Chicken Not Acting Herself

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Biggy, May 15, 2019.

  1. Biggy

    Biggy In the Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2019
    I have a 3 yr old Black Sex Link hen named Coallette. Usually she is very spunky, tame, and loves food. However, over the past few days I have noticed her not being herself. She seems very tired and lethargic, like she has no energy. She hasn't been talking or making noise like usual, and she hasn't laid in a while either. She is usually my best layer. This could be unrelated but she also has a really messy bottom.

    I have also noticed her sitting down in the middle of the day frequently. It seems like she is eating but isn't as enthusiastic about treats.

    This morning, I was out spending time with my hens and I saw her doing something really strange. She was just standing in the grass with her butt down, like how they poop, not doing anything. Her vent was pulsing but I think that's normal. She seemed uncomfortable. She stayed like that for a long time. She eventually moved but her butt was still partly down. I was able to get some pictures.
    IMG_20190515_151919.jpg
    IMG_20190515_151925.jpg

    Any info and opinions would be great. I want what is best for my girl.
     
  2. hamilton00

    hamilton00 In the Brooder

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    May 12, 2019
    Hey Biggy, it seems like your chicken may be egg-bound since she does not seem to be laying. My Barred Rock, Macy, has been acting like that too. Also, all chickens have messy bottoms so that would be normal.
     
  3. Biggy

    Biggy In the Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2019
    Thank you. Any tips to help this. If need be I can get her to a vet. In case this is not it, does anyone have any other ideas on what it could be.

    And, she has been pooping but is seems much more labored to do so.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Feel inside her vent a couple of inches to see if there is an egg (glove up, lube up).
    While you are at it, feel the abdomen - below the vent, between her legs for bloat/swelling or fluid.
    The symptoms you describe sounds like she is having trouble with her reproductive system - whether it's an egg, a soft shell egg or something like Internal Laying, Egg Yolk Peritonitis or similar it's hard to know.
    I would get some extra calcium into her for a few days - you can give 1/2 tablet of Caltrate.
    She may also enjoy a warm soak in a epsom salts bath, sometimes that gets things moving.

    One more thing! Check her crop first thing in the morning before she eats/drinks, it should be empty.

    She's a beautiful hen! Keep us posted.
     
    Eggcessive, Biggy and 1 Farm Girl like this.
  5. 1 Farm Girl

    1 Farm Girl Chirping

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    Feb 8, 2013
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    Hi,
    Vent looks swollen, do you know when she laid an egg last? I agree w/the last post. Do an exam as it is a normal routine. If so you can soak her in a warm bath make sure her bottom is in the water for about 15 min. Sometimes this helps to release an egg. If you see yellow yolk like dirty bottom that is a sign of egg yolk Peritonitis. I have lost many hens in the past. Hope she recovers.
     
    Biggy likes this.
  6. Biggy

    Biggy In the Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2019
    Thank you. It is hard to tell when she last layed an egg but it has been quite a while. She is the only one that lays speckled eggs and I haven't seen any of those. She is spending the night inside with me and in the morning I will give her a bath. I did feel her abdomen and compared to my other chickens, it felt pretty swollen.
     
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    The abdomen is swollen - is it hard or tight like it has fluid in it?
    Have your hens ever had any respiratory symptoms - like coughing, sneezing, runny nose or eyes?

    A swollen abdomen sounds like a reproductive disorder, there are several with similar symptoms. Internal Laying, Salpingitis, Egg Yolk Peritonitis, cancer and tumors are common in laying hens. Sadly, sometimes you don't know which one the hen is suffering from until a necropsy is performed.

    If you have vet care, they can xray to get a better idea of what is going on.

    I would offer her supportive care - still give the calcium for a few days, give her a direct dose of poultry vitamins and since she is not lethargic, soakings in a warm epsom salts bath. Keep her drinking. A little scrambled egg or tuna may entice her to eat.

    Let us know how she's doing.
     
    Eggcessive likes this.
  8. Biggy

    Biggy In the Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2019
    Yesterday I gave here the calcium, an epsom salt bath, and monitored her closely. She seems to be acting more normal but she still has a swollen abdomen and no egg.

    I have actually never encountered any respiratory symptoms in my chickens.

    But other than the swollen abdomen she is acting pretty much normal. She is eating now as well.
     
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    It sounds like she's doing a little better.
    The swelling is concerning, but unless there is fluid in the abdomen that can be drained, there's not a lot that can be done unfortunately.
     
  10. 1 Farm Girl

    1 Farm Girl Chirping

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    Feb 8, 2013
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