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Floppy comb, runny poo, lethargic hen...Help?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My one year old black sex link hen has been acting out of sorts.  She has a floppy comb, runny (whitish/yellow) poo down her butt feathers (haven't seen her have an actual bowel movement) and she's not interacting with the flock.  She's not interested in free ranging and is just hanging near the coop.  She even let me check her out (normally wouldn't let me near her) and I felt around her bottom, but didn't feel an egg or anything.  I have no way of knowing if she's laid an egg recently, but she doesn't have the more classic egg bound symptoms.  She walks slow, but doesn't seem to squat or waddle and she otherwise (physically) looks normal on the outside.  She has such a big fluffy butt that I can't tell if it's swollen (didn't feel warmer to the touch or anything).


Any ideas/experience?

post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 8

That doesn't sound good. I have no idea how to help. Could she be dehydrated? I know that can cause a floppy comb.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

She has the same access to water that the other girls do, so I don't think it would be dehydration...

post #5 of 8

My first thought is that it could be Peritonitis. I have lost two chooks to this. I currently have a chook with similar symptoms - her pooh is very runny, almost like runny milk.A/B help but there is no cure- I am currently in discussion with my vet about the possibility of a hormone implant to stop laying so will wait and see.

Do you think the yellowness in her pooh is at all 'eggy?' Is she drinking more than usual and do you think she may have lost weight?

The other far less serious thing it could be is worms....Have you wormed them recently?

post #6 of 8

Did you ever find out what was wrong with your hen? Our Lohman Brown, approx 36 months old, has been ill for a week now and we keep thinking she's getting better then she seems worse again. We do not think she is still laying eggs.The hens are not due for worming. They eat layer pellets but are free range and have access to plenty water and natural foraging all day. There is no external mite or parasite infection present.


Symptoms: slightly floppy comb with very slighly black tips although it is still a healthy red generally. Keeps sitting or standing hunched with head tucked in for long periods of time without moving. Reluctant to leave coop in morning but with human intervention by placing her by food and water, will eat and drink. She then seems to perk up during the day and free ranges with her companions, albeit moving slowly interspersed with long periods of  hunched immobility. Slight white soiling on bottom feathers. She gets herself into the coop at bedtime without any difficulty. She has lost weight over the past week.

Today there is a new symptom - seems unable to stand on her feet as her claws are curled up. These can easily be unfurled by hand but she still cannot stand. Appears to be shivering.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
post #8 of 8

REPLY TO CRACKERS: Ah! Yes that doesn't sound good. That's how my ckicken 'snowdrop' ended up. They are very poorly by that time. I think you need to say goodbye as she is not happy.

Edited by lil flock - 5/19/12 at 1:51am
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