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Hen is VERY thin, lethargic and can barely walk - Help?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KLane5263, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. KLane5263

    KLane5263 Hatching

    Sep 7, 2010
    Last night I found one of my Black Australorp hens laying in the chicken yard slumped on her side. When I picked her up - I immediately noticed that she was EXTREMELY light and I can feel that she is skin and bones. She has been acting a little strange lately (approximately the last month) - she stays more to the outside of the flock, she's the first to go in at night, etc. But she's been eating and drinking along with the rest of the flock.

    She's been having trouble staying clean (I've been cleaning up her backside from poop), and a few weeks ago I gave her some Poultry Nutri-Drench thinking that a bit of vitamins would help. She's been better for the last few weeks and I hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary until last night. It's obvious that she has been getting worse because she is so incredibly thin.

    I've pulled her out of the flock and put her in a separate crate. I gave her another dose of Nutri-Drench and her own food and water. She was so lethargic last night I was certain she would probably die overnight - but she's still hanging in there.

    Any ideas?

    FYI - I add food-grade DE to their food, bedding, and in the chicken yard to help keep things dry and reduce the chance of parasites and worms. The rest of the flock seems to be well - full-breasted, eating well, laying well, etc.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Is she laying? Is her belly swollen? Do you worm your flock, other than DE?
  3. KLane5263

    KLane5263 Hatching

    Sep 7, 2010
    No - she isn't laying and her belly doesn't seem swollen. Her crop did seem full last night though - but I had just given them cabbage, oats and sunflower seeds and she was eating some of that - so I attributed the fuller crop to having just eaten. I did not pick her up this morning - I only checked on her because I was running late for work.

    I haven't done anything besides DE for worms. I was thinking worms because she is so thin - but eating. I'm not sure how to treat for worms though - as I've been keeping chickens for less than a year so far. Is there something that works on all types of worms? Should I treat the whole flock? (I have 21 birds - plus 12 chicks still in the brooder that I plan to integrate mid-October).
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    You say she is having trouble keeping clean--is the area below her vent crusty with feces? Pretty good chance she has mites/lice. And yes, she could have worms, too. My recommendation is to give her a warm flea/tick bath according to label directions, wrap her in a towel, then blow dry. Make sure you get her good and clean. After she is rinsed, let her drip dry for a bit in the tub.

    Keep her inside in a cage where you can keep a close eye on her. Mix baby bird handfeeding formula into her feed for extra nutrition. Also get some crickets and waxworms from the pet store for her. Give vitamins and pedialyte or gatorade in her water.

    If her droppings looks to be a concern worm her. You can take a sample to any vet for a fecal float to tell if there are worms or coccidia.
  5. KLane5263

    KLane5263 Hatching

    Sep 7, 2010
    I've check her thoroughly for signs of mites or lice and cleaned her all up. Even with a flashlight, I could not see any mites or lice near/around her vent or under her wings. She is loving the eggs and yogurt - but is very weak and can only stand for a short period of time. Vitamins are in the water as well.

    Anyone else think this might be internal? Worms?

    There are so many conflicting opinions on the treatment of worms. I don't know what kind she may or may not have - is treating for all the best?

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