Chickens turning orange!?!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by veganloraine, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. veganloraine

    veganloraine In the Brooder

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    May 13, 2012
    We have 6 rescued "spent" hens. Two have turned orange. Their legs are orange, their faces are bright orange and their eyes are spooky orange. Why oh why is this happening?? Someone suggested that it's the layer mash that they are currently being fed, which has corn in it. However, they eat a lot of scrap veggies and cooked brown rice and run about my backyard eating whatever they find in the garden. I've put crushed garlic and raw apple cider vinegar in their water. They were on tetracycline for, what I think, was/is brooder's pneumonia. All 6 chickens have been exposed to the same diet/environment so why are only 2 orange?? So confusing! Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Sounds like possible jaundice? That sounds like what happens to humans with liver failure. Any abdominal swelling?
     
  3. veganloraine

    veganloraine In the Brooder

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    May 13, 2012
    I haven't noticed as swelling. They are hard to catch!! The first one to go orange went orange about 3 weeks ago. I now have 4 orange chickens. Madness. Do you think the corn could be causing this and/or the oranges that we sometimes feed them?? Such a mystery.
     
  4. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
  5. veganloraine

    veganloraine In the Brooder

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    May 13, 2012
    Thank you. I did see this post. They were in horrible shape when we got them home, with about 60% of their bodies that were badly brusied. Many of the other birds rescued from that barn had broken bones and missing toes. I can see these injuries causing liver problems. It's just the timeline that doesn't seem to fit. I would have thought that I would have lost some by now, but they seem to be improving and others are just now starting to turn orange, but are showing no signs of illness. So wierd.
     
  6. Chemguy

    Chemguy Songster

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    If the birds were badly bruised, then the orange color might be due to the healing process. As they heal and grow new tissue, the old tissue is broken down. Blood cells when broken down will produce a pigment that is yellow/orange in color. (If you've ever seen a big bruise that is yellow at the margins, you've seen this). This pigment will be metabolized over time, but at high and prolonged levels can cause liver damage. In other words, jaundice. The best things to do are to provide plenty of water and lots of sunlight. The water will help to flush their system and sunlight will break down the pigment.

    Keep an eye on them for any signs of liver problems.
     
  7. veganloraine

    veganloraine In the Brooder

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    May 13, 2012
    Chemguy, you are a genius!! It was from the bruising. We are now back down to 2 orange chickens and they are not as orange as they once were. They seemed healthy otherwise so the orange was a mystery. Well, all but one is healthy. I think she has brooder's pneumonia?? She's not as active as the others and she "gapes". Tetracycline seems to clear it up, but only for a period of a few weeks before it returns.
     

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