Hen not feeling well

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jjb1953, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. jjb1953

    jjb1953 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2013
    Hi all. I posted last year about one of my hens not feeling well. She would often have her tail downward, did not always eat well, sometimes preferred to stay in the coop or run while others were out ranging. The first time this happened I assumed it was because the kids gave them tons of long grass. But it kept happneing. Then I assumed it was her who kept kept laying collapsed eggs. Then all winter long, she was fine. No issues. No collapsed eggs. This past week I started letting them out to range (our snow finally melted). I noticed yesterday she seemed to be not feeling well again. Tail down. Hanging out on the deck and i found a collpased egg today. The grass is just coming in so it is not long, but am wondering if any grass at all is just not good for her? Any other thoughts or ideas?

    Thanks

    J
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    It sounds more like she could be egg bound or be an internal layer. Does she get layer feed with addition crushed oyster shell for calcium? Vitamin D may also help. Check her vent for a stuck egg by inserting a gloved finger 1-2 inches inside the vent. Here is some reading about internal laying:
    http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx
    http://scoopfromthecoop.nutrenaworld.com/tag/laying-issues/
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/526089/egg-yolk-peritonitis
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
  3. jjb1953

    jjb1953 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So do you think it is just a coincidence it is happening since she has been outside of the run eating grass again?

    Yes, she gets layer pellets w/oyster.
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Also check her crop in the morning to see if it is empty as it should be. Long grass that has been cut is not good to give chickens.

    Keep grass clippings very short, say 1-2 inches for adult fowl and I think that would be a lot safer. I have read of impacted and sour crop with long grass coiled up in the crop.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Since many hens quit laying during and after the yearly molt, and also slow down laying in winter die to the shorter days of sunlight, she may be having her reproductive problems more since her laying has gotten up to speed. I'm only speculating since I'm not a vet.
     
  6. jjb1953

    jjb1953 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will keep an eye on crop during her symptomatic periods. I did this last year. It does go down significantly usually by morning. This morning was normal, tail up and she is happy and ready to go. We will see how she does as the day goes on.
    Right now the grass is very short ... not clippings, just the new grass sprouting up from the very long winter.

    Thanks

    J
     
  7. jjb1953

    jjb1953 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah ... good point. We have comets so they lay pretty good (last winter everyone still laid every day even without lights). This winter though, they did slow down ... perhaps she was not laying at all and had a good winter health wise.
    We have more eggs than we know what to do with so if one birds stops laying ... that is fine. Our birds are pets to us so and I want them to be comfortable. If the problem is reproduction, is there anything that can be done to stop it altogether IF that would make her more comfortable and healthy? She went through many rough days last year not feeling well.
     
  8. jjb1953

    jjb1953 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SO I am quite sure this hen simply has reproductive issues. Off and on throughout the summer she would go through periods of not feeling well, sometimes anemic .... usually just not wanting to move around. Then She would pass an egg, usually shell-less or soft (they all get plenty of oyster shells) then it would seem she would be ok for a while. She is going through a rough patch now. Very sick, possibly near death. Having trouble standing. She is not anemic. Have trouble pooping I think ... just a little hear and there but very messy looking in the back area. Every now and again she gets enough strength to stand and is sitting like she is trying to lay. I am thinking there is some sort of blockage.

    In general, for chickens who may have a genetic issue and cannot lay properly, is there anyone to halt egg production to prevent these health issues ... any type of medication or something?

    Any other advise?
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    You can stop a chicken from laying by having hormone implants every 3-4 months (quite expensive,) by spaying (surgery required and risky,) by keeping her in a dark room or covering her cage 16 hours every night, and by reducing feed or protein in the diet. It might be better to end her suffering.
     
  10. jjb1953

    jjb1953 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your reply.
    She actually passed on a little while ago.
    :(
    Glad she is no longer uncomfortable.

    I am surprised there are no pills to stop egg laying ... like depo or something. If it happens to another hen ... I will look into something to try ... even if there is little data on it.
    Our chickens are close pets. I probably would not do surgery , but we would consider an experimental drug to ease suffering.
     

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