Hen acting off. purple comb and extremely thirsty?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Debs55, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Debs55

    Debs55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    When I went down to check on my hens today one of my production reds (well that is what I assume she is) looked like she didn't feel good. Her comb was slightly purple and looked sunken compared to the other hens. She was also moving very slowly. I threw scratch and BOSS down like always and she ate a little but not as vigorously as the other hens. I went to school and came back and she was still very tired looking so I picked her up (she didn't even try to run away which is very unusual) and bought her in. She had a dirty butt so I gave her a bath and while I was bathing her she was frantically drinking the bath water like she was dehydrated. After the bath her comb looked much better! Since then I have put her in a dog kennel inside with a lamp over her so she can be warm while she dries. Ive given her water with sav a chick and probiotic in it (thought it would help with the dirty butt) and gave her some flock raiser (I thought the extra protein would be good for her). I checked for mites and she has none, but she does feel kind of skinny. I'm about to give her a scrambled egg and will probably give her some plain yogurt later tonight. I've read that this could be a heart problem, but I just want to give her the best chance possible. Any suggestions?
  2. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Hi there! A purple comb usually means heart or lung problems, as her system is struggling to get blood circulated with enough oxygen. The comb and sometimes wattles are the first areas to show this, often times.
    Lung problems include respiratory distress from: Disease (there are many respiratory diseases of chickens, some are pretty serious), gapeworm, ascites (fluid building up in her abdomen and pressing on her lungs), tumors from cancer or disease in or near her lungs, egg yolk peritonitis (if the buildup is bad enough it can also press on her lungs and organs).
    Heart problems include: Tumors on the heart from cancer or disease (Marek's, Lymphoid Leukosis, etc), poor genetics leading to poor heart health, etc.

    So, there are a lot of reasons it can happen! Can you observe her carefully and take note of any other symptoms? Listen to her breathing very carefully, check around her eyes and nose for any discharge.
    Do you notice that she seems lame or overly uncoordinated?
    Can you feel her crop, and see if it seems overly hard and full?
    Has she been wormed lately?

    How old is she, and have any of the other chickens been sick or acted out of the ordinary in the last few months? Have you brought any new chickens in at all in the last 6 months or so?

    Sorry for all the questions. Sometimes figuring out chicken problems is like solving a mystery!
  3. Debs55

    Debs55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    she's 2 years old. I have gotten chicks but they aren't kept anywhere near each other. I had another hen get sick today actually but unrelated symptoms. I'm treating the other hen for coccidia and will treat the others if they show signs. Her poop looks good, she is eating and drinking. I have never wormed my chickens because I have never had a problem with worms. however, I did have a coccidia outbreak last year too. oh and her breathing sounds fine. She did have stuff around her nostrils but I'm 90% sure it was dirt

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