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First flock and very lethargic hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jefchix, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. jefchix

    jefchix New Egg

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    I just brought home my first flock, 4 hens that I got from a friend of mine who had to give them away due to a dog issue. I have 1- 1yr old cucka maran and three 17 week old (leghorn, easter-egger, and barred rock). Before bringing them to the new home, the maran was still consistently laying about 4-5 eggs a week.

    Once at the new home we kept entire flock in the coop for three days do get used to their new home. They had constant food and water and all seemed great. On the fourth day the Maran was just waiting for me to open the door to far so she could jump out, so we let them out and all including the maran went to town scratching and pecking everywhere then all went back into the coop easily for the night. Next day same thing, lots of energy, constant foraging and went back to coop just fine. So far no eggs from the maran but I knew to expect that with the move.

    This morning I went to the coop and the maran was standing at the door as usual but this time I had to coax her out of the coop. This was the first day that their run was finished so I put them in that and the maran just went right under the coop and sat down. I coaxed her out and gave some garden scraps that they had previously enjoyed. She walked a little, pecked a few times and then just stood there. I then took her out to the dirt she loved the previous days and again she pecked a couple of times but then slowly meandered to a tree at the corner of our fence and just sat down. She has eaten very little (a dozen or so pecks) and drank nothing all day today. There is nothing unusual about her poop, her comb and wattle looked fine until the end of the day and is now a little hark and dryer looking at the top of her comb.

    The only thing I could think of was a bound egg and I think I can feel an egg (first flock remember) and have tried a warm bath while massaging the abdomen as well as lubricating the vent with KY as far as I could reach. Again, I felt like I was reaching an egg but it felt like their was tissue between my finger and the egg. I have her inside now to keep her warm tonight due to the baths but don't know what else to try. Is there any tricks to get some water in her at least? Is there any thing else I can try or anything else that may be wrong?

    I also checked for crop impaction and don't feel anything and besides the foraging all food given was the same as previous owner (same bag even) and bedding is pine shavings (Same as prev owner). This is not how I expected my first week of raising chickens would go and am a bit discouraged!
     
  2. ZepChick

    ZepChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please don't be discouraged! Could it possible she is hitting molt? It's about that time of year. Although if you feel an egg, it's probably not molt since they stop laying during molt. I have given fluids via a syringe letting in kind of siphon into her beak. there is probably a better solution than plain water, I think some recommend Gatorade or the like and/or an avian liquid multivitamin.

    You are right to isolate her, just in case she is sick and to protect the rest of your flock. It sounds like there was no need to quarantine them as these are your first birds? Are there any leaves or flowers she could have got to? Hopefully you will get some more advice here, keep posting your questions and I am glad you found BYC.
     
  3. jefchix

    jefchix New Egg

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    Sep 17, 2009
    She died this morning.
     
  4. muell112

    muell112 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Man, I'm sorry about your hen. I'd maybe check your area for plants that are toxic to chickens? Or get a necropsy done so you can figure what happened. How are the others doing?
     
  5. Nif

    Nif Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 16, 2008
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    Darn! I'm so sorry. I would suggest the same as muell112...check for poisonous plants or mushrooms. Also make sure you have no standing water, or any rotting or composting material that they can get to. There's been a lot of threads about poisoning and botulism...I suggest you search them and read them as they are quite informative. Any threehorses posts is reliable info! If you can get a necropsy, it would be a great idea.
     
  6. jefchix

    jefchix New Egg

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    I have a friend that is going to dissect and see if we can verify eggbinding or croup problems. The other three are doing great still, showing no signs of any changes besides challenging each other for pecking order. They have all foraged in the same areas and I rarely saw this hen eat anything besides bugs she scratched up and the garden scraps that I gave which all of them ate. I will look into the possibility of poisonous plants anyways but I will be surprised if it isn't eggbinding, she just seemed to fit the symptoms really well. Although it went so fast I could be wrong.
     
  7. Nif

    Nif Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep us posted on the at home necropsy. My brother did his own once and discovered his rooster had a tear in his heart.
    Good luck!
     
  8. ZepChick

    ZepChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jefchix I am so sorry you lost your hen! I hope you guys can figure out what was wrong with her. Also, when I was inquiring for a chicken necropsy, my state veterinarian office has a fund that pays for it, shipping and all. I think it's because they have a veterinary school, and it was for small flock owners only. Your state may have the same resource, but I hope this never happens again. I have lost a hen before for no apparent reason and it was terrible. Don't give up, chickens are fun and I think they are worth the 'troubles' that may happen occasionally ~ Kim
     
  9. ZepChick

    ZepChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    double post
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009

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