Hen is not right!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LegginMF12, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. LegginMF12

    LegginMF12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    707
    8
    133
    May 2, 2011
    Yucca Valley
    I have a BO hen that is approx 16-17 weeks old. No visible injuries, vent clean, no fever, checked for pests and is clean. I noticed yesterday that she seemed to be laying down a lot. I went ahead and put her in the coop and noticed her crop was empty. When she was first put in the coop she ate a couple of bites of feed, drank some water and lay down in the corner. If I go into the coop she will get up and walk away from me. This morning when I let everybody out of the coop she stayed in. She has dug a hole under the water bucket and is laying in it. She appears to be unable to get comfortable. She will kinda lean to one side and scratch out more dirt with one leg or the other and will lift her back end into the air for a couple of seconds. I palpated her abdomen and I absolutely swear I can feel an egg shape in there. Is she to young yet to lay? Could she be attempting to lay her first egg and be egg bound? Comb has not changed color but she does keep puffing up her feathers off and on. Any info, thoughts would be welcome. Also she is one of my two smaller hens though not a runt.
     
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    What you describe under the water bucket - sounds like a bird taking a dust bath.


    Do you have an area of sand for the birds to bathe in?


    Dust bathing is the number one way that chickens have to remove lice/mites from their body.


    You might want to give her a good look over for lice - they are very, very tiny and pale colored, generally can be seen around/under the vent area, under wings. They crawl very fast and move away from light quickly. They can, if they get to be a heavy infestation, suck the life right out of a bird.


    If you find any, you can dust her with Sevin 5% dust (I get mine at Lowes in the garden section).



    She is young but could be getting ready to lay also. Her comb will darken and get fat/puffy before she does start to lay. Is she squatting for you? (she generally will not if you have a rooster)
     
  3. LegginMF12

    LegginMF12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    707
    8
    133
    May 2, 2011
    Yucca Valley
    I do have roosters. I spent a good 15 minutes checking for lice and other parasites. I have had chickens when I was younger, this is not dust bath behavior. When I open the coop in the mornings everybody bolts outside. she just watched everybody leave and didn't move. I am going to keep her in the coop today. The good news is her crop is now full, so she is eating today. I will also get sevin and dust everybody today just in case. Can you do a digital exam on a chicken. I am a nurse so would of course do aseptic precautions. At times it almost appears as if she is straining and she just appears uncomfortable in general.
     
  4. LegginMF12

    LegginMF12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    707
    8
    133
    May 2, 2011
    Yucca Valley
    I live in the desert, I've got plenty of sand! LOL
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    458
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It certainly does sound like she has an egg in there and it is bothering her. Yes, you can do a digital exam, but it probably won't tell you much more than the external one already told you. There are several threads linked on the FAQ page about eggbound hens. What I would start with is soaking her in a warm water bath for a while with an eye to getting her to relax, then put her in a somewhat darkened place for a day or two, maybe a spare bathroom, for the same reason. A little Preparation H in the vent might be helpful -- or not. Shouldn't hurt, anyway.

    I've never had to deal with this so I only know from what I remember reading here. Hopefully something in the threads on the FAQ page or via a search will be more helpful.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by