Hen acting strange sitting down often

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LilyLovesBugs, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. LilyLovesBugs

    LilyLovesBugs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2011
    The last few days one of my hens has been acting a little sluggish lately. She often will sit down on the ground for awhile. I have observed her and she is eating plenty, drinking, laying, her poop looks normal, she even preens herself often. She doesn't have anything that I can see (no mites)
    Does anyone know if she is getting something serious, or if I'm just being a worry-wart?

  2. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2012
    Hurricane, WV
    Yes, you are being a worry-wart, for whom your chickens should hold enough appreciation as to not poop upon every chance they get (not a true measure, as they surely will ~'-)

    I'd much rather see the good benefit of early detection/intervention, as you're doin' right now.

    I haven't the benefit of closely inspecting, but even folks w/ the sharpest vision can't see some of the mites that can infest flocks. External parasites is one of those things that can be expected, and should be treated for in some manner, just as is the case w/ internal parasites.

    Any changes in their normal behaviors is cause for some concern, but the list of possible causes is ridiculously long w/o additional symptoms to base your diagnosis upon. There are links w/in the signature of my post that will each open in a new window ... starting w/ the diagnosing based upon symptoms is a good one to become very familiar with, as it helps to train ourselves in what to look for; it will also name each item, and shorten that list down a bit.

    Also, becoming familiar w/ what's on the inside is most helpful, and here's a great way to do it -- >>peck here<< to open an introduction to an excellent online presentation of slides on the anatomy of the chicken in a new window.

    It'd be good to know if she's recently laid an egg, or if her pattern for same has changed. To become egg bound is a serious emergency, and common enough that you'll most probably have to deal w/ it eventually, even if not immediately -- >>peck here<< to open an excellent page in a new window by 'the chicken chick' that covers egg binding extremely well.

    There are some that immediately treat any bird that appears to be ill for internal parasites, and many that believe it to be too hard upon any sick bird. I've found that it depends upon which anthelmintic is chosen, and that checking their droppings first is a good place to start. Fenbendazole has been proven effective against many helminths and safe to 100 times the suggested dosage for poultry, and Amprolium is not an antibiotic but instead an thiamine analog to which coccidia are 50 times more sensitive than the chicken.

    What you can do immediately, and should, is give your entire flock an astringent solution of four teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar per gallon of water (but never in galvanized water containers), which can absolutely do no bird any harm. The tannin in the ACV reduces the viscosity of mucus, helping them to more easily expel it, and sorta 'cuts through' any coatings w/in the birds, which improves the uptake of nutrients/vitamins, and any medication(s), and further boosts their immune systems. This can be very effective in the treatment of respiratory illnesses, or in the event of exposure to the toxins produced by botulism, or algae or yellow jasmine poisoning, or drug toxicity, etc., and at the target pH of 5~6? It also creates a hostile environment for internal parasites. I simply love this stuff, and it's literally cheaper than good dirt.

    With all that said, you should be entirely too busy reading for worryin' yourself to death ~'-)

    You're welcome!
    Bek and kl272892 like this.
  3. LilyLovesBugs

    LilyLovesBugs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2011
    Ok, thank you so so much! I will start looking into the links, I have used a little ACV in their water but not enough. I am also going to start looking into possible deworming. Thank you so much for your help!!! [​IMG]
  4. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2012
    Hurricane, WV
    I'd consider the fenbendazole for their first round, as it's about as mild as they come ... and, for safety, hit all the birds w/ the acv (but, again, not in galvanized metal containers ~'-)
  5. LilyLovesBugs

    LilyLovesBugs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2011
  6. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2012
    Hurricane, WV
    You're welcome ... figured I'd spare you some research, in regard to internal parasites:


    Table of Common Helminths from the Merck Vet Manual

    Again? Fenbendazole is exceptionally mild on birds, but there are only choices, some more effective against certain types of worms than others, and some that have greater potential to be less effective due to the worms developing resistance to them. Click below to show more details on your options:

