Diagnosing a Hen problem

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Ponyfeather, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Ponyfeather

    Ponyfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2014
    I'm new to chickens and birds, but I have been caring for a hen that is a friends. Me and my mom would just bring her home but my father has banned it.

    Tofu the hen was let out to free range because she was being constantly being picked on by the the larger Jersey Giant hens. Her sister Riceball had already flown the chicken yard, to hang out with my horses we board at our friends. Well Tofu jumped back in a few day later with a head wound, a few day later we extracted her from the chicken yard because despite her hiding under the house it wasn't healing up. Stupid Jersey Hen's kept going after her again.

    Now she is in an old rabbit pen alone, healing but I have noticed a few issues recently that I am not sure if she might have nerve damage from the head wound, has Merek's or just is weak from being hurt. She's rather affectionate and enjoys being loved on and held, she preens when I show up in the afternoons to feed and clean up after my horses.

    She is rather smart and went a few days without eating when her food got wet and moldy from a storm we had. But since then she had issues while she has regained strength, she's rather off balance. Part of this is because her nails where long I'm slowly cutting them back to normal, also she needed a bath. Her vent was all messy feathers stuck to her and other feathers. She was a very good girl and just sat in the bucket of warm soapy water and let me clean her off. She also passed a weird egg, it looks like it might have been stuck for awhile because of how there was extra calcification on the shell.

    Tofu when compared to her sister Riceball seems normal weight for a Leghorn, no one else is having these issues and her poo is normal. She is eating(as long as the food isn't icky) and drinking normally. She is eating layer ration + pelleted feed that is suppose to help with feather regrowth since she lost so many on her head.
  2. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    Moldy feed can give a hen botulism. Symptoms would look similar to Mareks disease. If she's injured she should be brought inside to heal or at least out of the weather.what exactly are her symptoms? Is she still outside in a cage? Google chickens eating moldy food and botulism. You can read about the effects. Is there a place you can keep her that's warm and dry? I hope this helps a bit . If you can post her exact symptoms and be specific it would be helpful. I wish you the best.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Moldy food does not cause botulism. Aspergillosis can be a result of exposure to mold in litter and food. Botulism is caused by eating rotting animal carcasses, maggots, or vegetation that he been without air such as from a compost bed or creek bad.
  4. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Alright [​IMG] great to have you joining the BYC flock [​IMG]

    Sounds like you need to get her into a warm place as she is
    not healthy anymore and can not maintain her proper body
    heat and that is just to start now keeping her separate for the
    time being till the head wound is healed,,, have you been
    keeping the wound nice and clean ........

    gander007 [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  5. Ponyfeather

    Ponyfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2014
    I guess I should have been clear that her head wound is almost healed at the point she is just regrowing the feathers on the top of her head now. But it was kept it clean. Also today she was not acting funny so I think the weakness was because of lack of food + long nails. She is eating and drinking well + being her smart self.

    This is the most normal I have seen her, since before her attack. If she declines again though I will bring her inside the horse barn, they won't mind sharing their space with her. (My horses guard the chicken yard/coop from local predators. I'm not joking I've seen them chase a fox out of the field that was making a beeline for the chicken yard.)
    I can set up a heat lamp in the barn to keep her warm, sadly I can't bring her home to keep her inside. My friend can't either, the men in our lives ban them inside so we're doing as much as we can for her.

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