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chicken losing weight, help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 7heaven, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. 7heaven

    7heaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 8, 2009
    My rhode island red/australorp mix pullet (8 months old, began laying at 5 months) seems to be losing LOTS of weight. She has a VERY prominent breastbone. She was broody for a month, but has been off the nest for a month now. I don't think she has begun laying again. My six pullets are in a run full-time and have access to their coop at all times. We close the coop door at night to keep them safe from predators, although it would be unlikely that any could get into the run. They have several inches of dry straw in the coop as well as a perch. Mostly they prefer sleeping on the straw. The last week this hen has neglected to go into the coop at night. I pick her up and put her in before I close the door. They are eating layer crumbles with a bit of food-quality DE added. 17% protein, 3-4% calcium. The package says it is a complete food for laying hens with no need for extra calcium or grain. I do treat them to extra greens (small tender leaves from the yard and table scraps from our salads -- no dressings -- and whole wheat bread crusts). This hen's stools are runny. She doesn't appear to have any injuries or other obvious problems. She just isn't acting right -- she is unenergetic and like I said, her breastbone is getting extremely prominent. Probably sticks out from her body an inch or more. She is wasting away. Please help me figure out what's going on! Thanks!
     
  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Have you wormed her lately?
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DFW
    Have you noticed her eating with the others? Sometimes when a hen won't go into the coop she's being bullied by the others. Sometimes the picked on hen can be chased away from the feed, too.

    Sometimes it helps to have more than one feed dish.
     
  4. 7heaven

    7heaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 8, 2009
    Thanks for your replies. When I opened the coop door in the morning and peeked inside, sadly she was dead. Not sure what was going on, but obviously I waited too long to try to begin solving it. [​IMG] All the other hens seem fine. They do have some feather loss here and there, but all in different places and one has lots of new feathers beginning to grow back, so probably they are molting.

    Anyhow, thanks again.
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Molting makes every issue a HUGE one, so she could have had worms, been laying internally (not eggbound) or just anything.
     
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry you lost your chicken.
     
  7. sirani

    sirani Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm sorry to hear that my rooster is doing the same thing but before his hen deid of the same causes.
     
  8. froggiesheins

    froggiesheins Overrun With Chickens

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    Don't forget to check for mites/lice! Those bugs can suck the life out of a bird too!
    Look into vitamin deficiency, it happens occasionally to birds...
     
  9. flowerchild59

    flowerchild59 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Worms and parasites will make a bird lose weight and be unthrifty. Take a peek at my signature line about why worming is so important.
     
  10. silver12b

    silver12b New Egg

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    May 8, 2009
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    I separated my hen from the rest when I found the same symptoms. I only noticed her standing away from the rest. This morning I opened the cage to pet her, and she just fell over :( I am certain I am too late as well.
     

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