Droopy chicken stood like penguin PLZ HELP

Dazzalad

In the Brooder
Jan 21, 2021
8
2
11
Hi my speckled hen has started becoming pretty inactive in the last few days, but this morning was the first time she hadn't eaten at all. Standing like a penguin with tail down, eyes generally shut and slightly wobbly if I lift her and put her down again. I just lifted her and she tried to get out of my arms, this made her vomit slightly but her crop doesn't feel overly large/squishy or hard. She has been extending her neck up and jolting it to the side though, but should I wait until the morning to check for crop issues, even though she was sick? I've just spent a while cutting the feathers from her bottom area as a lot of poop was getting stuck, could this be part of the issue? She also won't jump up onto the perch to roost at night, I tried to help her up a couple days ago and she fell - it broke me heart. :( We only lost a girly a few weeks ago and I'm not prepared to lose another! Please help...photo added
 

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nuthatched

It's C-O-O-P, not C-O-U-P-E!
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Nov 9, 2019
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I'm sorry this is a happening.
when did she last lay an egg? What's her poop like? What do you feed them? This is a common illness but I can't remember what it is. I'll bring up some info for you.
When you have livestock or pets, the hard fact you have to accept is that you will sometimes lose them, even with your best efforts. No one is prepared but when it happens, it's best to give hem a peaceful death.
 

nuthatched

It's C-O-O-P, not C-O-U-P-E!
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Nov 9, 2019
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Rim Country, Az
Hi all, I am looking for advice from anyone who has experienced a hen with Egg Yolk Peritionitis.

Background -

Blondie is around 4/5 years old and she stopped laying about 2 months ago. She went quite weak about the time she stopped laying (She wasn't egg bound - I checked that first) and after a few days of antibiotics she perked up and went back to normal (minus laying). Then about 4 weeks ago she seemed to develop signs of egg peritonitis - mainly swollen balloon like belly/walking like a penguin. I drained her belly of some of this liquid which was yellow in colour. Her poop was also green and yellow and runny and her vent area was messy. The day after draining her belly she was back to her usual self. However this didn't last with her belly swelling and penguin stance back (we attempted to drain some more liquid a week later - but couldn't draw any). Anyhow for the last two weeks, her poop has been back to normal ie no longer runny. In herself - she is normal - she eats and she drinks and is alert. Her comb and wattle are a nice red colour. She doesn't seem in pain and gets on with her day - eating some grass and having a wander (obviously I seperated her when she became ill and although she can see the others - she has her own large area).

I have started to try a herbal diuretic over the last couple of days - I am not sure it will help - but it won't harm to try. I also have given her a Poultry tonic. In terms of food, I am giving her anything she fancies and have removed layers pellets from her diet. So basically she has corn, mealworms, blueberries, apples, plums, banana and little bit of bread in water etc (plus grass etc when she free ranges). She has a healthy appetite, but her chest bone feels very prominent, and she is pooping normally, so other than her stomach/not being able to walk easily and using her wings for balance (and she prefers to lean up to something) - she seems quite happy.

So my question after all this - is there anything I can do to help her be as comfortable as possible in the circumstances (I don't want to put her through an operation) or has anyone had any success with any treatment of any sort or found anything natural/ medicinal that helps?

Thank you in advance for any advice.

Picture attached shows Blondie about 10 days ago. I can get a more recent pic tomorrow. She is probably more penguin like now. Thank you again.
I'm sorry your having trouble.
I would provide her with a nutritionally balanced poultry feed, whether it's layer feed or an all flock/flock raiser or chick feed. While the corn, mealworms, etc are great treats, if she's having swelling of the abdomen then her gaining fat won't help with the condition.

Sadly, I have never found a cure for birds suffering reproductive problems. I do offer supportive care by giving vitamins, check that their crop is emptying, looking them over for lice/mites regularly and just keeping watch on how they do from day to day. If I notice them struggling, I see if they might rally with a vitamin boost, etc. and often they perk back up for a while. I've had some going for a good while, others have declined again and I ended their suffering.
It really stinks. I do know that it's common in laying hens and I've opened mine up to investigate further. Once you see what's happening, you realize there was nothing else you could have done, but it's still sad.


@coach723 uses a detox as supportive care
https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...-breath-if-you-hold-her.1284253/post-20750855
 

Wyorp Rock

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Hi my speckled hen has started becoming pretty inactive in the last few days, but this morning was the first time she hadn't eaten at all. Standing like a penguin with tail down, eyes generally shut and slightly wobbly if I lift her and put her down again. I just lifted her and she tried to get out of my arms, this made her vomit slightly but her crop doesn't feel overly large/squishy or hard. She has been extending her neck up and jolting it to the side though, but should I wait until the morning to check for crop issues, even though she was sick? I've just spent a while cutting the feathers from her bottom area as a lot of poop was getting stuck, could this be part of the issue? She also won't jump up onto the perch to roost at night, I tried to help her up a couple days ago and she fell - it broke me heart. :( We only lost a girly a few weeks ago and I'm not prepared to lose another! Please help...photo added
Welcome To BYC
I'm sorry that your hen is not well.

Is she pooping?

