another sick chicken question.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chinky5, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. chinky5

    chinky5 In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2012
    My hen has been acting strange for a few days. Her tail feathers are pointed down, she looks as if she is bearing down,...for lack of a better description. Today I cleaned up her back, she had a lot of poop stuck to her. Her one eye is also shut. I tried to give her fruit, yogurt and a nice juicy worm and she is not interested in any of it. She is isolating herself. I am a true novice and REALLY worried about her. Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi chinky5,

    the tail down position is often a sign of internal pain. She may be eggbound, but with the discharge it's perhaps more likely that she's been laying internally. This can cause infection inside the body cavity, which is serious. Look up 'EYP' or 'Egg yolk peritonitis' for more information if you think this could be the case (particularly if you saw some soft shelled eggs in the roost area).

    However the closed eye is a different issue, and I would think it's a possible sign of respiratory infection. I couldn't say if the two issues are linked, but on the other hand some illnesses come out when a bird is stressed. If she has internal lay, then this would stress her and bring out underlying respiratory illnesss like mycoplasma gallisepticum if that's something she's harbouring.

    These are just guesses, I can't say what's wrong. But I would be considering a vet visit to have her properly diagnosed, or if that's not an option (and it wouldn't be for me, speaking personally), I'd isolate her, check her abdomen to see if it's distended, check the nostrils for any mucus, bathe the eye with iodine solution like 'Betadine' mixed in water, or just with salt water, and make sure I don't touch any other chickens until something concrete is known.

    Unfortunately there's not much treatment for EYP -- just letting you know. But she may have another reason for the posture and discharge, e.g. a heavy worm burden (which would again cause stress that allows other underlying infections like MG to come out).

    Sorry for the verbose reply, I'm just talking off the top of my head but hopefully it gives you a few ideas to look up and decide for yourself.

    Best of luck,
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Well said.
  4. chinky5

    chinky5 In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2012
    Thank you so much for the info Erica. I isolated her last night and this morning her eye looks a bit better. She drank some water but doesn't look like she is eating. Her tail is still down and her rear is again a mess. She is up walking around and wants to be with her "sisters". A vet visit is def out, since these are my FREE chickens...hahaahahahaha. I am going to look into EYP and see what else I can do. Again a big thank you!!!

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