Hen is lethargic, sleepy and not laying

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ColeysCoop, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. ColeysCoop

    ColeysCoop New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2014
    I have a flock of eight 2 year old hens who have not laid any eggs since August. I assumed they were molting as some of them lost a lot of feathers and Fall was the time of year they do this. This is their first molt. It is now January and I still have no eggs but this morning when I let them out to forage, I noticed one of my barred rocks (Laverne) was sitting in a corner all by herself. She slowly walked out with her feathers all puffed out and her neck and tail pushed in. She had loose stool on the feathers around her bum. She did not move much just sat. Even though my flock is not laying I thought she may be egg bound and put her in some warm water to help her. She just sat there with her eyes closed and seemed to become more lethargic. Right now she is inside wrapped in towels til her feathers dry. My other hens are normal and appear healthy. Any ideas on what could be wrong with her and is it normal for hens to molt for this long or stop laying completely in winter?
    I appreciate any advice.
    Thank you
    Nicole
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. It is normal for egg laying to slow way down in winter when the days are shorter. Chickens need about 12 hours of natural or artificial light minumum to continue laying in winter. Your hen is obviously sick with her actions. She may be egg bound as you thought, or there could be coccidiosis, worms, a crop impaction, or a mite infestation present. You can insert a lubricated finger into the vent to feel for an egg or other problem such as a tumor. Use the other hand to feel of her abdomen. Feel her crop, turn her over to inspect the skin for mites. If you think she has coccidiosis (lethargy, poor appetite, diarrhea, fluffing up, pale color,) then I would treat her with Corid (amprollium) for 5 days. Worming with SafeGuard or Valbazen may also be helpful if she has not been wormed, but I would wait until he is finished with Corid.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Most 2 year old hens should have built up immunity to coccidia on their property unless a new strain have been brought in by a new flock member, the hens have moved to a new home, or it could have been tracked in on shoes or tires. Another thought is that she may have egg yolk peritonitis. Here is a link to read: http://www.avianweb.com/eggyolkperitonitis.html
     
  5. ColeysCoop

    ColeysCoop New Egg

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    Thank you. I did not find any mites on her and I felt around her vent which seemed soft and looked pretty good. She does have new symptoms. As I was inspecting her and holding her, she seemed limp. I put her on the floor and she could not stand as if she was paralyzed. Her wings are spread out and she doesn't hold her head up well. Her eyes are wide though and her comb is red. Do you think I should treat her for cocci and worms anyway? I will check out the websites you provided.
    Thanks again
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Could she has been poisoned? Any rat poison around? Has she had a Mareks vaccine? Mareks can cause weakness or paralysis in the legs, using the wings to hold themselves up, plus many other symptoms. Another disease, botulism, that comes from eating something that has been in an airless environment, such as rotting fish, vegetation, maggots, mud, or an animal carcass that they have found in their ranging area. It starts with weakness in the legs, then progresses upward to wings, neck, and then the head. They can have trouble holding the head up. Here is some more reading:
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/19/botulism
    http://www.avianweb.com/botulism.html
    http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
    http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/search/disease/502
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  7. ColeysCoop

    ColeysCoop New Egg

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    I also wanted to say her crop is empty and her stomach did feel puffy. She also has not pooped since this morning.
     
  8. ColeysCoop

    ColeysCoop New Egg

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    She just passed away. My hens have not been vaccinated. I just used a medicated mix in their water when they were chicks. I usually give them the fiber left over from juicing. But I dont think it was rotten. I dont have any poisons around. My daughter just said today that she saw them drinking from a puddle of water in a plastic sled near their coop. It was filled with leaves and the water was brown. I dumped it out as well as anything else that had pools of water. Their run is muddy because of the melting snow also. I also noticed that she passed a watery white and yellow diarrhea type substance either before or after she died. I dont know if this is normal when an animal passes. Should I treat the rest of my flock with something? Are there any precautions I should take?

    Thanks for your help.
     

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