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help me diagnose wasting / weight loss of my buff orpingington hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TheBantamPrevails, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. TheBantamPrevails

    TheBantamPrevails In the Brooder

    Nov 26, 2010
    Hi Folks,

    I have 11 chickens, all 7 months old. Two of the hens are buff orpingtons. One started laying a couple months ago and is a steady layer. She is friendly and plump. The other hasn't started laying yet. Today when I picked her up she was substantially lighter than the other one, which may account for her not laying. The one I am worried about, Big Girl, is a bit shyer than the other one, but she eats and drinks and scratches like usual.

    All the chickens seem well in their attitudes. However:

    1. About a month ago, my bantam partridge cochin had a prolapse and when the vet took an x-ray to check for eggs in her oviduct, she said the hen was suffering from calcium deficiency. And the cochin hen was quite thin.

    2. About 2 weeks ago, I lost a cochin rooster. He fell ill suddenly. I started to treat for coccidiosis, but as his condition deteriorated I doubted my diagnosis. I did not detect his paralysis, but I think at the end he was paralyzed. This suggests botulism to me. Unfortunately I did not have a post-mortem done.

    I feel them all laying crumbles and then I throw a bit of scratch out a few times in the day. They have a secure insulated coop with a lamp for cold nights and a run. Sparrows do come eat the corn from the scratch. They have access to crumbles and water at all times. I use deep litter in the coop. The litter is straw. There are shavings in the nest boxes. I think it is pine.

    Nighttime temperatures are around 20F lately and daytime 30 to 40F. Consistently freezing temperatures are predicted starting in a couple days. They all seem like they are handling the cold fine so far.

    I am thinking parasite, but which one? Is there a broad-spectrum wormer that would get the most likely suspects? Other ideas?

  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    You may have a parasite, but since i'm not an expert on wormers, and i've never used them, i'm going to leave that part to someone else.

    I would suggest that you consider two other possibilities.

    One, if they're not getting enough calcium, like your partridge, she could be having egg problems too, which could cause weight loss when an egg blocks things up in there. O.k., i'm not an expert on this either, so i'm not explaining it right, but i would look into it.

    Second, i would make sure her crop is going down each night. If her crop is slow, or slightly blocked, she might seem to be eating normally but not really getting as much food as she should, and thus wasting away.

    I hope you find the solution for your Big Girl. [​IMG]
  3. TheBantamPrevails

    TheBantamPrevails In the Brooder

    Nov 26, 2010
    Quote:Thanks, I will be doing morning and evening crop checks, and hopefully I will have some more data tomorrow. And I've put out oyster shell, so hopefully that will help resolve the calcium issue for everyone.

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