Has anyone had a hen with these symtoms?

VJK

In the Brooder
May 11, 2019
31
40
49
Minnesota
Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with a hen whose comb and wattles have shrunk and become pale? One of my leghorns, Belle, (about 3 years old) starting displaying these symptoms last summer. At first I thought it was just from stress of having 2 hens join the flock. The vet said her fecal sample showed no signs of worms, coccidiosis, or anything else concerning; and overall she appeared healthy except for being thin. None of the other 6 hens she is with have these issues. No mites or lice either. She acts like she wants to be with the other hens though hides because she gets picked on now (so most of the day I have her in a "hospital room" in the coop where she can see the others). She also acts eager to eat but then tires quickly and takes lots of naps. For awhile she didn't have an appetite and I had to syringe feed her a nutrient rich formula as per vet's instructions, but she has improved. I give her Nutridrench a few times a week. Vet said possibly ovarian cancer or something internal that she didn't detect.... but because she's hanging in there I hoped someone might have experienced something like this and have an answer or suggestion? The picture shows Belle with a sister so you can compare how she's supposed to look. Her beak looks messy in the picture because she just ate some mash. Thanks!
 

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chrissynemetz

Psalm 91 ❤
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6 Years
Dec 19, 2013
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How long has it been since she laid an egg? It's very possible she could have some kind of reproductive issue.
What do you feed them?
Poor girl definitely looks like she doesn't feel good. 😟
 

Tazbeaux

Songster
6 Years
Feb 23, 2014
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Is she eating? Does her Brest feel meatless and bony? I had some that just stopped eating and I didn't notice until they were noticeably weak and didn't perch in the evening. I managed to get some of them eating again with irresistible treats such as scrambled egg, watermelon, cantaloupe, meal worms or scratch. Anything that they will eat will help. Make sure the food is in smaller pieces. Anyway, it looks like you have a very sick girl on your hands, hope this helps.
 

Eggcessive

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8 Years
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Apr 3, 2011
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She could have a reproductive disorder, cancer, organ failure, or have something else going on which may not be known. I would try to rule out a mite infestion by looking closely at her skin for any tiny mites crawling and any dark specks. Also let us know how her crop feels in her right chest, and describe if it is empty, full, hard, doughy, and puffy. Crop disorders may cause them to not get food. Has she lost weight recently? If you should lose her, I would send her body to your state poultry vet in St. Paul for a necropsy. If that is not possible, you can do a brief necropsy at home and take pictures of the abdominal organs to post here of your findings. Some problems may be spotted. Here is a list of state vets for you to contact for info:
 

VJK

In the Brooder
May 11, 2019
31
40
49
Minnesota
Have you had leghorns for long? They are a high production breed.
My brother-in-law rescued them from a very neglected situation where the owner also wanted to get rid of them- and then gave them to me. First time chicken owner here! He said they were hatched in spring of 2017 and I got them in the winter of 2017. The rest of the leghorn flock of 5 are all healthy.
 

VJK

In the Brooder
May 11, 2019
31
40
49
Minnesota
How long has it been since she laid an egg? It's very possible she could have some kind of reproductive issue.
What do you feed them?
Poor girl definitely looks like she doesn't feel good. 😟
It's been about 9 months since she's laid an egg. The vet wondered about cancer, adding that's there are a lot of reproductive issues and cancer with these breeds. She is fed organic crumbles and Scratch and Peck layer feed (we added the crumbles because the new chicks we added last year were used to them so now we offer both types of food). They also get meal worms, black oil sunflower seeds, and leafy lettuce as treats (and occasional variety of vegetables). She's been hanging on like this for so many months. I want to help but don't know what else to do- and she still appears to want to have moments of activity.
 

VJK

In the Brooder
May 11, 2019
31
40
49
Minnesota
Is she eating? Does her Brest feel meatless and bony? I had some that just stopped eating and I didn't notice until they were noticeably weak and didn't perch in the evening. I managed to get some of them eating again with irresistible treats such as scrambled egg, watermelon, cantaloupe, meal worms or scratch. Anything that they will eat will help. Make sure the food is in smaller pieces. Anyway, it looks like you have a very sick girl on your hands, hope this helps.
Thank you. I have been giving her as much as she'll eat (and yes, though I know she needs the vitamins from her feed- I give her extra treats, much to the complaints of the other hens peeking into her cage). I know all leghorns feel bonier but she is more so and much lighter than her sisters. She will eat and seems excited when I give her something new (and her poop is no longer small and green- indicating not eating, but still is loose) but it doesn't look like she is eating a lot.
 
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