Hen not lookin' so hot...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jrose, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. Jrose

    Jrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've asked so many health questions with my chickens here over the years, and only one ended up being a real emergency (internal laying). Most of the little upsets blow over without a fuss, but I figured I should still ask, just in case!

    I have a factory hen, "Red Ranger"? Looks like a buff/production red cross to me, but anyways she and her 2 sisters are well over 10lbs. They're turkey-sized chickens.
    I've been noticing her behavior going up and down for the last couple weeks. She seems to have off-days. Her comb flopped over and I started getting less eggs in this time.
    This morning I was feeding all the birds and found her still in the coop on her roost. She was unfazed by me coming in and poking/prodding her, which is a red flag. She's very flighty. Her breast does not feel bony, however looking at her, it looks like either her chest/breast area is receded and/or her abdomen is hanging very low. She doesn't look proportionate. Her comb is almost dry/rubbery feeling, all crumpled up and not soft/floppy like it was a week or so ago. It's a bit pale/discolored in the front. Her abdomen didn't feel abnormally squishy or distended (despite looking it), though she fussed and moved her tail quite a bit when I was feeling around, which struck me as unusual as well, but she made no upper-body expression. She's not straining or pumping her tail, not gasping for breath, and doesn't feel hot. She molted in December and is probably due for another. Overall, the poor girl just looks ragged and unhappy.

    They've got constant fresh, running water to drink, 1/2 acre to roam, and get lots of veggie/garden scraps along with non-GMO scratch to supplement free ranging.

    I've lost 3 of my 10 factory ('rescue') hens to internal laying already. Two others aren't laying and have squishy abdomens, though they seem unaffected so far. I think they'll fall to internal laying eventually. But my experiences with it so far don't match up with what's happening to this hen. Thoughts?
     
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    From your description it almost sounds like she has an impacted crop.
     
  3. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    When did you last de-worm your flock? If so, what did you treat them with ?

    Have you recently treated for lice/mites? Again..if so, what product did you use?

    Parasites....both internal and external can cause such debilitating illnesses...
     
  4. Jrose

    Jrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    iwiw60: Her crop does not feel hard or engorged. If anything she's probably not eating enough... I thought impacted crop was a full-up, stuck crop?

    Suzie: I have never dewormed. Some of my girls have been with me 4+ years. I've done two permethrin dust bathes in the last few years, both after the introduction of new mite-filled birds. I had the neighbor's roosters harassing the hens a month or two ago. They had leg and feather mites REALLY BADLY. Since then I've I seen the odd mite on myself after handling the birds, but I check them daily and haven't spotted any eggs or bugs on the girls. The hen in question does not appear to have any feather mites or leg mites. I checked her this morning. As for worms; I've got 40+ birds right now, and no one else is acting sub-par. I haven't seen any worrying or smelly poos. Not sure what else to look for in that case.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
  5. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    I would recommend de-worming your flock with Safeguard/Panacur...if only to eliminate the possibility that it may be worms affecting her health

    I personally have never seen worms in any poop of my flocks...I have over 40 birds here but treat them all at least twice a year for any worm infestation...within three days of de-worming they are laying more eggs,combs are bright red and they seem to have a renewed energy...of course I dispose of the eggs during the de-worming...28 days in all...after 14 days I re-treat them all.

    Hope you find out what is ailing your hen
     
  6. Jrose

    Jrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She's still not looking well. Her comb is greying and feels a bit puffy and rubbery :(

    I'm hesitant to deworm as I prefer not to use any chemicals on my chickens. The two times I dusted them were severe outbreaks during the winter and I needed to get the mites GONE. I'm not a fan of 'medicate anyways just in case'. If it's not a problem, don't medicate. Do you know how to check a chicken for worms, other than lab samples? There are always holistic routes to take, too, though I haven't researched them for chickens. Perhaps I should do that...
     
  7. Jrose

    Jrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did find this (very disturbing) article:
    http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/search/lesion/409

    I have had a few odd incidents since the 6 rogue mite-ridden, unhealthy roosters started visiting my flock. I've killed all but 1, who now hangs out on the other side of the fence where I can't get him, but is still just a 14 gauge wire away from the my girls. He's there every single day, all day long... Gr....
    One incident was a hen's face swelling terribly for 2 days, with little other signs or symptoms. It went away and she continued on as normal, no problems. Most of my birds are under 4 months old, aside from 7 2-4 year old hens. None of the chicks have had issues, but all the adults seem to have had something or other go on in the last month or two. One of my hens died in this time frame as well, though she was laying internally and I chalked it up to that. Could this be some sort of flu that the roosters brought in? [​IMG]
     
  8. Jrose

    Jrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update: I had a chat with her and told her to make up her mind, let go or get better. She passed quietly that night. She smells of egg and her abdomen is rather liquid. I'll chalk this one up to internal laying as well. :/
     
  9. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    So sorry for your loss...it's never an easy thing....take care...
     

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