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Anorexic Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Hardy Hen, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. Hardy Hen

    Hardy Hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 2, 2008
    I have a 4 year old hen that has been losing a lot of weight. I haven't noticed her eating, only drinking. Today I let the chickens out and she didn't even touch the pasta I put out for them. The only thing she did was eat the snow and she didn't drink the water. She barely has any energy and doesn't dig or do whatever else chickens do. The weather here has been a little weird because it has been going from snow storms to rain showers to freezing weather to hot weather and I was wondering if that's throwing her off. She isn't laying but she stopped about a year ago. Can someone just please tell me why she isn't eating and what I should do? Thanks so much.
     
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I hope others will post quickly for you because I haven't been through this.
    Suggesting you separate her, get her warm and try to feed yogurt or other warm mash and electrolytes or sugar/water by eyedropper.

    Check abdomen for possible obstruction of oviduct (eggbound) in case she has begun to start laying again, and check crop for abnormal swelling or hardness. Sounds like she is in deep trouble, don't hesitate to separate her and get working on her, please.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I have a feeling your older hen has been laying internally. The egg material and infection builds up in the oviduct, they quit laying, lose almost all their muscle, then get weak and will die. I've been through this too many times already with hatchery birds over two years old. If that is what's wrong, she will not recover, I'm afraid. It's hormonal and there is no prevention and no cure. One of mine stopped laying for eight months then began losing weight and we knew what was wrong, but there was nothing to do except a hysterectomy, way too expensive for several birds. We euthanized one, but three others died, same thing (we know because we did a necropsy ourselves)
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I'd have to agree with speckled hen. If you wish, you can take a fecal sample to any vet and have a "fecal float test" done and can rule out things such as worms or cocci.

    But if she hasn't been a layer... often it's due to reproductive issues.
     
  5. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    read the sticky note at the top of this page- the 'do you have an emergency/disease'
    lots of questions to answer that will help folks help you.
    first thing is have you actually picked her up and examined her from top to bottom, including her vent and crop.
    If you haven't done that, do it, and post what you find, and answer the questions about her that seem appropriate to her. then you may get more responses to help you and her.
     
  6. Hardy Hen

    Hardy Hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 2, 2008
    The only thing about the enternall laying is that she hasn't layed for 2 years and if she did have enternall laying then don't you think she would have died by now?
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    In the first post, you said she stopped about a year ago. I dont know how long they can continue with their bodies doing that. She is an older hen who may have been laying much by now anyway, so there is no way to know for sure when and if stuff began building up in her oviduct. And it's not 100% sure she's laying internally, just that your symptoms, especially in an older hen, seem to suggest it's a distinct possibility.
     
  8. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I would seperate her. I have a young 4 month old silkie pullet that is smaller than the others so she wasnt eating. I brought her inside, and she has been eating and gaining weight. Keep her seperate for a week or two and see if she gains weight. What type of bedding is she on? Could she have ate some of it and gotten an impacted crop?
     
  9. Hardy Hen

    Hardy Hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 2, 2008
    I'm not worried about the other chickens bothering her because she's the boss of the flock. No one would dare mess with her even though she's really sweet. She sleeps on wood shavings like she has her entire life. I don't want to separate her because my hens are very close and get distressed when they aren't near each other. Should I take her to the vet?
     
  10. Rhett&SarahsMom

    Rhett&SarahsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    if you have a vet around you that will deal with poultry, sure.
    But be prepared for being told the same you have been told here.
     

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