Help! Mysterious chicken illness!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pattycake, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. pattycake

    pattycake Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    I've had chickens for a couple of years and have had very little illness or trouble of any kind until now. Earlier this summer I noticed one of my Jersey Giant hens (2 years old) seemed to be losing her usual chickeny enthusiasm: Instead of running after the sunflower seeds I tossed the flock, she would just stand around or else wander off in another direction. Then after a bit, she had a very messy butt and clearly wasn't laying.

    Slowly she spent more time standing away from the flock with her tail down. I separated her and fed her scrambled eggs, and pretty soon she seemed to rally, and I let her rejoin her friends. Within a week or so I noticed she was getting worse but I was in denial about it. Pretty soon she was nesting on the floor of the henhouse and the other hens began to pick on her, and it got so bad I had to cull her.

    I chalked it all up to being egg-bound, or perhaps an internal layer (incidentally, she had always laid weird, long thin eggs.)

    But now, a month after the culling trauma, another hen -- a 1 and a half year old easter egger -- is showing the same lack of enthusiam, and not running after food. She seems to be eating a little, drinking, but she let me pick her up the other day and that is VERY out of character. I'm pretty sure she's not laying, but her butt is clean and not messy at all. No other symptoms. She goes out and freeranges with everyone, but I bet that'll end.

    Do you think it's just another egg problem, or is there a very slow-spreading disease in the flock?
  2. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    Gosh, I hope it's an isolated thing. Speckledhen was having similar problems with some of her batch of hens that she got at the same time and they are having problems with internal egg issues. Check out some of her threads on that topic and hopefully you'll see something that might help you out.

    Hopefully, it's just a freak thing and they'll be OK. I wish you luck anyway. Is there stress involved in your flock? I find that when the hierarchy is disrupted, one of my hens has major issues with egg laying, with soft shells, and eating eggs.....of all things, and she is an older hen, but when things calm down, she's ok. after awhile [​IMG]

    Hope it works out for you.

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