2 sick hens, need help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Loel, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. Loel

    Loel New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2014
    It is extremely cold right now in PA and even though we keep a heat lamp on to warm up the coop, I have noticed that 2 young hens will not leave the nesting boxes. I assumed they were cold and the boxes were warm and did not think anything of it. After a 2 days of not wanting to come out, I forced them out only to discover that their eyes were sealed shut and they were unable to see. I immediately put medications on the eyes and they opened, the birds walked around and drank and ate but went back into the nesting boxes. Again the next morning the eyes were sealed, I reapplied the meds to the eyes again and the hens ate and drank. Now the eyes are open, no sign of infection or respiratory problems, but the hens still want to stay in the nesting boxes. When I force them out they eat and drink but now sit on the roosting bar and both shake their heads and scratch, almost like something is itching or biting them. I thought maybe lice or mites and treated them and the nesting boxes, today they went out with the group but still are rubbing their heads and scratching. The one hen does not look sick, eats a little but the other does not want to eat is listless , just scratches away at herself and goes back into the nesting box. I feel so bad for them and have no clue what is wrong., there are no chicken vets around so I am hoping that someone can give me some advice.please!
     
  2. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they are scratching at themselves - They may still have mites or lice and even though you treated them - as soon as they go back in boxes or roost with other birds they get re-infested. Lice or mites are small and can be hard to see but can kill a bird if, left untreated. I would treat All the flock, clean out the coop, boxes and treat everything. Extreme weather makes them more vulnerable to illness too. Good luck
     
  3. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to bYC! What did you treat them with? Did you clean out and treat the entire coop and all chickens? Chickens who usually roost and go to nesting boxes but are not broody are sick. the one who is not eating is really in trouble. Even more important is that they drink. I would bring in the two sick ones and check everything and if they are not drinking, use an eye dropper or syringe(without needle) to get liquids in asap. Be careful not to get water in the opening right behind their tongue, that's the trachea. They need help,Keep posting!!! We can help you help them!
     
  4. Loel

    Loel New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2014
    yes, they are drinking and somewhat eating but only after being taken from the nesting boxes. They act more like they are irrigated by something than being sick. although I did fail to mention that the one hen who seems worse has not laid an egg in several days. I dusted them as well as the rest of the hens and coop with DE incase they did have a mite or lice. To look at them they seem fine but are constantly picking or scratching at their heads and neck and their feathers are puffed up a lot of times. . The eyes were sealed but the meds cleared that up, no sign of irritation or pus in the eye area at this time. They are just not acting like themselves. I offered mealworms tonight, something the hens LOVE and the one hen showed no interest and remained in nesting box. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!
     
  5. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your problem may be two fold. First, live and/or mites. Have you inspected their skin, especially around the vent? An infestation I this size will need treatment with Seven dust. All birds will need to be dusted as well as the coop and all bedding changes out. The second issue may be broodiness.
     
  6. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DE alone will not take care of a infestation.
     
  7. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not laying an egg for several days is not unusual in winter. (you could check to see if she is egg bound) I would recommend re- treating all birds with sevin dust/ poultry dust. Clean out entire coop and use sevin dust everywhere, put in fresh bedding. Repeat the whole process in 7 to 10 days. DE is only a deterrent for bugs and will not kill live infestations of parasites inside or outside of the body. After the two treatments of sevin dust, I would recommend de worming the entire flock in case they have internal parasites. Valbazen is a good product.
     
  8. Loel

    Loel New Egg

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    Thank you for your help! I did as you said and checked her for mites/lice and did not see anything although her vent and belly area are completely bald. She is now eating and drinking but I noticed she is attacking the other birds, something she has never done before. After about 20 minutes of being out in the yard, I found her clucking away contently in her nesting box on top of an egg she had just laid. I figured she was broody and moved her into a secure area so she would not harm the smaller hens. This is my first broody hen, I am learning as I go on. I have dusted her again with DE but will change that to something stronger since I think she might have a problem. She is better than she was a few days ago, no signs of illness but just won't leave the nesting box, which is enclose and private unless I force her out. Will keep you all posted and I thank everyone for there help and concern.
     
  9. Loel

    Loel New Egg

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    Thank you, am going to the store tomorrow to get some of the Sevin and will try that. DE doesn't seem to be helping at all. I appreciate your help and concern for my hens. Thank you!
     

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