chickenlady2244

Hatching
Nov 4, 2021
6
0
4
A little backstory: I have a Lavender Orpington hen that was born June 2019. She was vaccinated for Mereks by the hatchery before being shipped. On September 2020 she was attacked by a wild animal and survived bites on her back and neck. With a lot of TLC, she was better and acting normal with time. She got worms (visible in poop) from the bite but was dewormed (with Wazine 17) and has otherwise been fine. Not sure if this is important but this is the only incident that directly affects her.

The problem: In August 2021 we noticed a change in her behavior. It is now November 2021 and she is still alive but wasting away. She still eats (Purina layena crumbles) and drinks but feels skinnier every day. She doesnt run from us anymore, acts lethargic, eats laying down, and has not laid an egg in at least a month. She is starting to lose more feathers randomly. I feel like she isnt getting enough nutrition even with eating and is losing energy. She has trouble walking and lays down all the time. She will slowly walk a few steps and then lay down. She still has a small appetite and walks up to the roost at night with the others. No bullying from the others but shes usually by herself laying down.

This has been going on for months and Im not sure what would cause this very slow death. She is the only chicken with these symptoms. Since then we have tried everything including vitamins, nail trim, epson salt bath, DE, wazine dewormer and nothing has worked. I am out of ideas and feel terrible seeing her in this condition. Please help. She is my favorite chicken, a fighter and wants to live. She survived a brutal attack and I would hate for her to die of something I can fix. Thank you in advance.

Pictures are from August and September 2021
 

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Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
41,708
61,027
1,412
Southern N.C. Mountains
I'm sorry to hear she's not doing well.

Where are you located in the world?

I would check her over for lice/mites, feel her abdomen for bloat/fluid. Make sure her crop is emptying overnight.
The loss of feathers may be due to molting, you can try increasing protein to see if that will help her through this stressful time. Egg, fish, meat or a 20% chick starter are good choices for extra protein.

A slow decline like this I would not dismiss Marek's disease. Even though she's a little older and vaccinated. The vaccine does not prevent infection from the disease, it can help stop the formation of tumors.

Consider using a different de-wormer or have a fecal float to see if worms are an issue. Wazine treats roundworms only.
 

chickenlady2244

Hatching
Nov 4, 2021
6
0
4
I'm sorry to hear she's not doing well.

Where are you located in the world?

I would check her over for lice/mites, feel her abdomen for bloat/fluid. Make sure her crop is emptying overnight.
The loss of feathers may be due to molting, you can try increasing protein to see if that will help her through this stressful time. Egg, fish, meat or a 20% chick starter are good choices for extra protein.

A slow decline like this I would not dismiss Marek's disease. Even though she's a little older and vaccinated. The vaccine does not prevent infection from the disease, it can help stop the formation of tumors.

Consider using a different de-wormer or have a fecal float to see if worms are an issue. Wazine treats roundworms only.
Thank you! We are located in Florida, USA. I haven’t seen any mites or lice on her and she’s the only one with these symptoms. Would a molt cause walking issues and last this long? We have a few hens currently molting and they act fine. When I pick her up her bones are prominent. How would I treat her for Mareks? She doesn’t have the cloudy grey eyes but I haven’t dealt with that disease before. I also have liquid safeguard for goats dewormer that I used in their water last month as a preventative. Does that cover more worms or do you suggest a different one?
 

Eddie12109

Songster
Nov 14, 2020
544
276
148
Hi! I have. I am unsure if she has this but what would be the treatment?
With ascites, you feel the abdomen of the chicken. Feel other chickens to feel how it should feel and then hers. If it it liquidy and feels like a water balloon, it will most likely point to ascites.

with sour or impacted crop, make sure you feel the crop in the morning, if it is empty, it should be working fine, if it is liquidy and has a sour smell coming from the beak, it’s sour crop and if it is impacted it will feel hard and not easy to move around.
 

Eddie12109

Songster
Nov 14, 2020
544
276
148
From the way your hen is sitting in the first picture I would guess ascites since I have one currently who sits like that with it.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
41,708
61,027
1,412
Southern N.C. Mountains
Thank you! We are located in Florida, USA. I haven’t seen any mites or lice on her and she’s the only one with these symptoms. Would a molt cause walking issues and last this long? We have a few hens currently molting and they act fine. When I pick her up her bones are prominent. How would I treat her for Mareks? She doesn’t have the cloudy grey eyes but I haven’t dealt with that disease before. I also have liquid safeguard for goats dewormer that I used in their water last month as a preventative. Does that cover more worms or do you suggest a different one?
Safeguard dosing is by weight - 0.23ml per pound of weight given orally once a day for 5 days in a row.

It settles out of water and you would be depending on birds drinking enough to get a correct dose - most find this is an ineffective way to treat birds.

Molt can cause a bird to feel unwell for a short period of time.

There are 4 forms of Marek's disease - the Ocular Form does affect the eyes and could cause it to turn grey or misshaped. The other forms can affect skin, nerves and internal organs. The only way to really know would be if a bird dies and necropsy/testing is performed. There is no cure for Marek's disease. Supportive care can given which includes pretty much what you are doing - Giving vitamins that include B vitamins, deworming, keeping external parasites under control, etc.

It's very possible that she may have a reproductive disorder that is causing the decline. Cancer, tumors, EYP, etc., can also be very common in laying hens. These conditions can cause the weight loss and slow decline as well.
 

chickens834

Hatching
Nov 5, 2021
1
0
0
Hi I have a hen going through similar problems. she is about 5 or 6 years old and was fine a week ago but has started acting listless. she is eating well but has started losing weight and just standing around with her tail down and head up against her neck. i was hoping one of you could help me.
 

chickenlady2244

Hatching
Nov 4, 2021
6
0
4
Hi I have a hen going through similar problems. she is about 5 or 6 years old and was fine a week ago but has started acting listless. she is eating well but has started losing weight and just standing around with her tail down and head up against her neck. i was hoping one of you could help me.
Hi! My chicken doesnt stand with her tail down and head against her neck. That sounds like egg bound. I first would try soaking her in a warm bath with epson salts for half an hour. Make sure her vent is submerged. This will hopefully help the egg pass.
 

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