    1. Tramisol[​IMG] (Active ingredient: Levamisole hydrochloride) - Schering Plough.
    Soluble Drench Powder approved in sheep, cattle, and pigs. Withdrawal for cattle is 48 hrs
    pre-slaughter, 72 hrs pre-slaughter for sheep and 72 hrs for pigs. Levamisole will not settle out in
    medication lines. Chicken and turkey dose is 16 mg active levamisole per pound of body weight
    delivered by proportioner over 3-4 hours as a bolus for capillaria and cecal worms in pullets and
    hens. There is no effect on hatch, egg production, feed conversion, or body weight when used at 8
    and 16 mg/pound of body weight dose. However, in the chicken, at 36 mg/pound, water intake is
    reduced, at 288 mg/pound, diarrhea occurs, and at 900 mg/pound, 20% mortality occurred. Egg
    residue clearance time is not known. For roundworms in broilers/pullets, the dose is 8 mg of active
    levamisole per pound of body weight. This is given as a bolus over 3-4 hours. Tissue withdrawal
    times and egg withdrawal times must be extrapolated and extended for safety based on data from
    approved food animal clearances (3,4,5,6,7,8).
    2. Valbazen[​IMG] Oral Suspension (Active ingredient: Albendazole) - Pfizer Animal Health
    Albendazole has been reported to be effective in the treatment of capillaria, ascaridia, heterakis, and
    tape worms in chickens. It has been labeled only for cattle and sheep. There is no poultry data
    available. Settling in drinker lines has not been reported as has been seen with other anthelmentics in
    this class. Cattle require a 7 day withdrawal and sheep require a 7 day withdrawal pre-slaughter.
    There is no available data on tissue or egg clearance time in poultry. There have been no reported
    negative effects on the performance of broilers, pullets and hens. Valbazen is supplied in 500 ml,
    1 liter, and 5 liter bottles of an 11.36% suspension. In chickens, the reported dose is 10 mg/kg of body
    weight (personal communication).
    The cattle dose is 1 liter of Valbazen 11.36% Suspension per 500 lb as an oral bolus via dosing gun
    or dose syringe. (4.54 mg albendazole/lb, 10 mg/kg). Sheep dose is 1 liter of Valbazen 11.36%
    Suspension per 664 animals weighing 50 lbs each (3.4 albendazole/lb, 7.5 mg/kg).
    3. Synanthic[​IMG] Bovine Dewormer Suspension, (Active ingredient, 22.5%: Oxfendazole) -
    Fort Dodge Animal Health
    Synanthic is reported to be effective for capillaria, ascarids, and heterakis. Synanthic does have
    activity against cattle tape worms, however, there is no data whether it will work against poultry
    There is 225 mg oxfendazole per ml and it is supplied in a 500 ml bottle for cattle. The
    withdrawal time is 7 days for cattle. There is no tissue-clearance data available for poultry, nor any
    data available on side-effects in poultry. The cattle dose is 2.05 mg/pound of body weight
    (4.5 mg/kg B.W.). There is also a 9.06% suspension available in a 1 liter bottle (90.6 mg/ml of
    oxfendazole). Settling out in water lines without agitation can be a problem (personal
    4. Safe-guard (Active ingredient: 10% suspension, Fenbendazole) - Beef and dairy cattle,
    oral parasiticide - Hoechst-Roussel
    Effective against capillaria, round, and cecal worms in chickens (not approved in chickens). It is
    approved for turkeys as a feed additive, 20% premix type A and B, 16ppm (14.6 gm/ton complete
    feed for 6 consecutive days) for control of adult and larvae round worms and cecal worms.
    The cattle dose is 2.3 mg/pound BW (5 mg/kg BW) as an oral bolus. Beef cattle withdrawal is
    8 days following the last treatment. For dairy cattle, there is no milk withdrawal time. Safe-guard
    is supplied in 1 liter and 1 gallon bottles. There may be a problem with settling out in drinker lines
    without agitation (personal experience).
    5. Ivermectin (1% injectable for cattle)
    Since Ivermectin went off-patent, there are several manufacturers producing it. Ivermectin has been
    used orally via extra-label scripts to treat Northern Fowl Mite and capillaria infestations. Only mites
    that are on the birds are killed. The 1% injectable cattle formulation has been used as follows
    (personal communication):
    • 1 ml of 1% Ivermectin injectible + 1 ml. propylene glycol + 2 gal H2O, proportion at 1
    oz./gal D.W.
    • Administer 2 times, 10-14 days apart. There is a 30 day withdrawal (destroy commercial
    eggs for 30 days post-therapy.)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by