Concern about my Rhode Island Red

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by amoorby, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. amoorby

    amoorby New Egg

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    Feb 5, 2017
    Hello,

    One of my reds has a significant change in her comb, feathers and weight. As you can see in the picture taken today of our two reds, the one on the left has a whiter, shriveled comb. Her eyes also seem to look sick. Both hens are acting ok, but we're definitely worried about when one on the left. Any thoughts about could be going on?[​IMG]
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello and welcome to BYC!

    I am sorry about your hen. A shriveled dark comb is never good on a hen. Many times when a comb that looks this dark and shriveled they don't make it. The comb is very much like a barometer to the entire birds body. It reflects sickness very easily. And anything could be wrong with your hen from internal laying, reproductive cancer, a very bad yeast infection, heart failure or arterial hypertension, some sort of organ failure or internal infection, even dehydration. Generally worms cause the comb to go pale as does starvation, or mites.

    Start by giving her belly a feel on the outside. (from between the legs to the vent) And compare her belly to the others. It should not be squishy and like a water balloon. If it is, she may be internally laying or have the beginnings of heart failure.

    Give her a complete over all exam to see if you can determine what the issue could be. Weigh her and see how she compares to the others.

    Closely examine her poop..what color, consistency and texture is it? Are her feathers all pooped up under her vent? Does her vent area have a really bad smell?

    And just in case, has she been wormed in the past year?

    Anything else that might be clue..?
     
  3. amoorby

    amoorby New Egg

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    Thank you for the reply and great advice. I'm headed out to examine her now. We havent done a deworming yet. She is 9 months old and the only one of our 4 hens who is exhibiting any unusual symptoms. Is that something I should be doing?
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Worming shouldn't be necessary at this age, but I did throw it out there just in case. Generally combs don't shrivel and become so dark with worms. But I always ask this question since many birds do have worm infestations, 9 months is pretty young for infestation however.

    Being 9 months old, this could be some sort of genetic internal organ issue, could be heart condition as well. 9 months is too young for reproductive cancer and no doubt water belly too. (I am thinking out loud here)

    The poop color and consistency will help determine what is going on and if it's normal and there are NO other signs of anything, I would guess heart issues?

    Is she eating and drinking normally? Where is she in the pecking order?
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    As far as what you should be doing, that all depends on what this is, for now.
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Also, you need to check her crop first thing in the morning to make sure it is empty, and check to make sure it is full or at least something is in it at roosting time. If its empty at bedtime or full in the morning, these are not good.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  7. amoorby

    amoorby New Egg

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    Aside from feeling lighter, thinner than our other red, she feels fine. She does seem more lethargic, but only slightly. Should we isolate her from our other 3? We do plan to call the farmer where we got them from tomorrow for more advice. These are our first hens and we love them dearly. However, we are novices.
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    I am sorry about your hen. Most of us have learned through trial and error and many times we never do know what is wrong with them. A vet is always an option too.

    Anything could be wrong internally. She is awful young and I cant help think its something genetic effecting some internal organ. I hate to suggest antibiotics if she doesnt have an infection but penicillin might help if she does.

    Keep us posted and I do hope you can help her!! :hugs
     
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    As for isolation, as bad as she looks, the others have already been exposed so I wouldnt traumatize her with separation.

    What does her poop look like?
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  10. amoorby

    amoorby New Egg

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    To be honest, we haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary. We feel so bad that we didn't take a more active approach when we started noticing the changes in her comb. Poor girl. She was our more aggressive one, pecking us more than anything. Perhaps she was telling us she wasn't feeling well.

    Is it safe to eat eggs from our other hens or should we take a break until we get this figured out?
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017

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