Chicken Losing weight and Appetite

la babs

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 22, 2013
Hi Chicken Lovers

I have had chickens for a couple of years, thus still a newbie. I get rescue chickens generally and have struggled w a high mortality rate. I've had several necropsies, but they generally have not linked the deaths; e.g., one had egg yolk peritonitis and and another possible Merecks. The chickens I generally get are alumni from factory egg farms (hence vaccinated) I know they have high mortality rates, but I don't want to contribute to their mortality by something avoidable.

Fast forward, to present. I started weighing my chickens regularly because weight loss seems to be a good indicator of deteriorating health, maybe even before other symptoms appear. What do I know? Anyway, I have a rescue Legghorn about 3 years old who has lost one pound (down from 4.5 lbs to 3.5) since July 6. Also, she doesn't wolf down the foods she used to enjoy. She has been laying eggs like mad (pretty much daily). But had one egg today w/o a hard shell and one this past week that dropped on the floor of the coop.

I decided to worm her, so she got Wazine 10 days ago and I'm about to give her Valbazen. Any other suggestions would be much appreciated. (I've given her a check over, and don't see any creepy crawlers, but I am probably going to bathe her w a dog flea shampoo just to kill anything).

I've learned a lot from this forum, so thanks again for any advice.
Keep doing what your doing. Go ahead with the Valbazen. Treat her for mites too, whether you see them or not.
Weight loss and not eating as voraciously as in past or foods liked. No worms seen in poop. Trying to eliminate (so to speak) the obvious possibilities
There are a whole lot of things that can cause those symptoms. So you have to start with the most common possibilities and work your way out from there. I would deworm ALL of your birds and on a regular basis. Use something effective and broad spectrum like Valbazen or liquid Safeguard for goats. Birds can be full of worms and you might never see one in their poop. Also dust them all for lice/mites as it can be hard to spot those bugs until there are a whole lot of them. Treat the coop as well. When you deworm or treat for mites be sure to do a retreat in 10 days to get whatever hatched in the meantime. Once those bases are covered then you have to decide if you want to try a vet if problems continue. That gets very spendy pretty fast. Did you have necropsies done by a state lab in the past? They are usually much more comprehensive then most vets will do and well worth the effort. Some states do them for free.

Keep in mind too that coccidiosis is always a big concern when there are new birds brought in.
Thank you all for sage advice. Yes, I was planning to deworm once a year, which is right for now anyway, so I did it for her and my other two. Does annually make sense? Anyway, I think I found the problem. I just bathed her w puppy lice/flea etc shampoo and after letting it sit for 15 min. found a bunch of dead fleas on her. I wish I'd seen them earlier. I guess I'll get her some spinach tomorrow. So far she won't eat boiled eggs or cat food. Any other bulk up food ideas would be appreciated. California does necropsies at no cost, so I have had two of them done. They are very comprehensive.

This forum has been so great for me, just many thanks again for the great advice. Hopefully, she will recover.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom