1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Decrease of Appetite- 3 yr old BSL

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mrskenmore, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. mrskenmore

    mrskenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    18
    89
    Apr 21, 2014
    Hi Everyone,

    I am feeling a little desperate today and was wondering if anyone can help me. I have a 3 year old black sex link hen that is currently experiencing a decrease in eating and drinking. Please see below symptoms and please let me know if there is anything that I can do for her as I fear there is a bigger issue here

    Symptoms:

    Acting, and preening normally- recently won't jump to the perch in the coop even though I can see she wants to and recently is not participating in dust bathing
    Eyes, face, nostrils are all clear and normal
    Her breathing is normal
    There is no sour or bad smell or liquids coming out of her beak
    Eating when fed, has stopped frequenting the food and water as far as I can tell for about a few days now
    Pooping at a slower frequency but when she does poop all looks normal
    Tail is up and she is chatty, being busy all day long
    Goes to roost at night
    Comb and waddles are red and perky


    Her crop is functioning properly, she is hungry but doesn't seek out her food and water anymore (scratching, eating bugs when she finds them, eating a layer mash mixed with water when I feed it to her)

    She is the top of the flock and really was never a stellar layer for a sex link after year 1.5/2 she hasn't picked up laying since the winter

    I have given her probiotics and even checked her on Friday to see if she is egg bound, which she was not. she is my most boisterous hen and even though to anyone else she would appear normal, I can see she is slowing down a bit

    Her abdomen might feel slightly swollen, but when I compare it to my 3 year old barred rock hen that is currently laying it feels almost the same.. so not sure if there is something going on there.

    My question is, am I over reacting here (could it be she is getting older) or is the lack of jumping on the perch and lack of going to the food and water dish indicate something else that is going on.

    I don't want to overreact- but on the other hand if I can help her I want to help her.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you! (one very concerned chicken mama)
     
  2. strangeanimal

    strangeanimal Chillin' With My Peeps

    178
    12
    76
    Mar 21, 2017
    Belgium
    could be several things , when is the last time you gave her a broad spectrum antiwurms ? panacur etc
    did she possibly injured a leg or anything you couldn't diretly see ?
    how much was it that she ate last time and did she still drink ?

    try atleast if she doesn't drink to give her any kind of elektrolytes containing some proteins and how is the color of her beak inside ?
    ( you never overreact if you care and notice something is changed but I don't mean to say this as there is something wrong , she could also be going trough some hormonal stages , u mention age , is possible , but so is broodiness when it starts right ? )
     
  3. mrskenmore

    mrskenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    18
    89
    Apr 21, 2014
    Thank you for your quick response strangenanimal. I have never wormed my chickens, I know this may sound naive but they never had worms so it was something that was never on my radar. Do you think it could be worms? Should I worm her and if so with what? She did get into a mulch pile last week that was loaded with small worms and gobbled them all up I know that can sometimes be a problem that eating worms can sometimes cause worms correct? Thursday and Friday she started acting off and since then I haven't seen her eat or drink on her own. If she is out she will forage all day eating bugs and plants, she ate cabbage and kale over the weekend and some carrots the other day. For drinking that has been tough- she goes to the water looks at it takes a sip but doesn't throw her head back like she usually does. For getting her to drink I have been soaking her feed in a lot of water, sprinkling it with probiotics and she will eat all of it (about a 1/4 cup) I haven't checked the color of her beak, but can give her a once over including her legs later this evening.

    Thank you for your help- Any other clues now to what it may be?
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    8,749
    1,999
    336
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Check the crop again. Feel it at night when she goes to roost, then first thing in the morning before she has had anything to eat/drink. It should be full at night/flat-empty in the morning. Crop issues may not have a sour smell until advanced.

    Also check her legs and feet (bottom of them too) for any bruising, scabs, cuts, etc. Also give her a good look for lice/mites.

    It's possible it could be worms, take a fresh poop sample to your vet for testing of worms, cocci and a gram stain for bacteria. Getting confirmation will let you know if you need to treat for worms.

    Going off feed and water is not normal, so something is up. Since she hasn't resumed laying, she could have an internal laying/reproductive disorder like Egg Yolk Peritonitis, Ascites, Salpingitis, cancer or tumors. Some symptoms include going off feed, loss of weight, lameness/difficulty walking, sometimes swollen/bloated abdomen and difficulty breathing.

    Keep trying to get fluids into her, offering the wet feed is a good idea. Add some poultry vitamins if you have them.

    Let us know how she is doing.
     
  5. mrskenmore

    mrskenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    18
    89
    Apr 21, 2014
    Thanks Wyorp Rock,

    Her crop is empty in the evening and empty in the morning as I fear she has not been eating much unless I am feeding it to her. Shall I try to get some more food in her this afternoon when I get home? I was thinking tuna with layer feed mash with probiotics. For vitamins, I have nutridrench and sav-a-chick and some electrolytes, which do you recommend? Will do a through check on her tonight with her legs/toes and for lice/mites. I thought of EYP as well as she was never a great layer so had feared EYP and or laying internally- but since she doesn't have any other symptoms (poop is normal when she actually eats and she is not straining, waddling, or lethargic) I thought maybe I was overthinking it. She is a sex link and at 3 years old I know sometimes it is not uncommon to have reproductive problems.. I am hoping to get her to eat so she will poop so I can get it to the vet to test for worms.

    Will keep you all posted
     
  6. strangeanimal

    strangeanimal Chillin' With My Peeps

    178
    12
    76
    Mar 21, 2017
    Belgium
    I wouldn't keep that level of vitamines up actually , it may cause problems , some minerals and vitamins can decrease other vitals in the bloodstream which therefor cause the opposite effect you want , quik example there from is when a chicken has for example the problem to be eggbound and needs extra calcium , and you still have calcium yet it also contains iron , result ? iron decreases her fosfor , now she will need fosfor . In other cases , your hen may need some vitamines ( several ) and you give her that once every x days , result after while is the creation that in case she really is sick nothing of the vitamines will make her stronger , reason for that is simply because it is not made by the body , she didn't get it out of the food alone , her main ' foodsource ' for vitamins , minerals etc is ciming from the supplementary things , this can also decrease appetite ( take yourself as human with a big amount of vits and mins , are u still that hungry like you were if you take it too much ? no :) thats why vegetarians also need to take vit B etc , they don't eat it so have to take it out of sups but is it healthy ? no it isnt , plus in many diets to lose weight these are also used . But still good you give it anyway .
    Antiwurming can you alzo do yourself , you do not necissarily have to pay a vet , just use it as you would use it preventif , you have many choices in products but I personally go for Panacur , generally used in more kinds of animals and effective even if indeed wurms . It is said you have to use it three days in a row but that s not entirely correct , depends on the brand of it .
    All you need to do is follow instructions or if not said let us know what is on the package ( no matter what you choose ) or if you prefer a vet , that is ofcourse more safe tough meanwhile it can get a good check up (y) , and indeed like said before mites are nasty ! :) good luck ! I'm busy having a hospice for my hen that got attaqued by a predator , you can imagine the look of it I assume (first time I see such mess :s ) ... will see your following post ! (forgive the grammar , I'm foreign lol :) )

    p.s. : for elektrolytes with protein I use VETARK , no idea they have it there ? it is anyway to get by the veterinarian worldwide usually
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  7. mrskenmore

    mrskenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    18
    89
    Apr 21, 2014
    Hi Strangeanimal- I checked and I don't think that they have Vetark here in the US- I can give her electrolytes in her water but she won't drink it. The only way I have been getting her fluids is through drenching her food. I know I have to get food and water in her so she doesn't dehydrate and become worse.

    Will check her over tonight- thanks everyone for their help!
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    8,749
    1,999
    336
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Layer mash with some tuna or chopped egg would be good - make your water with a little Nutri-Drench.
    You may want to separate her if you haven't done so. Placing her in a cage on a puppy pad to catch your poop sample helps sometimes.

    Keep us posted.
     
  9. mrskenmore

    mrskenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    18
    89
    Apr 21, 2014
    7:30 pm EST UPDATE:

    Came home about an hour ago to three chatty chickens- including my BSL. Took her in the house to give her a once over and check in on her actual symptoms.

    Crop was empty
    She was alert and chatty
    All other vitals great
    Gave her about a 1/4 cup layer feed mashed with 1/2 cup electrolyte water mashed with 1 hard boiled egg. She ate the whole thing- she is obviously hungry and has a great appetite
    Gave her a bowl of electrolyte water with a couple of mealworms in it to peak interest. She ate the mealworms but didn't drink the water
    I am hopeful that she has such an appetite but I know she needs to drink. Her crop filled nicely in the course of 40 minutes as we watched her eat and slurp. She was acting normal. Ironically I put down solid food in front of her and again had no interest. We continued to watch her and in our presence she pooped twice- it was completely water with a scant amount of poop colored solids. (no visible worms to my naked untrained eye)

    I gave her a once over-
    Legs are healthy and strong
    No mites or lice
    No bites/injuries that I could see
    Comb/Waddles/Eyes bright and clear
    No Wheezing/ Trouble Breathing
    Chatty
    Tail/Feathers look glossy and typical
    Her abdomen is the only thing that I can't feel if it is normal... It seems slightly larger than my other laying hen. She doesn't show signs of distress when you poke around her belly or anywhere else for that matter

    So my visble symptoms are:

    No interest to eat from her regular food
    No interest to drink water from the water container
    Has a healthy appetite and interest in food once I prepare a soft food or one of her favorites
    Perhaps a slightly swollen abdomen
    Not able to perch with others- however she can and does still roost at night

    I currently have her back in the coop with her 2 sisters as she is one of those chickens that would be way to stressed out to deviate from routine. I am hoping to have more poop to examine from under her in the morning.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks everyone
     
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    8,749
    1,999
    336
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Sounds like you gave her a good going over.

    Did you look inside her beak to see if there is any canker/plaques forming - I'm grasping here....

    There can be many things to make them go off food, but since she will eat for you by herself, I wonder if suddenly the others are keeping her from food. Watch to see if that's happening.
    It's best for sure to leave her with the flock unless she becomes lethargic, unresponsive, etc.

    Keep us posted.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by