Hen is limping and listless - possible internal laying?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Curlita, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. Curlita

    Curlita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2008
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    My hen Daisy is not looking well, and I'm concerned. It started with a limp, and I figured I'd give it a day or two to resolve before I started really worrying, but she's not looking very perky. It mostly seems like a mobility issue. The other odd thing (to me) is that she has always been my best layer and she hasn't started laying again this spring (all of my others have). The other chickens have started ignoring her, which also worries me.

    1) What type of bird , age and weight: Black sex-link, three years old, not sure of weight, probably 6 lbs?
    2) What is the behavior, exactly: she's favoring one leg really noticeably and is having trouble moving around; she's also sleeping in the nesting box instead of on a roost at night. Her bum was also a mess, probably from sleeping in the nest box. My son and I gave her a warm bath on Sunday to clean her up.
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? About five days
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? No
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. I can't find any signs of trauma. My son and I gave her a warm bath on Sunday, and she didn't seem to have any tender spots.
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. No idea.
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. She has chicken feed and water available; I'm not sure if she's been eating it, but we've been hand-feeding her worms and corn. She's still free-ranging, although she's not covering much ground.
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Runny, but otherwise normal.
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Warm bath
    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? I'd like to treat her entirely myself.
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. No visible injury
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use. Straw, cleaned daily

    Thanks for any help you can offer!
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  2. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She may have hurt her leg. If she did, it will take a long time to heal. My hen hurt her leg real bad jumping off the roost. Limping real bad and holding her wing out for balance, when she did try to walk. She lost weight also. It wasn't broken, just a bad pulled muscle. I separated her to a medium sized dog crate in her own run. I did not let her out to roam around for about a month. She could only stand to eat and drink and turn around. All this time, she could see her buddies. After a month, she seemed a little better, but still far from normal. During the afternoon, I would let her out to hobble around for about 15 minutes, then put her back. As the weeks went by, I gradually increased the time she could stay out. It took my hen 4-5 mos. to get back to normal. All this happened last spring/summer. Today she's back in with the flock, and doing great. She's gained all her weight back, and is back to laying a little again. She's an old hen, so she doesn't lay like she used to.

    Hope this helps some.
     
  3. Curlita

    Curlita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the post, OR. I'm not convinced that it's just her leg,

    I went out and gave her a more thorough exam, and I think she might be eggbound. Her abdomen feels swollen, and I think that might be why her bum is so messy. I gave her another warm bath and massaged her abdomen, but I can't feel anything hard that would suggest an egg. Internal laying, maybe? She liked the bath, and the blow-dry afterwards (she looked cold... and I'm a sucker).
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Curlita

    Curlita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    She's gone... she went downhill this afternoon, and when I went out to check on her, she was dead. I'm very sad, but I'm glad that she didn't linger. I was trying to decide if I had the guts to go buy a hatchet to euthanize her.
     
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry you lost her... [​IMG] Any chance you could open her up and see if anything looks unusual for future reference?
     
  6. Tokajein

    Tokajein Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry for your loss [​IMG]
    Maybe you can examine her body more thoroughly now so you can tell what the exact cause of death was
     
  7. Curlita

    Curlita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seattle, WA
    I thought about that, and actually looked around for information online on chicken autopsy (I remember reading on here somewhere that you can send an expired chicken to local extension colleges for autopsy), but by the time she died, I didn't have the heart for it. My son, who is 6 1/2, was my co-chicken farmer and this is the first pet (other than fish) that we've lost. We had a little funeral for her this morning. I just wasn't ready to teach about death AND autopsy in the same day.

    I've realized that I do need to have that information on hand, and to have some plan (and supplies) for chicken euthanasia. I just didn't expect (or was in denial) that we'd lose one of our girls so early (she was 3).
     
  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    [​IMG] Sorry 'bout your little hen...
     
  9. nurseronda

    nurseronda Out Of The Brooder

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    How sad. I am worried about one of my girls and so got on to see what kind of wisdom I could extract from more experienced chicken raisers. Thanks for sharing your experience. I sure hope you don't have to deal with this kind of thing again. [​IMG]
     
  10. Curlita

    Curlita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Whoops, double post.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011

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