EE hen losing neck and belly feathers, seemed broody, but now just sick - please help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lambie333, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. lambie333

    lambie333 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2013
    I have an ee hen, Banilla, that successful hatched a chick over the summer. I thought she was going broody again (puffed up, sitting in a box all day, pecking at me when I would try to move her), and I thought she was nuts, because it's January and we are in Wisconsin. When I got a closer look I noticed she was loosing neck feathers, just on one side. They have already been through their molt, or so I thought. I checked her rear for lice and didn't find anything, but did notice she is missing lots of feathers on her belly/breast. She is acting strange - she will sit in a box as if brooding, but no longer pecks at me when I go at her. Sometimes she just looks puffed up but is on the roost. She cocks her head a lot, as if (were she human) confused. I saw her eat and drink today. I do not think any of her mates are pecking her, she just seems thin, raggedy and ill. Also, she must have broken an egg and has some yolk stuck to her belly - she is known to steal eggs from her mates and put them under her, and occasionally the eggs don't make it. All of the other 7 hens and 1 rooster we have are healthy. I am in Western Wisconsin where it has been horribly cold (well below zero for our daytime highs) but we are coming out of it now finally. Any thoughts or advice greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you wormed your flock, and if so, with what? Is she laying? There are so many things that could be wrong; worms is just one that we can address. She could be eggbound or even (I hope not) an internal layer. Have you checked inside for an egg? Is her crop empty first thing in the morning? Any discharge or "mess" by her vent?
     
  3. lambie333

    lambie333 Out Of The Brooder

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    Her crop seems empty, and I checked her vent and it seems normal, other than that lots of feathers are missing and its matted and yucky, unlike her healthy sister that I am comparing her too. (This was my first time checking a vent internally, so I hope I did ok) She does have what looks like caked on egg yolk on her belly feathers. Looking at internal layers thread - they sometimes have poo that looks like egg yolk? Thought I should bring her in and try to bathe her and maybe go the vinegar water enema route, but I saw other posts that said not to bathe a sick chicken? Any other suggestions so greatly appreciated.

    I haven't wormed - I didn't know this needed to be done yearly - I have had them just over a year. What do you recommend? Hoping it is not worms, as we finally came out of molt and are happy to be in eggs again. You need to throw them out for a month? Everyone else seems fine, but if I worm her I imagine I need to do them all?

    Normally they free range, but we are in WI and it is currently -11 degrees, so they have been in the coop for a week, with a short foray out yesterday. It is so cold I don't imagine I'd find living worms out there, but who knows, I can look again. ANything specific I should look for?

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Sarevan

    Sarevan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used Valbazen then again 10 days later. They were slowing down laying so tossing the eggs wasn't much of a loss. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-ultimate-medicine-dosing-chart

    Is a large listing of meds, Valbazen is a wide spectrum wormer, the girls didn't have any difficulty with it other then catching them to administer it by syringe in mouth.

    I had a leghorn that was an inter all layer, she had yolk in her poop, soft leathery shells, soft squishy abdomen below her vent, like a water balloon. She ended up getting vent gleet from the internal laying smelled like rotten eggs with a red vent and the yeast in and around her vent. I used acv to clean her bottom and diluted acv to clean her vent out internally, then used micanozole in her vent and outside for the gleet. Her abdomen wasn't swollen, but in a week she died for laying internally. She had several eggs in her abdomen shelless various stages of being solid to soft. She also had a very smelly fluid in her abdomen, the squishy I felt externally. I thought I had caused the death from the vent gleet treatment and gloved inspection of her vent. My necropsy proved otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
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  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    It should not be" matted and yucky" around her vent. That sounds like whatever is coming out of her is at least partly drying on her skin.

    I would bring her indoors and bathe her. She should find this calming and comforting, once she gets used to the idea -- though it's a lot easier to get them to this point if they are accustomed to being handled. I wouldn't try anything like an enema. I would keep her indoors (maybe a spare bathroom or laundry room?) at least for a couple of days -- certainly until she is thoroughly dry. You can dry them with a hair dryer on low but they usually don't like it. This will give you a chance to find out if she is laying, see what her poop looks like, see what if anythig is coming out of her and sticking to her, see whether the dried yolk on her belly is more likely from her breaking an egg or coming from her internally, and see just how much (or whether) she is eating. And so forth. You should be better able to evaluate the situation after a day or two -- not have a diagnosis necessarily, but at least a better idea of how sick she is.

    Worm eggs do live in the soil over winter. I don't think I'd start with worming at this point, though, because usually it is started at a year. Many here do worm annually or more -- but others never do, preferring to breed for tolerance over time, and keep the birds who survive the local parasites. I've had a small flock for only a few years and don't even have a rooster at this point, and (unlikeyou) I live in an area highly prone to worms, so I worm annually.

    For worming (if/when you do it) I would recommend Valbazen or Safeguard. Let me give you some links to some good threads about some of these subjects. Maybe it will save you a little searching!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/639749/timeline-of-internal-laying-update/0_20

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/761090/worms-in-chickens/0_20#post_12282482

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/762242/update-advice-needed-eggbound-prolapsed-hen/0_20

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/796143/is-this-vent-gleet/0_20#post_11482574
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Good post, sarevan.

    I give Valbazen on a scrap of bread -- but you do still have to catch them, just to make sure each one gets only one dose. The easy way around this is go in the coop at night with a friend and a flashlight. They are much calmer -- and with a little luck will wait for you to get to them, especially if there are only a few.

    I will say that some people post that they eat the eggs, anyway. I guess that's OK if you aren't allergic to the medication. Indeed, albendazole (Valbazen is a brand of it) is a drug that is also given to people for pinworms.
     
  7. lambie333

    lambie333 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2013
    thank you both. prepping bath and indoor area for her now. will keep you posted.

    Sarah
     
  8. lambie333

    lambie333 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2013
    She's been bathed and blown dry, and is in a cozy cat carrier. Poo looks normal, and she is eating - feeding her yogurt plus the usual scratch and layer feed in case she is not getting enough calcium. She pecked at me when I tried to pet her tonight, so I am taking that as a good sign. Fingers crossed.
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, [​IMG]

    Let us know.
     
  10. lambie333

    lambie333 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2013
    Ok, so here is the update. She is eating really well. Acting mostly normal. Pooping but not laying. I'm not sure what to do next. Hoping she isn't laying just from the stress of feeling unwell? She is still in a crate in our bathroom. It's warmed up so I'm thinking of returning her to the coop, but I wish she would lay an egg.
     

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