Can anyone shed any light on this please??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DarleneE, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. DarleneE

    DarleneE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 2 1/2 yr old Barred Rock hen has lost quite a bit of weight in the past couple months though she's eating well just as she always has. She also is behaving normally as always. There are only 2 things that I've noticed that have me worried.

    The FIRST.. She does not seem to be having much droppings overnight in the roost as usual?? On some mornings there is barely no droppings at all under her?? She is my only hen as I only had two of them and I just lost the other one, an Easter Egger who was the same age and they were both gotten at a week of age and have been together always since. The other one began doing this very same thing too?? She was checked thoroughly by 2 avian vets, bloodwork was done on her as well as fecal exams and physical exam and NOTHING AT ALL WAS FOUND to be wrong with her?? She had been sick with a doughy crop however and was just sick off and on, was very very thin, and had issues come and go since last November yet there was nothing they could find wrong with her?? I treated her with all I learned from researching and talking to other chicken owners here and on various sites. I finally got her to where she was seemingly doing good again.. eating, drinking, active up and about etc etc. All seemed to be fine again when suddenly my husband found her passed away in the roost early on June 4th. I am still devastated as I did not expect anything like this to happen as she seemed to be doing so well again??!!

    Now I'm terribly afraid I will lose my sweet Daisy too and I'm terrified!! The only things I can see with her is the loss of weight, the lack of normal amount of droopings in the roost overnight and today I began noticing some of her droppings are a very very deep green which almost appears black without alot of light on it?? A few days ago I noticed the opposite.. a clear liquid, huge dropping with these green little pieces in it?? I'm sooooooo sorry to be nasty and gross but know not of another way to describe what is taking place with her?? I shall attach the pics of these in hopes that SOMEONE can perhaps shed some light on what is happening here?? I'm willing to do anything to help my little gal.. for I love her sooooooo and I just can't bear the mere thought of losing her as well and the vets are amazingly just of no use at all to us???? I've spent near to $500 between both since this all began and am nowhere closer to finding what's wrong and how to treat them.. well it's just her now, than when I began??!!! I'm willing to do anything at all to save my beautiful little chicken!!!!

    Any help at all will be greatly appreciated!! THANK YOU!!

    Most sincerely,
    Darlene

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    As you can see from these pictures, there are a number of various different droppings?? We are in Florida BTW and it's incredibly hot here..... Just in case this could be the problem perhaps??


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    This is my sweet, little Daisy Dukes!!

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  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Thanks for the great photos, they are always welcome[​IMG]

    She's a lovely hen.

    I have a few questions, so bear with me.

    What type of foods/treats do you normally feed?
    Does she have a source of grit available?
    How does her crop feel - normal, soft, hard, squishy, doughy, etc.?
    You mention she is losing weight, how much and have you weighed her?
    Is she laying eggs, if so are they normal - no soft shells, no problems etc.?

    Poop can vary greatly, the first photo looks like it could be cecal poo, the second - did she have anything green to eat (lettuce, kale, cabbage, etc.) by itself it's not too concerning, but if she doesn't have greens in her diet, then it could be an indication of nutritional deficiency (she may not be processing well), the third poo looks like normal poo.

    With the hot weather, the poo will be quite liquid, because of increased water consumption.

    These are the things I would do if she were mine. I would check her crop to make sure it's functioning properly - Limit treats and give her normal poultry feed (layer pellets, crumbles - whatever her main diet is), provide plenty of fresh water and have grit available free choice. Check her crop at bedtime and then check it first thing in the am - if it is empty or nearly empty, then it's most likely functioning properly.
    She may benefit from some poultry vitamins like Poultry Nutri-Drench which can be found at the feed store, I would direct dose her (1ml per every 3 pounds). Maybe once a day for a couple of days. Hot weather can be stressful, so a little boost won't hurt.

    Again, these are the things that I would try first, just to see how it goes, but there could be something else going on. Hopefully someone else may have a better suggestion.

