Hen looking ill- hasn't pooped in over two days. Wondering if I should give her more time or conside

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kubotalady, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. kubotalady

    kubotalady In the Brooder

    Jun 17, 2015
    Hi all,

    I have a five year old white leghorn who started looking poorly on Saturday afternoon- was listless, had evidence that she had had a lot of diarrhea (stuck and dried on feathers under her vent) and not leaving the coop. I isolated her for about 24 hours and she only pooped an extremely small amount of very green poop, did not eat anything, did not lay an egg (although none of her coop mates have in the last couple of days either- they are older and days are getting shorter here in MN). I soaked her in warm water with epsom salt yesterday afternoon, and tried to give her some bread with olive oil on it (she ate a little bit but not much). Checked her vent and she does not appear to be egg bound. Tried to give her some calcium but she was fighting it, and, given that I didn't feel an egg, decided not to push that.

    Have kept her isolated last night and today, and she still hasn't gone to the bathroom or laid an egg, nor does she appear to have eaten. She looks very listless and is not moving around, just standing in one spot. I had a leghorn hen who laid an internal egg last year and had that hunched "penguin" look-- this hen does not look like that. She seemed relatively attentive yesterday while I was bathing her and drying her off.

    It really doesn't seem good that she essentially hasn't gone to the bathroom for two days. On the other hand, she hasn't really eaten during that time either, and clearly had diarrhea before, so I wonder if it's possible that she's all cleaned out.

    Late last week I had given them a bunch of kale salad (with sunflower seeds, maybe raisins or craisins?, carrots, and lemon juice- and probably too old to have given to anything but the compost heap). She's the biggest hen of the flock, so likely ate the majority of it. I'm wondering if she might have gotten some food poisoning, and basically cleaned her system out, and now recuperating.

    On the other hand, maybe she has laid an internal egg and she's in a lot of pain...

    So my first question is: is it worth giving her more time, or am I just prolonging her misery?

    I've only found one local vet who works with chickens, but it is very unlikely I can get this hen in to see that specific vet in the next couple of days. I might be able to take her in to the clinic and just have her euthanized in the morning, though (they had offered me this option with my last hen: just have anyone euthanize her, or wait to get her in to the chicken vet. I waited and we had to euthanize her anyway, and I felt bad for the extra time and pain for the hen. That said, that bird looked worse than this one does).

    Does anyone have any thoughts of what might be going on, or recommendations for what to do now? Thoughts on giving her more time vs putting her out of potential pain sooner?

    (It also just occurs to me as I'm writing that she is likely dehydrated (doesn't appear to be drinking either)- don't know if it would be worth trying to somehow force some fluids into her- if so I'm open to any suggestions on technique!

    Sorry for the lengthy post, and thank you for any thoughts!

    PS- site recommended we name housing in these situations- typically housed in a coop with three other hens, have access to a large run with sand bottom. Mostly get layer feed, but also scraps such as aforementioned probably bad idea old kale salad. Wood chips for bedding (I think pine. Cedar in nesting box). Currently in large dog crate in garage with food, water, wood chips bedding.

    THANK YOU again for any ideas or recommendations!!!

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