Chronically pale/shriveled comb + weight loss

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by UrbanEnthusiast, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. UrbanEnthusiast

    UrbanEnthusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2012
    Port Orford, Oregon
    I have 10 hens, only one Ancona. She used to have the biggest, reddest comb out of my whole flock, including my Leghorns. Here is the timeline of what's happened.

    1) I switched to a nipple waterer about a moth ago. Right away, I saw all ten hens drinking from it.

    2) Not long after, I noticed the Ancona's comb and wattles were pale and shriveled, and it got worse with time. Pretty sure she also started losing weight. Only change in her behavior was she wasn't coming right away anymore when I called the flock with mealworms. Eventually I realized I hadn't seen her drink for a while, and we hadn't had any rain for a few weeks either, so I put the standard watering pan back out for her, and she drank from it. I figured she'd bounce right back.

    3) It's been about two weeks since I put the watering pan back out, and I've seen her drinking both from the nipples and the watering pan every day. The rain has returned, so there are puddles all over the place too. But her comb hasn't improved.

    I am not very experienced or knowledgeable in chicken keeping, but I did inspect her feathers as well as a couple of the other hens for parasites and didn't find anything. All my other hens seem perfectly healthy. They were just hatched back in March, so they shouldn't be molting, and I haven't noticed any signs of anyone molting. They do free range all day every day. They get super high quality feed, and I do a decent job of keeping their coop clean.

    I've included before and after photos. Does anyone have any suggestions? If she doesn't improve soon, I'm going to have to cull her. I don't want to keep a sick chicken around forever. I'm just glad it doesn't seem to be spreading to the others.

    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas

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