Hen is droopy, just not herself

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by calicokat, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. calicokat

    calicokat Songster

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    This certainly doesn't qualify as and "emergency" but I wanted to get input from you wise BYC folks on it.

    My oldest gal, Marigold, just isn't her usual self lately. She keeps away from the flock, free ranging on her own. She stopped laying a month or so ago - and the color is gone from her legs. But her comb is lying over and losing color too. Her tail feathers seem not as long, the just look kinda rough and all her feathers feel sort of dry and bristly.

    What really got my attention though is, I picked her up yesterday and she's lost weight. I felt her abdomen and she's not egg-bound, she's still eating and pooping - though I'd like to see her poop so I can get a good look at it (Gee, never thought I'd see the day that I went LOOKING for poop to examine!)

    I'm not sure of her age, she was a hand-me-down hen that got my flock started last year in May. She's never molted since we got her, and only stopped laying over the winter (I didn't put a light on them). I would guess that she was 2 years old when we got her, so maybe 3 now. She's a production chicken, likely a Golden Comet.

    I fed her a scrambled egg yesterday, and she ate most of it. I just can't figure out why the sudden change in behavior and the weight loss. Any ideas?
  2. MotherJean

    MotherJean Songster

    Worms? Possibly tapeworm, which is fairly common in free range birds. Internal parasites suck the life out of your chickens, cause anemia, and secondary bacterial infections. First signs are a general depression in both behavior and appearance. Weight loss is expected. If you've never wormed this bird, I would start with Wazine (piperazine) to take care of the roundworms first, then follow up with a broad spectrum wormer like Ivermectin. If you'd rather not treat without proof of a worm problem, confine the bird so you can collect a stool sample. Take that to the Vet for microscopic exam and diagnosis. BTW, you might consider worming all your adult birds. Generally, when one is infected, all are infected.
  3. Did you see any mites on her? Sometimes that will make them lethargic, too...check under her wings & around her vent for them...

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