Hen going downhill...


9 Years
Dec 12, 2012
I think I've posted about this hen before...about a year ago, I noticed that one of our Orpington hens wasn't able to climb down the ramp from the coop in the morning. I just figured she'd had a bad experience, because nothing seemed to be wrong with her. Over the course of the summer, she progressed to not being able to jump the board into the yard...still eating and drinking normally, poop looking good, acting normally. Starting this last fall, she began to lose weight, even though she was eating and drinking normally. No swelling or lumps anywhere, no obvious signs of sickness. She has been in the house all winter, slowly losing the ability to walk or get up again after she falls over. Very, very skinny, even though she eats like a horse. I have wormed her (fenbendazole, Zymecterin Gold, Ivermectin, all given on schedule with follow-up), treated her for cocci, and dusted for mites (all over the course of the last year). I have added vitamins and electrolytes to her diet for a year, changed feeds, and added/eliminated other suppliments. The only things out of the ordinary I've noticed have been 1.) she had loose, watery, yellow stools for several months until I started adding oxytetracycline to her water. Once I stopped the oxy, the symptoms returned until I started again and 2.) she makes a weird clicking, snapping sound with her beak while she eats. She also stands with her legs very close together, almost standing with one foot on top of the other. No obvious signs of trauma to her legs or feet, no swelling or discoloration, not curling her toes. All other chickens in the coop are completely disease-free and healthy. The vet is completely stumped. Just wondering if anybody has ever heard of this before---she doesn't appear to be in any discomfort. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Follow up---the hen started really going south, not standing up, not eating very much. I decided to give worming another shot, and gave her a large-ish pea sized glob of the Z Gold two days ago. Today, she's standing on her own and eating like her old self again. I would really like to be more aggressive (VERY aggressive) this time around with the worming...last time, I gave her a follow-up dose of the Z Gold 10 days after the first one, but I'm wondering if I should use another wormer (like Panacur) in between the doses. Probably over-kill, but I'd really like to save this one. Thanks for any information!

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