5yo BR hen sitting, not eating, tail down

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lingon, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. lingon

    lingon Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2012
    This morning my (almost exactly) 5 year old barred rock hen wasn't out in her yard, and I found her sitting in the hay in her coop. She let me snuggle her (unusual, she usually resists contact) and she talked to me normally, and everything seemed to feel normal in her body, and no injuries. But I haven't dealt with any chicken issues before, so I'm not sure I would know. She started laying for the season about a month ago. She hasn't laid for a few days, but she sometimes goes that long between laying. We just have 2 chickens and her sister has been rooster-like, she crows and mounts her, and is the dominant hen.

    She hasn't eaten today, but I think she was eating normally yesterday. She walks a few steps then settles down. She's not acting broody at all.

    I have never vaccinated or wormed them. They are in a tractor on our backyard lawn and get moved almost daily, except when we're on vacation. They get laying pellets, oyster shells, crushed and baked egg shells from farmer's market (as they have aged, their shells have gotten thinner) and some produce scraps like melon rind and squash seeds.

    We have decided not to do vet care unless she needs to be euthanized.

    I know she's getting up there in age, but if she dies, I'm not sure what to do with the last lonely hen.
     
  2. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Be Happy! Read more. Premium Member

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    Could she be egg bound?
     
  3. haileyeverhart

    haileyeverhart Out Of The Brooder

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    Sounds like shes egg bound. Put her in a tub of warm water and massage her vent area to get her to release it. If that doesnt work she needs to go to the vet right away.
     
  4. lingon

    lingon Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the help - I tried checking for egg binding as per https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/egg-binding-symptoms-treatment-and-prevention but I couldn't find an egg. My current guess is that she is laying internally. She seems to have an egg-sized squooshy area sticking out maybe 2 inches under her vent - not sure if that's normal or not.

    She walks a few steps, holding her wings low and using her wings to keep her balance, and then settles down, not like a laying position, but a more worn-out position. We did get her to eat some oatmeal with yogurt and chicken probiotics, and drink some water when we held it in front of her beak.

    How can I tell if she's in extreme pain?
     
  5. lingon

    lingon Out Of The Brooder

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    This morning she was still sitting in the coop where we left her. She was not interested in the oatmeal/yogurt mash. An hour later, she was dead.
    Not sure whether to be thankful that she didn't seem to be suffering for long. Her sister is already noisily calling for her.

    (This being Easter, my 4 year old keeps saying she might come alive again)
     
  6. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Be Happy! Read more. Premium Member

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    Sorry for your loss.
    Sometimes things like this happen.
    Are you about to send her for a necropsy?
     
  7. haileyeverhart

    haileyeverhart Out Of The Brooder

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    Im so sorry for your loss. My chicken bear had this same problem when she just started laying. She died in less than 24 hrs, I think some hens just arent meant to lay.
     
  8. lingon

    lingon Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't think we'll do a necropsy. It looks like the local one is around $100, and we only have one hen left, not a huge flock to protect.
     

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