    @TwoCrows has a great article about crop health, it's worth a read.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments

    Poop Chart:
    http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=17568.0
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
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  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    It can be difficult to diagnose a bird from it's poop if the poop keeps changing from good to bad to ugly.

    The pic of the poop in the middle of the little green pieces...these are never good, at least if the bird is ALWAYS leaving these. This can stem from not eating enough, dehydration to something going on internally like internal laying or reproductive cancer. If this is occasional only, she may be avoiding a lot of food due to the heat. Layer feed produces more heat in the body of the bird and they can turn up their beaks at it in the summer. When it gets too warm for my birds, I will add more cold veggies, fruits and greens just to keep them eating and help cool them down. Layer feed usually has a lot of corn in it and corn fires up their internal furnace which is not good in the summer heat.

    But the fact that she is not leaving much poop under the roost bar may or may not be a good sign. How much poop is she leaving? A bird that is not laying will not eat a lot and especially if they are hot and over heated. I have a couple of older hens that are no longer laying and go to roost with barely anything in their crops and of course little under the bar in the morning. They just don't need the calories since they are not laying and are not as active as they used to be. But a young layer should be eating a fair amount of food at roosting time and of course pooping out a fair amount as well. Birds eat for calories for the most part, (goodies excluded, LOL) and if they aren't burning the calories in the summer time, they eat WAY less than they will in the fall or winter. Is she still laying? Does she go into the next box a lot and come out empty handed? (no egg)

    So as long as she seems healthy, is eating and drinking a fair amount, the poop usually looks ok, then I would say she is ok. We can't predict what is going to happen in the future and of course laying issues are common in many hatchery breeds. Internal laying is very common and can sometimes seem like you have an epidemic going through your flock with hens dying, when in fact they are all just developing internal laying.

    Keep us posted on anything else you can think of. If she has something going on, it should develop fairly quickly.
     
  4. DarleneE

    DarleneE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK so I THANK YOU BOTH SO VERY MUCH FOR RESPONDING!!

    I will try to answer all questions to try to get to the bottom of this if that's even possible??

    1. She eats a regular egg layer crumble. Won't eat pellets. However, is not eating as much now in the summer (we're in Florida and it's terribly hot now) as she normally eats. She's always been a total glutton to say the least.
    Since very young, I have always treated them NOT like chickens I guess you could say... like I do with all my animals. I just love them TOO MUCH and spoil them.. sometimes not to their benefit in the long run. OK so what I mean by this is that since very young, I've always prepared them a nice salad like treat plate. (I still can't get over saying they or them!! I just miss by sweet Livie so very badly!!) with lettuce, carrots.. those 2 ALWAYS as they love these 2 things.. then I'll add whatever I have on hand such as peas, green beans, Apple, melon, corn (in winter only though!!), cheese, a little pasta (with only A TRACE of sauce), sometimes boiled potatoes WITHOUT the skin just in case (!!), rice, peach, etc etc etc I guess you get the point!! She has always eaten her crumbles however she does hold out FIRST for the afternoon treats.
    2. She ALWAYS has oyster shell available to her in a bowl in the run. Grit is another story. I have a bag here and I put it out but it was never so much as looked at by either hen so I finally took it away. She does have access to natural grit being dirt and small rocks etc everyday when she goes out to her outside run to play.
    3. Her crop feels perfectly normal. It's always empty in the morning. Completely flat. She normally REALLY fills her crop before going to roost though lately I've noticed that she isn't always filling it nearly as full as she normally did.. but then again now it's summer here!! I'm going to send you a hilarious picture of just what a little piggy she actually really is and how HUGE she will often fill her crop just before going up to roost!! However, again this is all BEFORE we lost Livie and before summer came!! Here it is:

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    4. I don't know how much she's lost as I've never weighed her before?? I don't have a scale that will weigh her now as I tried with both the scales I have and they will not register. I will have to get a scale this weekend to weigh her daily.

