Hen standing and waddling like a penguin, advice please

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MisDriftwood, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. MisDriftwood

    MisDriftwood Hatching

    Nov 6, 2008
    I have a hen, unsure of breed, that is not well. Can anyone give suggestions please. I have searched through the archives and cannot find specific info.

    She seems to be eating and pooping okay. But, is lethargic, stands like a penguin with butt down, waddling when walking. She is also unsteady and weak when trying to walk.

    At first I thought egg-bound, last weekend did the warm bath. She seemed to enjoy it, but has never produced an egg. She doesn't seem to be straining to lay, so I figure it might not be a bound egg afterall.

    I also have her in the house (warmer), and she has access to a heat lamp for added warmth. We have had her in the house for a week now. She was in the barn, confined to her own cage with feed/water/heat lamp for a week before that.

    We have added antibiotics to her water. She seems to be drinking fine too.

    When I pick her up her breast bone seems very prominent. Not much meat on her bones.

    She doesn't seem to be getting any better. Just staying the same.

    Any input would be helpful.

    Thank you.
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Do a search on "internal laying" or "salpingitis". Warning, it is depressingly usually incurable/fatal [​IMG]

    Sorry <hugs>,

    Pat, having lost two that way in the past year and knowing how much it sucks
  3. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Was she laying eggs before you brought her in the house and has she laid any since being in the house for the past week? If she was laying before and has not laid any since, she could be egg bound especially if "straining to lay". Try another warm bath and try gently massaging under belly near vent to see if you feel anything. If all else fails, you have nothing to lose, while you have her backside submerged, try using your finger and going in her vent and feel around. I had to get an egg out of an egg bound hen this way once - pretty gross but was easy with her being in the water. In her case the egg was broken and stuck and I had to get the remains of it out. She went on to lay more eggs and is fine. Again a last resort because you could cause damage but she will die if there is an egg in there that can't pass and more than a week has already passed and she is in stress.

    Edited to say I just noticed that it seems to have been two weeks - a week in the barn and a week in the house. Is she still eating? Try feeding her some scrambled egg for lots of nutrition and protein.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  4. MisDriftwood

    MisDriftwood Hatching

    Nov 6, 2008
    I have tried another bath for my hen today. And this time tried feeling around in the vent area but did not feel anything (no egg remnants).

    She did not like the bath, and she really didn't relax this time. So, I didn't leave her in as long. Last week she immediately fell asleep.

    Once she got her feathers wet, I could really notice how emaciated she is, even more so than last week. Her breastbone is protruding even more and there's really not much to her. I put some scrambled egg in with her, as suggested. We will see if she eats it now that she is back in the cage.

    I thought she was drinking water, but she seems dehydrated too.

    I have a feeling that there might be something more going on here. Possibly internal laying. For all we are doing, nothing seems to be helping.

    I am having doubts she is going to make it.

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