Bella is not herself

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by warren, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. warren

    warren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2007
    UK
    My 3 year old ex-battery hen is tired and not eating much.
    [​IMG]
    She is doing small green poops and sometimes yellow watery ones.
    She laid two very large long eggs in 3 days about a month ago but none since.
    She has not moulted since before I had her so I am wondering if she is going into a slow moult or if she is really sick.
    She was wormed 2 months ago.
    She will eat a little layers mash when she feels like it but is not enthusiastic about treats.
    Her abdomen is not swollen and her crop is mostly empty. There is no nasty smell about her.
    Her comb is a little blue towards the back due to her age.
    Any suggestions as to what is wrong would be appreciated.
     
  2. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Wow, that is one under-the-weather looking hen. If she were mine, I'd bring her inside, give her bits of treats now and then, vitamins & electrolytes if you have them, and let her watch tv or listen to nice music. Maybe a warm sitzbath in case she's eggbound, but make sure to dry her well afterwards so she doesn't get a chill.

    I hope she feels better soon.
     
  3. chickenlady

    chickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    Poor baby. She looks miserable. Yellow poop can mean worms or cocci. When you wormed her two months ago, what wormer did you use? Did you do a follow up treatment 10 days after the first treatment? I'm not sure I understand what her age has to do with her comb turning blue. 3 years old is not that old. I have some hens who are over 5 and their combs are still bright red. What are the coop conditions? Any moisture? It could be some kind of fungus. How do you keep your feed? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to widdle this down to try and help.
     
  4. warren

    warren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2007
    UK
    Thanks for your comments Buff and Chicken.
    She was in the greenhouse when I took the picture so she can go somewhere warm and dry when she wants to. The coop is also warm, clean and dry.
    I used Flubenvet wormer, which seems to be a good one.
    Their food is kept in a plastic trash can and is dry. I am in the habit of sniffing it from time to time just to make sure that it has not gone off.
    The reason why I think that 3 is old is because she is an ex-battery (factory) hen, so she has had a hard life. They are kept in small cages with the lights on all the time. I have had her for a year.
    She still has enough 'go' in her to have a peck at the other hens if they get in her way, but she is not eating much.
    I did notice that she was growing a few new feathers today around her throat, so I wondered if she is just moulting.
    The other two hens are healthy and they are not being bothered by a roo as I don't have one.
    Do hens of her age get cocci? She would have been fully vaccinated at her first home.
     
  5. chickenlady

    chickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    I dont think it is normal for a mature bird to get cocci, however, it is not out of the question. If I were in this situation, I think I would re-worm. I have never heard of the wormer you used so I looked it up. It seems as though this is a wormer that is used on top of food. Which means the effectiveness of it working is dependent on the quantity consumed. Do you have anything available there like Ivomec Eprinex Pour On? It is a cattle wormer. For your hen you would use 1/2 cc (ml) on the back of her neck. It is not taken internally. This will kill all the common worms like roundworm, cecal worms and capillary worms. Worms can cause yellowish droppings, listlessness, and an unthrifty appearance. The green droppings could be caused by not eating or eating something that was toxic or spoiled. Is there any stagnant water laying around that she could have gotten into? She could be molting as well but I dont think that is the entire problem here. Make sure she is drinking so she does not get dehydrated. Try to get her to eat something, maybe some scrambled eggs or oatmeal, mix some feed into it. Good luck. Let us know what happens.
     
  6. warren

    warren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2007
    UK
    Thanks Chickenlady. I am a little reluctant to worm her again as if she has something nasty like cancer it will only make her feel worse.
    There is stagnant water around, but there is plenty of clean water too, and it is difficult to stop her from drinking whatever she wants. The cat is just the same. He will leave the fresh water to drink out of a dirty puddle. They seem to prefer the taste.
    Flubenvet is the recommended wormer round here and is given mixed with food or as a dose hidden inside a tasty morsel. I used the 'tasty morsel' method to make sure that they all got a dose. This is done for 7 days. Hens have not been kept around here for 30 years, that I know of, and possibly never so there is not a high burden of worms in the soil, but there are wild birds of course.
    Sometimes she seems better and then later looks depressed. I keep hoping that she is just moulting but there are no feathers around. Her feathers are so tatty that she does need to replace them.
    Her undercarriage is not swollen or hot. When she decides to eat she soon pushes the others out of her way. She only has to give the youngest the 'evil eye' and she runs off, so she still has power on her side.
     
  7. chickenlady

    chickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    I understand not wanting to worm again. How often is it recommended to worm when using Flubenvet? I would keep her isolated and check her droppings on a regular basis. I was very surprised recently to find a worm swimming in my chickens poop, even though I had treated recently. How are her droppings today? Has she shown any improvement? Has she eaten or drank any? I mention the stagnant water as sometimes a chicken can develop botulism and will get sick. Provide plenty of fresh water. Aside from the above listed or treating with sulmet for cocci, I am at a loss as to how to help you. Are there any other symptoms? I'm wishing you the best here from New Jersey!!
     
  8. warren

    warren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2007
    UK
    Thanks again chickenlady. Bella is looking much better today and has done some larger and more normal looking poops.
    When she was first poorly and I saw yellow poops I did not have much hope, but now I think that she will continue to improve. I think that it may have been hormonal and she was feeling too low to want to eat. I'm an old boiler myself so I know what hormones can do!
    She has grown a few new feathers including some silky winter ones, but has not shed any old ones.
    What colour was the worm that you saw? intestinal worms are white, I think.
    Flubenvet is used every day for a week.
    We are having lovely warm sunny weather in the UK just now. Hope all is well where you are.

    9th October
    Bella is so much better. She is running around like a youngster and has grown some new primary feathers and is covered with new feather spikes and little 'paint brushes' in some areas. The garden is covered with feathers of all sizes. I did not realise that moulting made them feel so bad.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
  9. warren

    warren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2007
    UK
    update

    Bella is nearly 4 now and showing her age. She walks very slowly and does not eat much. She has laid 42 eggs so far this year with several long breaks in between laying bouts. She seems happy most of the time.
    I think that her 'symptoms' are just old age. I have never had an old hen before so it is all a learning experience.
     

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