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Sick Chickens

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

one of my chickens recently died. hit.gifI am so sad right now and now 2 more chickens are sick. I only have 6 chickens left. They are 2 years 10 months old. I am lucky to get 2 eggs a week from them, i really don't care about eggs so it doesn't bother me if they lay no eggs as long as their healthy. They haven't been laying well in over a year. When I first go them as pullets they started laying twenty some weeks old and were doing so well for about a year and then there egg production declined to only a few eggs a week. I use to get 35-48 eggs a week(5-6 a day) and now I'm down to 2 eggs a week. They are all red sex links and debeaked.

 

First chicken has a swollen abdominal feels not hard but not squishy either, sort of in the middle but it is really extended and when i touch it bothers my hen. She was very lethargic a few days ago but has improved slightly.She has yolk and a lot of liquid in her poop.If you click on this link here it shows pics of chicken poop- here

go down to the one that says 'The hen who produced this specimen was about 25 weeks old. She went off her food and ate so little she became underweight. She held her tail down and was tired. She may have had worms and/or egg peritonitis."

That is what her poop looks like. I think she has egg yolk peritonitis because of the yolk in her stool.

 

I have been giving her penicillin injections in her breasts. I plan to give her 5 days worth of injections and today is already the forth so hopefully she improves and starts eating more. she is eating a little bit more than she did a few days ago but still not enough. Even if her appetite comes back what do i do about her swollen abdominal it is huge and looks painful. Maybe it might go down if the infection goes down??

 

Second hen- just started showing symptoms today. here is a pic-DSCN2590.JPG

 

I picked it up with a hand towel but it had a bunch of liquid around it like the other hens stool as well as egg yolk. The only difference is that this hen's stool is larger compared to my other sick hens stool. This hen is also lethargic,she stood in the same spot for over an hour and did not want grapes(one of her favorite treats). she did eat later in the day, some blueberries. I think i will also inject penicillin in her before she gets worse. Her abdominal is really squishy unlike the other hen.

 

I don't know why this is happening to my hens. I feed them purina layena pellets. oyster shell and grit 24 hours access and fresh water. they also enjoy treats such as fruits, rice, veggies, etc. they free range when the weather is good. I also have recently been giving them sunflowers seeds which helped their stools become more firm but am gonna stop giving it to them since they are not laying well and don't want to over do the protein.

 

so please tell me what you think about the stools and why you think this is happening? I am all ears, please if you have any idea of why this is happening please reply, I don't want to lose any more hens.


Edited by Blesser - 4/19/12 at 9:21pm
post #2 of 14

The initial girl with the suspected EYP should be put down.  She isn't going to make it for any length of time and is probably in terrible pain.  EYP is the result of a fatal reproductive condition with no cure except a very risky surgery (hysterectomy).

 

The second hen I don't really know what to say about because your description is too vague.

 

Unfortunately, hatchery-quality, production layers are prone to internal laying and other reproductive malfunctions.  Your group is also just the right age to start showing signs of these issues.  The lack of eggs recently means that they are still producing them, but they aren't seeing the light of day.  So, where are they?  They are being laid into the abdominal cavity where they are festering and poisoning your birds.  This is a known problem with these high production, hatchery birds.  Hatcheries have no desire to change this fact because the younger the birds are that die, the more chickens they can sell to replace them.  It makes no sense for them to breed healthier, longer-lived specimens. 

 

I am sorry for your losses.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

This morning the first hen look much better thanks to her penicillin injections! she is eating blueberries and canned corn. she still has yolk in her droppings but less than what she initially had, swelling still there though.She is also moving around more. Second hen looks more active today also. Still yolk in her stool, more than the first hen. I will continue to care for them I realize there is no cure but I have read many stories of EYP hens living healthy and happy lives if cared for properly. Last year one of my hens had the same symptoms, I took her to the vet, he didn't really know what was wrong but he gave her some antibiotic and told me she wouldn't last the night, I am happy to say she is still with us today and she is very active and healthy.  Thanks for your reply, if anyone wants to send some prayers my way that would be appreciated. I just realized that I didn't even names these hens so first hen's name is hanna and second hen is diamond. I will continue to care for them and putting these two down is out of the question.


Edited by Blesser - 4/20/12 at 8:33am
post #4 of 14

Prayers for Hanna and Diamond!  Just found one of my girls, Patty, with the beginnings of EYP this morning.  Gave her penicillin right away and I've got her in the house by herself.  The others were picking on her!   Poor baby.  I have had another girl come out of this with flying colors and laying again like crazy although it took her a few months.  Her wattles and comb kinda shriveled up during that time but now they're the most beautiful and largest of all the girls!  AND, she's had no more problems - yet. 

 

 

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much, you've given me much needed hope. I'm so glad to hear that your hen is healthy again after dealing with EYP and hope your current sick chicken gets better soon.

I do have a few questions if you don't mind answering.  Your hen that dealt with EYP did her stools revert to normal when she got better, no more yolk? Diamond is feeling better today, I didn't give her any penicillin but she still has the egg yolk in her stool, should I give her the penicillin?


Edited by Blesser - 4/20/12 at 2:38pm
post #6 of 14

I give 4 days of penicillin injections.  And yes, the "cooked egg yolk" strands disappeared after that.  I caught both time VERY early though....

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate it:) I gave Diamond the first injection yesterday and the second injection today but both times it showed through the skin even though I went 1/4 inch deep, does it still absorb if it didn't all go into the muscle? My first hen Hanna had her sixth injection today because she still has some yolk in her stool , much less than the first day and is still not herself. I will give Hanna one more shot to make it seven injections total ( I heard that is the limit), most of her injections went in the muscle and I couldn't see the medicine through her skin but a few showed through the skin. I just want to make sure both hens are still getting the benefit of the medicine even though it showed through the skin. I didn't want to go too deep and read that it is better to not go deep enough then go in too deep. If you or someone else on this website has knowledge on this please reply, thanks.

post #8 of 14

I'm going through this with one of my four hens, Tulip. She is three years old. From all the research, the prognosis is not good and she probably should be put down. We cannot do it! What a hard situation to be in. I may take her to the vet next week but I will not have her have a hysterectomy. I just won't put that much money into a three-year old hen even though she is a pet. One just can guarantee how long hens will live. What a frustrating dilemma! Good luck to you.

"Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral."
 Frank Lloyd Wright

Visit my hens live on camera at http://backyardhencam.com.
Gardeners please see my garden blog at http://centralcoastgardening.com.
Reply
"Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral."
 Frank Lloyd Wright

Visit my hens live on camera at http://backyardhencam.com.
Gardeners please see my garden blog at http://centralcoastgardening.com.
Reply
post #9 of 14

Well, when I took my first girl into the vet with this - he did the injection subcutaneously - not IM.  That's how I did the next three (he gave me the prefilled syringes.  However, since then I've found they're supposed to be IM and that's how I've done it since.  I will say the first girl came out fine though even though it wasn't IM...so I'm going to say you're probably ok.

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Does anyone know the longest you can give a chicken penicllin? I heared 7 days is the max you can give safely but my hen Hanna still has egg yolk in her stool and is still bloated. She seems to be eating better after giving her the injections and is able to sit down now ( could only stand before injections) but I don't think the infection is gone because of all the egg yolk in her stool, so maybe I should reduce the dosage to 1/4 cc for maybe 3 more days max just to make sure she gets rid of the infection. Does that sound okay? I've also been give her probios a few hours after injections to put the good bacteria back in her body and also have been putting organic apple cider vineagar in her water everyday.

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