she ate anything weird. 
Tonight her crop is big and mushy.  Earlier I fed her yogurt mixed with veg oil.  I have massaged her crop 4 times today.  I notice no odor.  It seems difficult for her to walk...... She stands or lays and for several minutes will stand in exactly the same position.  While standing like this in the tomato patch for a good 10 minutes, she did react when a bug flew by... she ate it.  She also ate quite a bit of yogurt and then I put a tomato down and she ate a few bites.  I put her back into the run and when we added zucchini she quickly came over.  She has eaten quite a bit of zucchini today.  Any other time, she is stalk still, barely moving her head.  Like she is a statue. 
The crop feels like a tension ball..... you press one area and it stays depressed for a while.  Has the consistancy of a tension or stress ball too.  There is no spring back.  Nothing rigid.  Does this sound normal?  Her comb is still limp and sometimes purple.
I put my dog to sleep almost a year and 10 months ago.  This chicken, Hennie,  is the closest bond I have allowed myself since I lost Tia. (my dog) I feel pretty attached and would appreciate any help.  Hennie is a good chicken. 
Thanks

Several mixed breeds as well as purebred barred rock, rhode island red and amerucana.  I am a hobby chicken farmer and an avid gardener with a small gardening business including produce csa and restaurant supply.  Besides that, I am a Master Gardener student and a full time optician/contact lens fitter with a 1 hour commute each way.  Husband helps take care of the chickens!
Reply
Several mixed breeds as well as purebred barred rock, rhode island red and amerucana.  I am a hobby chicken farmer and an avid gardener with a small gardening business including produce csa and restaurant supply.  Besides that, I am a Master Gardener student and a full time optician/contact lens fitter with a 1 hour commute each way.  Husband helps take care of the chickens!
Reply
post #6 of 43

zowie,

Have you checked her abdomen?  I have heard of cases where a hen has an egg sort of 'stuck' on the way out, and it will make it hard for her to talk.  If you feel gently in her lower abdomen, that might give a clue.

If you think it is her crop, i strongly suggest isolating her and withdrawing food (not water) for 12 hours and then taking notice of the difference - whether her crop is slowly going down or not going down much at all - or what.

I hope you find the answer you need.  hugs

post #7 of 43
Thread Starter 

I checked her abdomen and it does feel a bit swollen and squishy but only slightly more so than the other hens.  Hennie has not been laying for many months now.  I assume she is all done.  She has not even had any egg laying behavior in nearly a yr. 
Her crop changed sizes today... though it did not completely empty, it did become smaller and larger depending on what she ate.  I did not withdraw food, I don't really think it is her crop now. 
Today, while I held her, I picked through her feathers and looked at her skin.  There are a lot of flakes near the skin and a bit of scale on her legs so I suspect mites.  I dusted her with basically, Sevin.  I thought the ordeal may traumatize her but when it was over, she quickly gobbled up a bug. 
If we put food in the run, she quickly walks over.  (before she would have ran)  Her appetite seems good but she is lethargic and sleeps a lot.  Tonight, for the 4th night in a row she tried to sleep outside in a corner under the ramp to the coop.  (I always put her in)  I dont know if she has trouble with the ramp or if she wants to be alone.  Once I put her in, she goes into a nest box to sleep.  She does not roost now. 
Anyways, thanks everyone for your care and concern.
Tanya

Several mixed breeds as well as purebred barred rock, rhode island red and amerucana.  I am a hobby chicken farmer and an avid gardener with a small gardening business including produce csa and restaurant supply.  Besides that, I am a Master Gardener student and a full time optician/contact lens fitter with a 1 hour commute each way.  Husband helps take care of the chickens!
Reply
Several mixed breeds as well as purebred barred rock, rhode island red and amerucana.  I am a hobby chicken farmer and an avid gardener with a small gardening business including produce csa and restaurant supply.  Besides that, I am a Master Gardener student and a full time optician/contact lens fitter with a 1 hour commute each way.  Husband helps take care of the chickens!
Reply
post #8 of 43
Thread Starter 

Hennie made it through another day.  I gave her some oyster shell, incase she needed grit and she ate several pieces.  I also gave her some olive oil and massaged her crop for a bit.  I went to work for the day and tonight, my husband decided to isolate her.  She seems a little unsteady on her feet now.  He fed her a lot of stuff though... greens, crumbs, mash, tomatoes, yogurt, etc.  I think it would have been better to at the very least limit her diet, but he didn't know.   
Anyways, I have decided for tonight I will withdraw her food.   I could hear noises inside of her.  click..click..click  I dont know how to describe it.  Her breathing was normal.  Her stool was runny whitish green.  Her belly does seem a bit swollen but I could not feel an egg.  I put on a rubber glove, and put vasoline on my finger and preformed umm.... a digital exam.  It prompted more bowel movement, this time dark green.    One time last year, she was showing signs of being egg bound so I gave her a warm bath and tried to feel for the egg with my finger which prompted a large amount of liquid to come out of her.  Whitish if I remember right.  Should I try this again?  That incident was different though because it always looked like she was trying to lay. 
Anyways, any help would be appreciated!

Several mixed breeds as well as purebred barred rock, rhode island red and amerucana.  I am a hobby chicken farmer and an avid gardener with a small gardening business including produce csa and restaurant supply.  Besides that, I am a Master Gardener student and a full time optician/contact lens fitter with a 1 hour commute each way.  Husband helps take care of the chickens!
Reply
Several mixed breeds as well as purebred barred rock, rhode island red and amerucana.  I am a hobby chicken farmer and an avid gardener with a small gardening business including produce csa and restaurant supply.  Besides that, I am a Master Gardener student and a full time optician/contact lens fitter with a 1 hour commute each way.  Husband helps take care of the chickens!
Reply
post #9 of 43

Well, i don't think a warm bath could hurt - as long as you keep her warm after getting wet.  It might be worth a shot at least.  smile

post #10 of 43
Thread Starter 

I skipped on the bath.  Today I worked away from home for 13 hrs so my husband had to look after her.  He gave olive oil, kept her with fresh water at all times, ACV with the mother in it.   He massaged her crop, she had a few big poops.  The pen that i put her in had a small amount of food on the floor which she located so she did eat a bit, her crop is still fairly full.  Size of golf ball or close to tennis ball size.  Soft, squishy and kind of like a stress ball still.  Her abdomen still feels a bit swollen.  I feel like I can feel something in there, size and texture of a grape.    She keeps her eyes closed mostly, but she is in bedtime mode.  She would not eat the yogurt I offered either but she usually doesn't want to eat or be bothered after she has gone to bed.  So I will keep my fingers crossed......  Would really like some advice!  Will a chickens crop completely empty every night/fast?

Several mixed breeds as well as purebred barred rock, rhode island red and amerucana.  I am a hobby chicken farmer and an avid gardener with a small gardening business including produce csa and restaurant supply.  Besides that, I am a Master Gardener student and a full time optician/contact lens fitter with a 1 hour commute each way.  Husband helps take care of the chickens!
Reply
Several mixed breeds as well as purebred barred rock, rhode island red and amerucana.  I am a hobby chicken farmer and an avid gardener with a small gardening business including produce csa and restaurant supply.  Besides that, I am a Master Gardener student and a full time optician/contact lens fitter with a 1 hour commute each way.  Husband helps take care of the chickens!
Reply
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