Greyish comb, quiet, dirty vent

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by vick01, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. vick01

    vick01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 5, 2014
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    I have a Lohmann Brown who is over 2 years old. She stopped laying over winter, and started molting. I thought she'd come good now that the weather is warming up (I'm in a Sydney Spring), but she's now looking worse. About 2 weeks ago, her comb flopped, and I found out she was being bullied by the Australorp (which now seems to have eased). She's also rooming in with 6 juvenile Lohmanns. Her vent is dirty also.

    I will try the yoghurt and worming the flock, and also the high protein food. Is there anything else I should do? Is she now past laying age? I read somewhere that Lohmann's only lay for about 2 years. Is this true?
    Is it time to send her out to pasture?
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2014
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Most Lohmann's kept on normal layer diets will indeed be useless past 2 years old, but to me it sounds like she's very sick. Grey should never, ever be a skin color you see in a chook of that kind of pigmentation, no matter whether she's moulting, brooding, or whatever. The dirty vent confirms it, she's unwell.

    Personally I would put her onto a purge diet including freshly minced raw garlic every day for a week, as much fresh greenery as she'll eat, cold pressed olive oil, etc... But I don't know all the particulars of this case, so it's of course possible that she needs serious intervention rather than a tonic cleanse or whatever.

    When was she last wormed, and are you sure it's gotten all of them? If you've used the same wormer for years in a row there is a strong chance the worms are effectively immune to it. Even if you see no worms in her poop, this means nothing, many species have eggs that are invisible to the naked eye and they do not leave the body themselves.

    She may have capillary worms too, worth noting, because her symptoms sound like her cardiovascular system is extremely weak. As in, failing, kind of weak, not just poor circulation kind of weak.

    Layer and meat breeds, the commercial ones anyway, are rather notorious for heart and liver problems, and their diets actively cause them too. (They're the exact same diets you use to induce heart and liver damage in all species --- all cooked oils, fats, proteins, nothing raw, cheap and synthetic nutrients, etc. Raw oils etc are not something you can just permanently opt out of feeding, it's fatal to do so, but unfortunately most people don't know this, and it can and usually does take years to kill, and when it does the deaths are often diagnosed as being caused by something else, or the terminology used to describe the disease of deficiency is so seemingly abstract that the person doesn't realize that it is in fact a disease caused by diet alone).

    She may well have had a heart attack, or may have heart cancer, it's common enough, and she sounds like a very likely case of it. Cold pressed olive oil will help a lot with restoring vascular flexibility, which of course will help her heart, so will the garlic --- the effects of natural sulfur compounds (such as those found in garlic) on the body are amazing, absolutely vital to life. Cayenne pepper in her diet, i.e. on wholemeal bread with olive oil, will also give her a serious boost, get her circulation flowing and re-oxygenating her anaerobic extremities; the anti-inflammatory properties of all three of those, the garlic, olive oil and cayenne, are all a powerful combination for treating even seriously advanced heart disease or very damaged hearts post- cardiac infarction/s. Don't worry about overdoing it, worry about underdoing it with those, really.

    Although, depending on what's wrong with her (e.g. an ulcerated stomach would be a case that's 'counter-indicative' for hot foods), this may not be totally harmless advice; I can't offer you a guarantee there because I don't know for sure what's wrong with her, but if you offer the food and she tastes some, then opts out and won't eat any, there's a chance she has something wrong with her gut, such as an ulcer. Either way, her grey comb indicates something is also wrong with her heart, so whatever else may be wrong, she definitely desperately needs treating or she likely won't survive.

    The super-economical layer diets are too low in nutrients to sustain long term life, so supplementation or switching to a higher value diet will help her a lot, though much of the damage will already be done, sorry. She needs a better diet to rebuild; breeder diets are usually better, but, of course, more expensive. It's up to you. It can be hard or impossible to provide total health to chooks on a layer pellet based diet, even when you're supplementing heavily. It's like trying to build a decent diet around a daily MacDonald's habit.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. vick01

    vick01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 5, 2014
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    Thank you so much for this information. I had no idea. I'll do my best to take it all in.

    I have several more chickens, so I also need to make the changes for their future as well.
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    You're most welcome, I hope you find a better solution. Many people who get their own chooks with kind thoughts of giving them a better life, and hoping for healthier eggs/meat in return, have no idea how negatively biased the situation with some breeds and feeds really is; it's very disappointing for many when their hens hit the inevitable wall that's been genetically programmed into them, and die prematurely aged and burned out just as they're hitting what is supposed to be the beginning of their adult prime --- around 2 years old and over is actually the beginning of their true adulthood.

    Giving these commercial breeds better lives is not as simple as taking the high production layer or meat bird out of the cage, the cage is bred into them in more ways than one.

    It's not really a problem you can fix in any one chicken's lifetime, either; my personal solution is to not support that industry by not buying those breeds. They are very economical but it's at the expense of true health, unfortunately, which doesn't work with my humane and ethical ideals, as optimistic as they may be sometimes.

    Best wishes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
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