I would assume she's having some reproductive problems due to her stance. It would be a good idea to feel inside her vent for an egg. Feel her abdomen for bloat or fluid.
Her vomiting/spitting up when you picked her up is not that unusual with birds that have reproductive problems.
Whatever is causing her to hunch up (egg binding, peritonitis, cancer, etc.) is causing inflammation and/or blocking/slowing the digestive process, so essentially the crop is not emptying.

I would make water available to her. Don't push food, but you can leave some for her.
A hen in this condition will generally not roost, so make her a comfortable place inside the coop where she is wanting to bed down. I usually provide extra straw for them. I'm not a fan in separating a bird even if they are in a hard decline unless they are getting picked at.


https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
 

Dazzalad

In the Brooder
Jan 21, 2021
8
2
11
Welcome To BYC
I'm sorry that your hen is not well.

Is she pooping?

I would assume she's having some reproductive problems due to her stance. It would be a good idea to feel inside her vent for an egg. Feel her abdomen for bloat or fluid.
Her vomiting/spitting up when you picked her up is not that unusual with birds that have reproductive problems.
Whatever is causing her to hunch up (egg binding, peritonitis, cancer, etc.) is causing inflammation and/or blocking/slowing the digestive process, so essentially the crop is not emptying.

I would make water available to her. Don't push food, but you can leave some for her.
A hen in this condition will generally not roost, so make her a comfortable place inside the coop where she is wanting to bed down. I usually provide extra straw for them. I'm not a fan in separating a bird even if they are in a hard decline unless they are getting picked at.


https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/

I saw her go twice today, it was runny and a bit white but didn't look too discoloured etc. I forgot to mention she'd gone through a bout of illness a few weeks ago which seemed like sour crop - smelly vomit and lethargic but I released some at the time, then she was better a few days later. As this has been similar, do you think she does have reproductive issues like you say? I've put multiple waters down so she's able to have some in peace (only 8 birds together) but I didn't see her eat or drink all day. I'm not a fan of making her vomit incase of choking so what's the best way to keep her crop emptying? She hasn't been picked on either so for now I'll keep them together. Thanks so much for your replies! And thanks for the welcome, I use the site as a guest but asking questions and getting your guys helpful answers' is so much easier.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
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Apr 3, 2011
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I have treated a number of birds with various reproductive disorders, and I agree that her posture looks like that. The ones I had usually had a crop disorder as a result. They usually went downhill no matter what I tried. Making them vomit is very dangerous, so I do not recommend it. I would try to help her as much as you can, and if she seems to be suffering or being picked on by the others, I would put her down. When I lose a hen, I like to do a necropsy to look inside at the abdominal organs to see if I can identify any problems. Taking pictures of findings can be helpful here if you post pictures. Sorry that she is having problems.
 

Wyorp Rock

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I saw her go twice today, it was runny and a bit white but didn't look too discoloured etc. I forgot to mention she'd gone through a bout of illness a few weeks ago which seemed like sour crop - smelly vomit and lethargic but I released some at the time, then she was better a few days later. As this has been similar, do you think she does have reproductive issues like you say? I've put multiple waters down so she's able to have some in peace (only 8 birds together) but I didn't see her eat or drink all day. I'm not a fan of making her vomit incase of choking so what's the best way to keep her crop emptying? She hasn't been picked on either so for now I'll keep them together. Thanks so much for your replies! And thanks for the welcome, I use the site as a guest but asking questions and getting your guys helpful answers' is so much easier.
No I would not vomit her. I would follow the instructions for treating the crop in this article.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
 

Dazzalad

In the Brooder
Jan 21, 2021
8
2
11
No I would not vomit her. I would follow the instructions for treating the crop in this article.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/

Thanks. I'll have to check in the morning because her crop didn't feel particularly squishy or enlarged, but with the vomiting I assume it could be an onset of sour crop. I'm mainly worried about treating her for the wrong thing, for example will giving the miconazole be bad if she doesn't have sour crop?
(I'm a huge worrier especially about my animals so I really like to know what I'm dealing with first!)
 

Dazzalad

In the Brooder
Jan 21, 2021
8
2
11
I have treated a number of birds with various reproductive disorders, and I agree that her posture looks like that. The ones I had usually had a crop disorder as a result. They usually went downhill no matter what I tried. Making them vomit is very dangerous, so I do not recommend it. I would try to help her as much as you can, and if she seems to be suffering or being picked on by the others, I would put her down. When I lose a hen, I like to do a necropsy to look inside at the abdominal organs to see if I can identify any problems. Taking pictures of findings can be helpful here if you post pictures. Sorry that she is having problems.

Thanks for your reply. I'm assuming you're right but of course I'm desperate to try as much as I can, just want to be treating for the right issues... What were your best methods of keeping the hens with this issue comfortable?
Fortunately she's not picked on at all by the others, but all she did today was stand with her eyes shut and tail down. I'm also a veggie (never eaten meat, prefer animals to humans like I'm sure most people here would agree with 😁 ) so if she goes, she'll be buried with a sapling planted above her. But I can definitely understand people doing this for future diagnosis.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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southern Ohio
I would let the hens do what they felt like doing. Usually they wanted to stay with their flock out in the yard, even if they usually sat or laid down in the yard. I would offer some scrambled egg each day, and most would eat some. I usually tried to get them to eat some chilled chopped coconut oil to help the crop to empty. I have never treated any with crop problems that survived for more than a few weeks.
 

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