    5. NOW FOR THE EGG ISSUE!! NO she DOES NOT lay good eggs. She only laid BEAUTIFUL BIG BROWN EGGS the first laying season!! Since then she began laying only soft shelled eggs even with a calcium supplement?? I tried stopping all treats and giving her ONLY her layer crumbles and the oyster shell with no improvement?? My other hen, Livie, ate the identical diet and she NEVER had any issues with her eggs. In fact they were sooooooo hard you could barely crack them!! So I just don't see how it could be diet related and have always felt she has some type deformity that does not allow her to absorb calcium properly?? Anyways they both then went thru their first molt and after the molt once they began laying again, (they did not lay for nearly about 3 months during the molt) her eggs were absolutely GORGEOUS again!!!! They were exactly like the ones she laid when she first began laying!!!! Sadly this only lasted a couple weeks and she then began laying THIN shelled eggs..?? NOT the soft shell eggs anymore, just thin shell eggs which were edible... except when they broke of course!! That really didn't happen as often as one would think however. Somehow she'd manage not to break them. NOW HOWEVER, they are broken just about daily?? I don't know if she's doing this on purpose or what?? I really don't think so however because the yolk and everything is often still in the egg unless it's just been totally broken into the bedding and all that mess.
    So this is where we are now with the egg situation. We rarely get any good eggs anymore. Maybe one a week if we're lucky.

    OOOOOOH about the Nutri Drench!! WOW is that some GREAT stuff!! With that I literally pulled my Livie back from the dead the first time she got sick!! However I had to use alot more than just that as that was a true TRUE emergency situation!! I was having to tube feed her baby bird formula with the Nutri Drench in it, liquid calcium the vet told me to give her and I'd even put baby food in the mix to make it even more nourishing!! It worked!! I was able to save her and get her well again. Thank God!! She was actually even healthier and stronger than before she'd gotten sick once I was done with her!! Sadly though, months later she got sick again and I lost her this time. I'm still devastated however as again she seemed well again and was eating and running around and everything?? Then my husband found her passed away in the roost one morning?? Just such a shock?? I'm sooooooo afraid the same thing could happen with my Daisy now??!!!

    OK... so all this being said she having read both the responses I am really confused?? I have been thinking that the afternoon treats, though all healthy foods, were what the problem was with the eggs perhaps and that I should stop giving them.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, as the other person says, give them the fruits and veggies to help keep them going as they don't eat as much layer feed.. chicken feed basically
    when it's hot??!!! Lol lol Which this IS what I am doing and since she's already gotten so thin... I'm really afraid I WILL lose her if I DON'T keep her going with the food I'm giving her?? When my Livie got sick and wouldn't eat chicken feed for a long time, the vet told me to continue what I was doing, giving her a wide variety of all types of things that were healthy for her to keep her going at least twice a day. Back then, during that first illness, as I previously said, this all did work and we did save her.

    The vets, we saw TWO different vets, felt Livie probably had some type of cancer and I had thought they were probably right as well. However now with Daisy sick too now, what are the odds that BOTH my hens would end up to have cancer?? Isn't that just a bit much?? Oh I pray this isn't the case!!
    Well I think I've answered everything?? Oooooh and another thing I just thought to mention. Daisy was the alpha bird and always the queen of the castle. However she naturally misses her best friend as they were always together since a week of age when we got them. About a week after losing my Livie.. Daisy literally began to CROW!!!! I MEAN JUST LIKE A ROOSTER!! It just freaked the bejeezers outta me and my husband!! I realize she was calling for Livie... or perhaps just a friend?? Well that's not going to happen because my husband won't allow me to get another chicken AND I would not expose another poor bird to her at the moment until I can figure out what is going on with her. She doing much better and now I truly believe shes realized that crowing will bring mama or daddy.. sometimes BOTH to come RUNNING out there and she gets to come inside and walk around the kitchen with the dog and the cat, she's given little bits of this and that etc etc..... AKA meaning she's getting to be one VERY VERY SPOILED LITTLE CHICKEN!!!! heeeeeeheeeeeeed
    I am playing her chicken friend now!! I go out there and sit with her, talk to her, give her little bites of cheese, fruit, bread, etc etc. I let her inside while I'm cooking or doing whatever in the kitchen.. so she's well entertained I think for now. So... she's still crowing some... however it's pretty clear now that it's ME she's calling to come out there with her when she does do it!!!! Lol

    Are there any other opinions on what could be wrong or what I should be doing?? I am truly mainly very concerned at the lack of poo in the roost overnight?? What in the world is causing this?????

