Anemic hen, currently treating for lice

77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
13 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,624
652
496
Maine

humblehillsfarm

Crazy chicken lady
Mar 27, 2020
3,663
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461
Southwestern Pennsylvania
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My Coop
I hope you find a solution for your hen. I had a lethargic hen this summer, followed the same timeline and health issues as your girl, except she eventually stopped eating and there was definitely nothing in her crop. I chose to have her put down. A few days later I found either mites or lice (now I can't remember what they looked like) covering a few other chickens, and I've spent every day since wondering if that was what brought down my first girl. She was one of my favorites. You're so fortunate to have access to a vet willing to see her!
 

77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
13 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,624
652
496
Maine
The ceca are 2 blind pouches located between the small and large intestines, and where the digestive contents are fermented before moving onto the large intestines. They are seen on the diagram in post 21.
I don’t remember if the two worm-like objects looked like they were in the ceca or intestines. I’ll wait to see if the vet sends me a copy of the X-ray photo and if the ceca are visible on there.
 

77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
13 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,624
652
496
Maine
I hope you find a solution for your hen. I had a lethargic hen this summer, followed the same timeline and health issues as your girl, except she eventually stopped eating and there was definitely nothing in her crop. I chose to have her put down. A few days later I found either mites or lice (now I can't remember what they looked like) covering a few other chickens, and I've spent every day since wondering if that was what brought down my first girl. She was one of my favorites. You're so fortunate to have access to a vet willing to see her!
The vet was great, she has a flock of her own and seemed very knowledgeable about chickens. I was really surprised, as I thought there was only one nearby who would see chickens. I think she’s fairly new. I’ll definitely be going back to her in the future (although hopefully it’s not needed). I’m very sorry to hear about your girl. Did you ever check her for lice/mites? Although they don’t seem to be the problem with our silkie hen after I dusted her, I’m paranoid she still has them hiding somewhere. The vet said sometimes if there are already underlying issues, lice or mites (even a small infestation) can make things escalate quickly. They tend to target weaker hosts for that reason.
 
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77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
13 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,624
652
496
Maine
Here’s her X-ray image that the vet just sent me:
 

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humblehillsfarm

Crazy chicken lady
Mar 27, 2020
3,663
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461
Southwestern Pennsylvania
My Coop
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The vet was great, she has a flock of her own and seemed very knowledgeable about chickens. I was really surprised, as I thought there was only one nearby who would see chickens. I think she’s fairly new. I’ll definitely be going back to her in the future (although hopefully it’s not needed). I’m very sorry to hear about your girl. Did you ever check her for lice/mites? Although they don’t seem to be the problem with our silkie hen after I dusted her, I’m paranoid she still has them hiding somewhere. The vet said sometimes if there are already underlying issues, lice or mites (even a small infestation) can make things escalate quickly. They tend to target weaker hosts for that reason.
I didn't check her. At the time I didn't realize how dangerous they could be. I didn't notice them on other birds until 2-3 days after her death. The worst part is, I had an inkling in the back of my mind on a couple of occasions leading up to her death when I noticed the birds were preening a lot. I was asking myself, did they always preen this much? I just didn't explore the question further, and I should have. Lesson learned.

That's wonderful your vet has a backyard flock. I had tried to take my girl to a vet who said she had chickens of her own, but hadn't seen a chicken in her office before. By the end of the visit it was painfully clear she knew very little about chickens (which I guess is saying a lot given my admission over losing a bird to lice). I believe she was very hands off with her own flock. Even in my own field of work, I'm licensed to practice a large scope of treatment, but I only specialize with certain things, so there's a lot I could do that I am not knowledgeable enough to do, vets are the same way.
 

77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
13 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,624
652
496
Maine
I didn't check her. At the time I didn't realize how dangerous they could be. I didn't notice them on other birds until 2-3 days after her death. The worst part is, I had an inkling in the back of my mind on a couple of occasions leading up to her death when I noticed the birds were preening a lot. I was asking myself, did they always preen this much? I just didn't explore the question further, and I should have. Lesson learned.

That's wonderful your vet has a backyard flock. I had tried to take my girl to a vet who said she had chickens of her own, but hadn't seen a chicken in her office before. By the end of the visit it was painfully clear she knew very little about chickens (which I guess is saying a lot given my admission over losing a bird to lice). I believe she was very hands off with her own flock. Even in my own field of work, I'm licensed to practice a large scope of treatment, but I only specialize with certain things, so there's a lot I could do that I am not knowledgeable enough to do, vets are the same way.
Don’t beat yourself up too much, it’s so easy to miss things with chickens. They’re very good at hiding illness. I hadn’t even noticed our silkie hen was losing so much weight, I should’ve checked her sooner. It happens. I’m sure your girl still had a good life. :hugs
I hope with more people getting into raising backyard chickens, more vets will be trained/specialized in poultry treatment.
 

humblehillsfarm

Crazy chicken lady
Mar 27, 2020
3,663
7,200
461
Southwestern Pennsylvania
My Coop
My Coop
Don’t beat yourself up too much, it’s so easy to miss things with chickens. They’re very good at hiding illness. I hadn’t even noticed our silkie hen was losing so much weight, I should’ve checked her sooner. It happens. I’m sure your girl still had a good life. :hugs
I hope with more people getting into raising backyard chickens, more vets will be trained/specialized in poultry treatment.
She did have a good life. Please keep us up to date on your silkie girl. I'm not sure how friendly your girl is, but the hen I took to the vet wound up being a lap chicken from all of the handling. She had no idea she liked me so much! Sometimes a lot of good can come from needing to pamper a sick chicken.
 

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