Drained Olivia for the 4th time. This time, we drained 390 cc of icky green fluid from her abdomen. For educational purposes, I photographed it for you. She is still getting on the roost by waddling up a ramp we built for her, but she won't be here much longer.
ETA: well, just crapola. I found her sister, Tux, standing and staring off into space in the pen while the other old ladies, including Olivia, were out free ranging. When I picked her up, she didn't even flinch, completely un-Tux-like. Checked her over and though I've suspected internal laying with Tux since she came back out of her molt and kept going to the nest without producing an egg, I find no bloating, no discernible egg in the oviduct, no extreme weight loss (she actually has gained weight since her molt finished), nothing, except that her heart is racing to beat the band. When putting her down, she staggers and catches herself with her wing. She holds her wings slightly drooped and can't walk without falling over. I suspect she will be passing away soon as well as Olivia. Since I lost their sister, Kate, last year to crop stasis, I won't have anymore Poufy Head Sisters.
**** Just saw my Buff Orp look at Tux closely in the face, then start to attack her. She knows. This is what Tux did to Ivy a couple of days or so before she died and we removed her to die in peace.
What is strange is that she acts almost like someone who has had a stroke. She just stands where we put her, then if we push her down into a sitting position, she just stays there. She won't eat or drink on her own and seems weaker on her right side. Never had one act like this before.
Have you ever had one drop dead and you didn't know the cause? You may have had this issue and just not been aware of it.
I feed regular commercial layer pellets of several brands. It is not the feed, trust me. If it was, all hens would have the same issues. It's the hatchery stock 99% of the time; if you don't have the most common hatchery breeds, you will most likely not see as much of this as I have.
As I've said before, I saw a medical journal article that said chicken hens are the only animal on the planet who get spontaneous ovarian tumors just like human women so they are the focus of research. If they are bred for egg production only and broodiness is bred out of them, as most hatchery stock is, it exacerbates the problem. Olivia is almost 4 years old, same age as Tux. I began losing them with a SLW just after she turned two years old. From then, it just kept hitting one after the other. Out of my original ten hatchery girls, seven have died from the exact same thing and one of those three remaining hens seems to now be affected by it. Olivia and Tux are a year younger than those originals.
I have consulted folks over and over. There is no prevention and there is no cure. It's actually very common in hatchery stock, especially the high production sex links and the usual breeds folks seem to want, the RIRs, Buff Orps and Wyandottes.
I won't necropsy Olivia or Tux. We're very sure it's the same ailment. Both had reproductive malfunctions coming off of their molts; that's the way it started with these two and with a couple of the other hens.
With Tux, there is nothing to do, not even draining her abdomen. She looks normal and bright eyed, she's just quit functioning and seems dazed. We squeezed a vitamin E gelcap into her mouth, but other than that, I'm at a loss. She'll either die or snap out of it. If she hadn't been going on the nest repeatedly and leaving egg-less, I wouldn't suspect internal laying at all.
Quote:No, thankfully not...with the exception of a few chicks....it's all been known causes....I don't have any good egg layers and they are all uncommon breeds/non-hatchery stock...but I appreciate the information--I learn more and more every day on this website!