an inexplicably sick hen with vague symptoms that haven't spread

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by staceyffalls, May 19, 2011.

  1. staceyffalls

    staceyffalls Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2011
    I have a sick hen. She has seemed sick for a while, but it is pretty unclear what is wrong with her. She is energetic, eats a lot, has a full crop, is able to pass waste and still lays eggs. However, she is losing feathers and not growing them back, and she is wasting away, getting skinner and skinner by the day.

    She doesn't have mucus around her eyes or nose. She doesn't sneeze or seem to wheeze. None of my other birds are sick. The vet tested her for parasites, and she doesn't have any. I have no idea what is wrong with her, but she is my favorite hen, and I will be sad if she dies.

    The vet suggested a sour or impacted crop (though she doesn't seem to have any symptoms associated with that), and a fungal infection (Aspergillus). A fungal infection seems likely, though I can't find any details on-line about symptoms or treatment.

    Can anyone advise?
  2. babymakes6

    babymakes6 Gifted

    Feb 24, 2009
    far west Ohio
    How old is your hen? I was going to suggest worming her, but it sounds like that is not the problem. I hope someone else has some better answers for you. Welcome to BYC!
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Sounds like maybe lice or mites? A bit mysterious, but that does happen. Go out at night, when she is roosting, with a flashlight- check her carefully around the vent and under the wings.
  4. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from Ohio. So glad you joined. I suggest you post your problem in the Emergencies section on the index page. I hope you find an answer for your hen. Good luck. [​IMG]
  5. staceyffalls

    staceyffalls Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2011
    Thanks! It is nice to have replies so quickly! What a great resource. Regarding the mites, do I need to go out at night with a flashlight? I am happy to try anything, but my husband has looked her over and hasn't seen anything. Does looking at night help? What am I looking for?
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC. Did you or the vet check for external parasites...lice and mites? If not, visually inspect her, especially around the vent area, you can see them. But I truly suspect she is in molt and will lose most of her feathers. This is normal if she's over a year old. As she loses feathers, she APPEARS skinny and looks like she's losing weight, but she has always been the same, only without feathers does she look abnormal. A sick hen is never energetic, never eats alot, sometimes doesnt poop normal and rarely lays eggs. Normally during molt, they slack off laying are lucky that she's laying. You can increase her protein intake by giving her gamebird feed, it will help with feather regrowth. Molt takes time as does feather regrowth, sometimes months. Good luck.
  7. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    [​IMG] from Indiana!!! [​IMG]
    I hope your girl is just going through a rough molt [​IMG]
  8. staceyffalls

    staceyffalls Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2011
    Okay, I went out with a flashlight to look at her. As I opened the roost door, she was scratching her neck, but when I looked under her wings, I saw nothing unusual but a bunch of chicken flesh with thin feather coverage. It doesn't look like mites, but maybe I don't know what I am looking for.

    It is hopeful to think maybe she is just molting, but it seems so different from a molt. Plus, she really used to be a huge bird. Now she looks terrible, and when I lift her she is light as a feather. She used to feel so much more substantial when I lifted her. I really feel like she has lost lots of weight, not just feathers.
  9. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
  10. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

    Sep 20, 2009
    Pride, La.
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Louisiana. Hope your hen get's better real soon!! You've got some wonderfdul advise here!! [​IMG]

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