3 yr old hen very lethargic

TooCheep

Crowing
Feb 23, 2019
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I have a 3yr old RIR that is one of three hens in my flock that is suddenly very lethargic. I just isolated her to keep an eye on her and get a better idea of her feed/poop. Here are her symptoms:
  • Very lethargic since yesterday. Walks minimally and without energy. She normally is the most athletic and energetic of the three.
  • I believe she ate and pooped very little yesterday. Will confirm that with her isolation. She currently has water with some probiotics, some of her normal feed and some crushed egg shell.
  • She did lay a thin-shelled, but otherwise normal looking egg yesterday.
  • When I picked her up just now, she threw up a brown watery liquid.
  • Their primary feed is Nutrena Naturewise Hearty Hen 18% protein organic layer feed and they are 2/3 of the way through the current bag, so I don't see that as causing a problem.
  • I don't give them calcium continuously, but generally give them crushed egg shell 1-2/week and more often if I see any thin shells. I did give them some yesterday.
  • They do get to free range for several hours/day.
  • As noted above, my girls are 3 years old. I've raised them from day-old chicks and they've never had a significant problem until now.
Thoughts/suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Edit: She did poo within the last hour. It was very, very soft (possibly more liquid). The dark part is darker than normal, but not black. No evidence of worms.

poo.jpg
 
Last edited:

TooCheep

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Thanks for the thought, but I don't think so in this case. We had 90+ degree heat earlier this year for a couple of weeks, but it hasn't been above the 80s recently. They've had continuous access to water. We have had a lot of rain over the last two weeks.
 

TooCheep

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Feb 23, 2019
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Update. I offered her some hard-boiled egg yolk (one of her favorite treats) and she wolfed it down. She even ate some pellets. I'm going to continue offering her egg yolk every hour or so to insure she is taking in some nutritious food.

A hopeful sign.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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3yr old RIR that is one of three hens in my flock that is suddenly very lethargic.
Very lethargic since yesterday. Walks minimally and without energy. She normally is the most athletic and energetic of the three.
  • She did lay a thin-shelled, but otherwise normal looking egg yesterday.
  • When I picked her up just now, she threw up a brown watery liquid.
I don't give them calcium continuously, but generally give them crushed egg shell 1-2/week and more often if I see any thin shells. I did give them some yesterday.
Is she pooping? What's that like - photos?

The brown watery liquid - is her crop still full of fluid?
I would begin treating for crop issues, but also feel her abdomen for bloat/swelling or fluid. Feel inside the vent for an egg as well.

At 3 she may be having some reproductive issues. I would probably start offering oyster shell free choice since the girls are getting some age on them too.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
 

TooCheep

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Feb 23, 2019
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Thanks very much for replying @Wyorp Rock I did add a poo picture to the first post.

I went to check her and she is showing more energy now after eating some food earlier. Her crop has a lump roughly the size of a golf ball (or a little smaller) and fairly hard. No particular odor from the beak. I gave her some more egg yolk and she's eating some egg shell and pellet feed.

I felt her abdomen and it feels normal as far as I can tell. She did do another small poo that was roughly halfway between the picture above and a normal poo in terms of how solid it is.

I'll continue to keep an eye on her. Not sure if the crop lump is from recent food or possibly impacted. I'll also see how it feels in the morning to see if it is empty.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Thanks very much for replying @Wyorp Rock I did add a poo picture to the first post.

I went to check her and she is showing more energy now after eating some food earlier. Her crop has a lump roughly the size of a golf ball (or a little smaller) and fairly hard. No particular odor from the beak. I gave her some more egg yolk and she's eating some egg shell and pellet feed.

I felt her abdomen and it feels normal as far as I can tell. She did do another small poo that was roughly halfway between the picture above and a normal poo in terms of how solid it is.

I'll continue to keep an eye on her. Not sure if the crop lump is from recent food or possibly impacted. I'll also see how it feels in the morning to see if it is empty.
Keep us posted.
 

TooCheep

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Feb 23, 2019
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Indiana
@Wyorp Rock -

My RIR hasn't changed much today. She still eats little- mostly the egg yolk and has modest energy. Her poo is only semi-solid.
Her crop did empty last night and I don't smell "sauer kraut". Should I still treat for sour crop? I don't have any better ideas at the moment.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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@Wyorp Rock -

My RIR hasn't changed much today. She still eats little- mostly the egg yolk and has modest energy. Her poo is only semi-solid.
Her crop did empty last night and I don't smell "sauer kraut". Should I still treat for sour crop? I don't have any better ideas at the moment.
Has she laid any eggs?
If you get a chance, try to get some poop photos.

I would re-check the crop again. If it's emptying, then she may have other issues going on. I would smell her breath for a few days just to make sure though - sounds odd, but there can be yeast infection without the crop being full.

Have you ever wormed her?
 

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