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Assuming a hen with a reproductive issue

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Noreaster Egger, May 8, 2017.

  1. Noreaster Egger

    Noreaster Egger Chirping

    May 22, 2016
    1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)

    White leghorn...almost exactly 1 year old...seems to be normal size for a leggy

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.

    She stands in a penguin stance. She is lethargic and low energy. She's not eating much and when she does she's very picky. She used to eat voraciously, but not she's delicate and picky with her food. Her comb has flopped over (which is abnormal for her) and is pale in spots. She doesn't free range and she stays behind from the rest of the flock most of the time. She also has shown signs of overheating (wings puffed out, open/panting beak), but there is no reason for a leghorn to be hot in this weather (50s for highs and 30s/40s at night).

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?

    A couple of weeks now

    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?

    I had a bird with a broken egg inside of her that was pooping egg white in her stools. She was sick and lethargic as well. She has since recovered and is squatting again which leads me to believe she will be back laying soon. I don't think she has laid for 3-4 weeks now.

    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.


    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.

    Her egg production slowed to a crawl and eventually completely stopped. She had 1 small egg after a few days of not laying, but now she hasn't laid for almost 2 weeks. She had previously laid daily.

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.

    She has been picky with her fermented feed, but I've been trying to encourage her to eat it. She will no longer eat dried mealworms, but she will pick at live ones. I'm not a dairy fan, but she was eating whole milk, grass-fed, plain yogurt, but last night she refused to eat that too. She will drink if I put the water down in front of her, but I don't see her drinking much otherwise.

    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.

    The poop actually looks fine. It is a little smaller than her normal poo, but the consistency is similar...not too wet and not too dry.

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?

    A couple of weeks ago we tried the epsom salt baths, giving her Ca/D3 supplements, and checking her for a bound egg. We never felt an egg and none of the other treatments seem to have worked. I've mostly been keeping on her to make sure she's eating and drinking.

    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?

    I'd love to treat her myself, but I'm running out of home options I'm afraid

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.


    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use

    Flake pine shavings

    She was picking at her food when I checked on her this morning which left me somewhat encouraged. My girlfriend checked on her a couple of hours later after I left for work and said she was laying on the floor with her wings in but lifted up a bit as if to air out and cool off. She was panting and breathing heavier than usual too. I've seen her do this off and on the past week even though the weather has been cool. Will an egg bound hen or internal layer have overheating as a symptom? She is pooping and it looks normal so that's good...there's not enough pressure on her digestive tract to back her up. I could give her another bath , but they didn't seem to work before and if she's hot I'm afraid to sit her in warm water for 20+ minutes. I assume I should stick with encouraging her to eat the fermented feed and the live mealies? She seems to be craving the extra protein. Normally she would eat the occasional raw coconut treat, but she had no interest in it yesterday. She did seem to enjoy her first small taste of coconut butter though. Any ideas I haven't tried yet besides bringing her to the vet?

  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Free Ranging

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    I'm sorry you're having trouble.
    Any swelling, bloat of the abdomen or feeling like fluid in the belly?

    It does sound like she may have an internal laying/reproductive disorder like Egg Yolk Peritonitis, Ascites, Salpingitis, cancer or tumors. Symptoms include lethargy, going off feed, sometimes standing like a penguin, difficulty walking/lameness and difficulty breathing.

    You mention that she is panting like she is overheating - it she hot or is she having trouble breathing? Egg masses/fluid from internal laying/repro disorders can cause swelling/pressure on the lungs, heart, air sacs, etc. making it difficult to breath.

    A vet can perform an xray to see if there are any masses in the abdomen (usually) this will give you a better idea of what is going on. If it's fluid (like from Ascites) it can sometimes be drained to give relief, but would need to be repeated as the abdomen slowly fills again with fluid over time.
  3. Noreaster Egger

    Noreaster Egger Chirping

    May 22, 2016
    Just replying to add that we lost her during the forum upgrade. She was a good girl and great layer and will be greatly missed.
  4. Debby27

    Debby27 Songster

    May 18, 2014
    Alburtis, PA
    :hugsso sorry to hear that...we lost one about 5 months ago to peritonitis did everything we could to save her but like everyone says....with this issue it's usually a forgone conclusion.. :( I just had one of the younger girls lay an egg w/no shell 2 days ago, so we are watching her now...:fl I just hate going thru this.....

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