Hen Not Active. Full Crop but Isn’t too Perky

Peep-Chicken

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 10, 2013
6,396
420
316
Michigan
This is one of my favorite hens, Pirate. She is three years old. My youngest one since the rest of the flock is all seven years for the most part.

This morning I found her roosting in the coop. She didn’t come out even when I shook mealworms. When I showed her mealworms she ate them though. Her crop was full when I felt it, so it’s possible she ate this morning. In the evening, my mom let the hens out to free range and she stayed roosting. I brought her inside to monitor her. I will see if her crop empties by tomorrow and see if she poops. Any recommendations I should do until then?
 

Attachments

Lizzy733

Songster
Nov 13, 2018
403
814
161
New Zealand
Has she laid today? Check her abdomen to see if it feels swollen, warm or firm as there may be an egg stuck. She may also have dirty tail feathers if this is the case and be having trouble pooping. This would be the more urgent of possible issues - provide a warm epsom salt bath if this seems like the culprit. It will relax the muscles and should allow her to lay the stuck egg right in the bath. She'll need to be thoroughly dried afterward and its best to supplement calcium after a stuck egg.
There's plenty of other things it could be though from your description. Is there a foul smell coming from her throat, any nasal discharge or sneezing? What does her stool look like?
 

Peep-Chicken

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 10, 2013
6,396
420
316
Michigan
Has she laid today? Check her abdomen to see if it feels swollen, warm or firm as there may be an egg stuck. She may also have dirty tail feathers if this is the case and be having trouble pooping. This would be the more urgent of possible issues - provide a warm epsom salt bath if this seems like the culprit. It will relax the muscles and should allow her to lay the stuck egg right in the bath. She'll need to be thoroughly dried afterward and its best to supplement calcium after a stuck egg.
There's plenty of other things it could be though from your description. Is there a foul smell coming from her throat, any nasal discharge or sneezing? What does her stool look like?
Thanks for your reply. She went downhill very fast. She seemed fine yesterday, ate mealworms but didn’t come out to free range. Her not coming out was concerning. I brought her inside to be safe. She was still perky. Drinking excessive water though. Her crop was full of food. She really didn’t seem bad I wasn’t even thinking she may not make it.
The next morning she went downhill. Not perky at all, wouldnt eat or drink. Her crop was smaller but had some squishy ness. Within an hour, she couldn’t stand. I had to go to work but set up a camera. She just sat there most of the time. I saw her do heavy flapping, and then she died. I’m going to have a necropsy on her tomorrow to hopefully see what happened to her.
I’m now very concerned that maybe my other chickens may have what she had. They seem fine, but Pirate went down so fast I’m still worried.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
8 Years
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
50,620
41,013
1,202
southern Ohio
Sorry for your loss. It sounds like her crop was not emptying normally. That can happen with a crop disorder, but it also can happen if there is pressure from a reproductive infection, ascites, or cancer. Let us know what you find. Here is a video that shows the names of the organs:

 

Peep-Chicken

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 10, 2013
6,396
420
316
Michigan
Sorry for your loss. It sounds like her crop was not emptying normally. That can happen with a crop disorder, but it also can happen if there is pressure from a reproductive infection, ascites, or cancer. Let us know what you find. Here is a video that shows the names of the organs:

Thank you. Maybe I’m paranoid but one of my hens, Raven, seems off now too. She was sleeping in the nesting box. I brought her inside. She’s perky, but also doesn’t seem perky enough. She’s also excessively drinking water. Her crop is full. Doesn’t feel watery. I hope I am just reading too much into this and that she’s fine.
 

Peep-Chicken

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 10, 2013
6,396
420
316
Michigan
Spent $150 on an autopsy plus whatever the fecal sample cost and learned nothing. The results were inconclusive. Not respiratory. Said Pirate was jaundiced and prolly sick for a while. They are sending cultures to the lab to see if it was digestive. The poop sample revealed nothing.

I feel like I have more questions that answers. And that did not help me figure out what I should do with the rest of my flock.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
8 Years
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
50,620
41,013
1,202
southern Ohio
Jaundice can be a sign of liver disease, cancer, and is sometimes seen in egg yolk peritonitis with ascites. Maybe they will send you a final necropsy report when the cultures are back.

Necropsies prices vary quite a bit from state to state. Here is OH it costs $23 for a basic necropsy. When other tissue studies are needed, you have the choice to pay extra for more tests.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom