Hen not looking good

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rpar003, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. rpar003

    rpar003 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2011
    We have two hens, and one of them is generically not looking great. She's not laying, but that's not unusual given that it's winter. She molted and stopped laying. Since then she's regained her feathers, but hasn't been looking well for about a month. Our other hen has started picking on her a little too. She has a bald-ish patch (still covered with feathers) on her back, which I'm assuming is from being pecked by the other hen. I've included pictures - you can see one of them is happy and perky, and poor Lovey is a little down in the dumps. She does tend to be by herself a little more than usual. Nothing has changed - they have the same food etc.

    They're about 3 years old, and have been together since they were born. We did have 3 hens, but one died randomly about a year and a half ago. She was keeping to herself away from the others, and being picked on a little by the dominant hen (by "a little" I mean I witnessed it about 3 times). Lydia looked perfectly fine until I found her dead on the floor of the coop one day.

    And now Lovey is not looking great. Any suggestions as to what we could do to perk her up? She's my 8 year old daughter's hen, and she's very sad that her hen is sick. We've been trying to give Lovey special attention and treats. She's eating, drinking and her poop looks normal - as far as I can tell. It's a bit hard to figure out which poop is from which hen, but all that I can find looks normal. She's not eating as fervently as usual, but she is still eating pellets, scraps and treats - we've been watching her. The dominant hen rushes in and gobbles up, and Lovey kind of wanders over and picks her and there. They're both free-ranging around, but pretty much everything is covered in snow, so they mostly walk over to the patio and bask in the sun when they're out.

    [​IMG]
    Lovey is on the left in both these photos. You can see she's just not as perky as our other hen. Her wattle isn't as red, and her comb is kind of falling over.

    [​IMG]

    Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have they ever been wormed?
     
  3. rpar003

    rpar003 Out Of The Brooder

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    They've never been wormed, so that's a good thought. I have her inside in isolation tonight, so I can check her poop etc.
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    FYI: She can have worms without seeing them in poop. Also inspect her closely for lice/mites, especially around the vent area.
     
  5. rpar003

    rpar003 Out Of The Brooder

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    I've been reading up on worms, and they seem really hard to diagnose! So we're going to examine her tomorrow morning (I don't want to wake the poor thing in the night to look her over - seems like the less stressed she is the better). And give her some yoghurt, because we have some. Hopefully if it's mites I can at least see those!
     
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    You can pick up fresh poop and put it in a ziplock bag, take it to a vet and have them look at it under a microcope for worm oocysts. Shouldnt cost much.
     
  7. rpar003

    rpar003 Out Of The Brooder

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    So she's now inside (living in my bathtub. Yes, we have no garage or mud area. It's not a great solution!) She did some normal-ish looking poops, but when we examined her this morning we discovered that her vent was disgusting and covered in poop. Seeing how disgusting her vent was made me lean more towards worms? We gave her an epsom salt bath to clean up the poop/vent, and a little cup of yoghurt. Not because I expect the yoghurt to work wonders, but it seems like a nice treat that won't do any harm. Now I'm on the search for a vet who might do a worm culture of her poop. The first one thought I was insane, so no luck there. I'm in the middle of the suburbs and chickens aren't common.

    Hanging out in the bath
    [​IMG]

    disgusting vent
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
  8. rpar003

    rpar003 Out Of The Brooder

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    Poor Lovey died this morning :(
     

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