    Thanks to all!!!!!!
     
  5. DarleneE

    DarleneE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is MY HEN.. who LAYS EGGS..
    CROWING!!!!
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    LOL...I had a hen that was slowly learning how to crow too. I mean she got so good at it! If your hen keeps working on it, she may crow just like the big boys too and she is pretty darn good at it now!!
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    You know, I have not had good luck with Barred Rocks myself. I lost one to internal laying when she had just turned 2 years old. I have another hen, her sister who is also 2 that has stopped laying as well. She goes in and out of the nest box daily. Maybe once a week she lays and egg? I have a feeling she is internally laying, but I won't know for a few more months. (she just started this a couple of months ago.) Their second year should be their best years of laying. This is not to say your bird is sick, I mean some birds are awful layers. I have a 5 year old Australorp who is not laying anymore, but I swear, I bet she only laid 2 dozen eggs in her life time. LOL But you have to be a bit suspicious of 2 year old birds that aren't laying. There isn't anything you can do for internal laying. When they start to get sick, you can offer up antibiotics. It won't cure them, only heal over the secondary infections for a while. But you can't stop the yolks from being released. Some people will keep the bird in a darkened place for a while to force a molt and this will stop the yolks from coming. But the yolks ultimately will still keep coming eventually.

    Not laying and or thin shelled eggs, can stem from something internally wrong, (has worms, cancer, internally laying, some sort of bacterial infection somewhere in her body) bad diet, too much heat, too much cold, dehydration, bird is out of yolks, very stressed, if she is mourning over her sister she may stop for some time, (I had a bird mourn for 3 months over her sister..stopped talking, laying, refused to go outside, had night frights, all kinds of crazy stuff)

    I too treat my birds as if there are my feathered babies. So I know how it is and get quite attached. I think you are doing all the right things for her. Does she go outside and free range? If so, keep her wormed a couple of times a year. Worms will kill them. I use Safeguard Liquid Goat Wormer. You can get this at any Tractor Supply. With an empty syringe, no needle, I dose it orally down the throat. 1/2 ml for your birds size would be sufficient. Once a day for 3 days. Repeat in 10 days. Vitamins go a long way, so an occasional dose of Nutri Drench as you mentioned goes a long way. As do Probiotics. Once or twice a week really helps boost immune systems.

    For weighing....I use one of those Fishermen hook scales. (I got mine at Walmart years ago) I put the bird in a small parrot cage, (I used to keep Lovebirds) and I tare out the weight of the cage and weigh the bird. Easy peasy.

    I would just watch her poop closely. If she is stuffing her crop at night and still has a full one in the morning, something is going on...either some sort of impaction or blockage from either something she ate or some organ or tissue is swelling inside her body. If she is stuffing herself and the crop is empty in the morning worms or even yeast can be eating the food. Is the crop stuffed with food or is it just full of water? Sometimes they are full of fluid and the bird absorbs the fluid over night and little poop is left in the morning. Tell me more about her crop at roosting time. And how big are the poops she IS leaving? Very very small, large?

    Other than this funky poop, does she have ANY other symptoms? If she only occasionally poops these green funky poops, I would say it IS the heat. My birds can have diarrhea any time it is 90 or above. Heat is hard on birds and diarrhea is very common.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm sorry, I didn't mean to confuse. I was talking about limiting treats so you could do a crop check. (this is what I would do, to check).

