Hen on death's door

hmbrown05

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 4, 2014
97
1
43
Texas
So turn my flock of 15 birds out this morning and everybody looked normal (admittedly was a rushed ordeal as we were late for church), came home after church and found one of my bar rocks laying listless in the yard. Quick exam had pretty insignificant findings other than increased respiratory rate with labored breathing and a poor comb color (purple-eek!). No apparent injuries and the other brds that I have seen since are bright, alert and feeding like usual. No nasal drainage, or other respiratory symptoms, no odd stool visible in the coop from overnight, plenty of food/water available. This hens are roughly 6 months old and we have no new outside birds in the flock other than some new chicks that hatched last week, but they haven't ventured out of the barn with mom yet to even meet the other birds. I don't know for sure if this hen is laying yet as I only ever collect 4 brown eggs at a time from our 6 hens who lay brown eggs and I haven't ever caught any of our 3 bar rocks in the nesting boxes.

I have isolated her and fed and watered her, but honestly, I am pretty sure she is a gonner the way is looking. I guess I am looking fir ideas as far as cause
 

hmbrown05

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 4, 2014
97
1
43
Texas
Oops, hit the post button instead of editing fir...

Looking for ideas as to cause. If/when she passes I will probably open her up and see (I am a vet tech, but have never worked on birds...), though not sure other than being egg burdened, that I would know to look for. I do plan on taking a stool sample to examine tomorrow for parasites just to be safe...
 

Nambroth

Fud Lady
8 Years
Apr 7, 2011
2,961
1,111
312
Western NY
My Coop
My Coop
If her comb was purple and she had labored breathing alone, I would look to any number of respiratory ailments, or anything that can give them pulmonary distress or heart problems; including any disease that gives respiratory issues as well as any disease that causes tumor growth (in the heart and/or lungs) or even anything that causes growth or swelling in the abdomen, which can put too much pressure on the lungs or heart.

Is she suffering from lameness or ataxia in her legs or neck? Given her age, I am a bit suspicious about Marek's disease. I have a bunch of information here as well as diseases that look similar. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
At the bottom of the page there is a references section that link to necropsy photos with lymphomas/neoplasms in key organs, just in case she does pass, you will have something to look for.

How are her droppings? Is she eating or drinking? Any other displayed symptoms, rasping to her breath, etc?
 

hmbrown05

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 4, 2014
97
1
43
Texas
Thanks so much! We bought them as vaccinated day old chicks, but I guess anything is possible. Will let you know!
 

hmbrown05

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 4, 2014
97
1
43
Texas
They were ranging when I got home so I don't know specifically what droppings are her's, but the droppings in the coop from overnight all seem normal. She is completely listless not eating, drinking or moving really. When I picked her up to move her she protested little which is odd as our birds are not tame so paralysis is possible, but hard to assess.

Our property used to house large number of fowl as is was use primarily for egg production from the 20's through the early 80's. I would be suspicious of possible lead issue just because they hang out close to the house and I would not be surprised if there was lead in the paint (built in the 20's).
 

hmbrown05

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 4, 2014
97
1
43
Texas
She did pass. Would and egg bound hen have to have more than one egg presenting? She did have an egg in her vent, but I can't palpate any father up. I don't see any lesions on her feather follicles etc. i can't find my knife currently sooo, I may have to put her one ice and try again in a little bit...
 

Peep-Chicken

Crowing
7 Years
Jun 10, 2013
6,397
452
326
Michigan
She did pass. Would and egg bound hen have to have more than one egg presenting? She did have an egg in her vent, but I can't palpate any father up. I don't see any lesions on her feather follicles etc. i can't find my knife currently sooo, I may have to put her one ice and try again in a little bit...

My hen only had one egg when she was egg bound. I managed to save her, and in the morning she laid two eggs, one with a crack in it.

So yes, even if there is one egg in her she can be egg bound.
 

Nambroth

Fud Lady
8 Years
Apr 7, 2011
2,961
1,111
312
Western NY
My Coop
My Coop
She did have an egg in her? How far up? Is there a chance she could have had hypocalcemia?
I hope you are able to find answers as you examine her. I'm truly sorry that she passed, it is always very hard. :(
 

hmbrown05

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 4, 2014
97
1
43
Texas
The egg wasn't very far into her vent and didn't really find anything else significant though I am not practiced in chicken necropsy. Ran two fecal samples today, one from her and one from a healthy hen in the coop and no parasites visble on either. The only other thing that I can think of is that I had some feed get wet at the bottle of the bucket. I threw it on the compost pile as soon as I found it wet which is in an area where they don't usually scavenge, but I guess it is possible she got into it and maybe ended up being poisoned if it was growing afalotoxins.

I appreciate the help in trying to figure the cause. I mainly just worry that it is something contagious eswcially with new chicks on the ground, but I guess that's just life on the farm. Will let you know if anything new develops. Thanks again!
 

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