9 month old hen acting lethargic, dull shrunk comb, separating herself

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by OregonChickie, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. OregonChickie

    OregonChickie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2011
    Hi everybody. I'm a chicken newbie and would love some help. This is my first winter with hens, we have 3, they all were born last Spring. One of our golden sexlinks is acting sick. I noticed yesterday that she wasn't really going after the scratch like the other girls, sort of haphazardly pecking at it and getting it in her beak some times, while the other two were acting normal, basically attacking the scratch. I thought maybe they were picking on her, she is the lowest in the pecking order, but they didn't pay any attention. I also noticed her comb is dull pink instead of red and appears shrunken. There are also some black areas on her comb, which I assumed were dirt but maybe not?

    This morning when I let them all out, she remained in the roost. I opened up the back about an hour later and found her still on the perch. With my prodding, she jumped down and went down the ramp out to the run but continued to stay sort of hunched down and away from the other girls. She did not eat or drink. It has been cold here, about 30 at night. We do not have a heater or light in the roost and all 3 of the girls seem to be laying quite nicely. We typically get 3 eggs a day, sometimes 1 of the girls misses a day but it's hard to tell who it is. No softshell eggs.

    Her feathers appear fine however, 2 days ago, there were quite a few feathers around the run. I didn't know what happened, I've never seen a chicken molt so not sure if there would just be clumps of feathers laying around. I'm going to go check on her and see if she has mites. Any suggestions would be great, I'm worried about her and want to do the right thing. I don't believe she is egg bound but I can't be sure. We did have 3 eggs yesterday so it seems unlikely.
     
  2. OregonChickie

    OregonChickie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2011
    I gave her a good look over and feathers look great, vent looks normal, no mites that I could see. Here's a pic of her next to her sister.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm guessing worms. Feel her breast bone area and feel if her breast is sunken around the bone. I would separate her from the flock and place her in the "hospital". Offer her vitamin water and soft scrambled eggs, smashed boiled eggs, yogurt, etc. With her separated, you can check her poop quality. If the black spots on her comb are small like sand bits, she may have been picked on, if the black spots are a bit larger and spread all over the comb and wattles, she may have fowl pox.
     
  4. LindsayB

    LindsayB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She might be starting to go through a molt. When they molt their combs shrink, they stop laying and get very grumpy.
     
  5. OregonChickie

    OregonChickie Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm going to go check her breastbone compared to the other girls. Man, I would love this to just be moodiness associated with molting instead of worms!
     
  6. OregonChickie

    OregonChickie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2011
    I checked her breastbone and it seemed to feel exactly the same as the two other girls.
     
  7. LindsayB

    LindsayB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would keep an eye on her. It really seems like she's going into a molt, but I'm sure there could be other things that would make her like that.
     
  8. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The next thing I would check is her crop. If she hasn't been eating, it should be empty. If not she could have an impacted crop. Feel the crop and see if it's empty. If it's hard, let her drink some olive oil off of an eye dropper then gently massage the crop. If it is the crop, do this a few times a day. May sure you do put her in a dog crate so you can keep an eye on her. Only give her water with ACV in it and no food for 24 hrs. then soft diet. Scramble egg, yogurt, soft oatmeal. I just had this with my hen, after 3 days, she was back to normal.
     

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