    Since you are seeing/feeling that it is functioning properly, full-ish at night and empty in the am, then give treats of course.
    I do agree with TwoCrows, mine don't eat as much in the Summer, when it's hot.
    I use a high protein crumble, so most days for a "special treat" I mix crumbles with some chopped apple, kale, frozen home grown corn, green beans, (whatever I have)., so they get veggies/fruit with their feed mixed in (they always have dry crumbles available in their feeder). Mine are confined, so they get a bucket of weeds, veggies from the garden, bugs, on most days as well.

    It could be that it is hot and she's not got that great of an appetite, chickens do things together as well, so she may be missing her buddy and not eating as much because she has to eat alone.

    TwoCrows has given great advice and insight as always.

    LOL, I have to chuckle at your Full Crop Photo. My B-Rock girls look like that when they go to roost, sometimes I wonder how they balance on the poles.

    Reminds me of the Chicken Chick article on crops with Arnold saying "it's not a tomah!" http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2014/06/chicken-anatomy-crop-impacted-crop-sour.html

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    LOL....yes her crop looks pretty full! Although sometimes they look humungus and aren't all that stuffed!

    I agree with Wyorp Rock here, I think she is just not eating much because of the summer heat and possibly because she is alone...good thinking Wyorp Rock. My birds have backed WAY down on the eating. And a couple of them only have 2 or 3 poops under the roost bar in the morning. They are going to roost with little in there as well. Of course in the winter time, the crops are sagging from all the food at bedtime! Chickens don't need as many calories in the summer and of she is not eating as much, she may not be getting enough calcium to put a hard shell on, hence the soft shells. Again, any stress to the body whether that be environmental, physical or emotional, can have effects in the laying department. Laying eggs can be a huge drain on the birds body. All the building blocks of life are put into every egg and if they aren't getting it in their diet, they rob their bodies. This takes its toll over time. And any stress on the body causes egg shell issues and laying troubles with all birds.

    I do cut back on the goodies in the summer. In the winter I might bring up some greens in the morning, some mealworms at mid day, some fruit later in the day. But come summer, they only get their greens. I know they aren't going to be eating much and I want them to eat as much layer feed as they can. I am SURE my birds have lost weight already this summer. I know for a fact one of them is thinner, she used to be huge and is much lighter. She needed to go on a diet anyway. (Shhh...don't tell her that.) Ha! If its a really hot day out, they aren't going to eat their layer feed and only then will I bring up more goodies during the day like cold grapes, more greens or even watermelon. If it's too hot, they won't eat much layer feed as it produces more heat. And again, will cause thin shells and other laying issues.

    Anyway, sometimes all you can do is judge a bird by its outward appearance and it's poop. If she is still very active, she is eating something, drinking well, her comb is a nice red color, face too, she is vocal, she holds her tail up, and her poop isn't always diarrhea and dry some of the times, I would say there is nothing wrong with her.

    Give her crop a feel tonight at roosting time. If it is really squishy, she is probably drinking a lot of water and there isn't much food in there. Only a few poops will be under her in the morning. If it is just full of food and firm, little water, and it is completely empty in the morning, she could have worms or yeast that is eating some of her food. If she is not empty in the crop in the morning, then something more serious is going on.

    So do the crop thing tonight and tomorrow morning... crop/poop check... and let us know what you think is in there and how much poop she leaves in the morning.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
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  10. DarleneE

    DarleneE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here we go... to the both you!! Again THANK YOU VERY MUCH for taking time out to help me!!!?

    OK so last night before giving her treats, Her crop was full of liquid??!! I've never felt water like that in a full crop on her!! It's always thick and solid with lots of food in there?? However she HAS BEEN drinking LOTS of water because I see her drinking all the time!! So this all tells me she hadn't eaten much of anything all day and it was almost getting dark and ready for her to go roost!!!! So, I fixed her a bowl with some chopped up apple, mixed greens for salad, some green beans and a few more peas. I chopped it all up, then mixed it up well and I also added some powder calcium and a little squirt of the Kickin Chicken which I've been giving faithful for many months now. It's supposed to be very good for them?? Look it up and see what you think of the ingredients. It's on a Amazon even!!!!
    So
     

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