Hen stopped laying, becoming lethargic

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rugbee15, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. rugbee15

    rugbee15 In the Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2017
    I'm a worried first time hen owner. My Cornelia is a Red Star, approx 8-10 months old (she's a rescue, so I'm guesstimating based on when she started laying). She's been free range the seven months she's been living with me, and started laying in April.

    For the past few weeks, she hasn't laid in the henhouse. We found a few eggs at the beginning of this behavior in a nest she and her sister made in the garden , but we haven't found any in quite some time. I've constantly monitored her for egg blockage, but that's been ruled out as the issue.

    She appears much more lethargic than she did a few days ago, laying in dust for several hours a day, and going to bed 2-3 hours before her sister. She still free ranges in a 70ish yard diameter, but isn't nearly as active as she was a few days ago.

    Other possibly notable information: around the time she stopped laying, her backside was constantly covered in feces. Her vent looks normal, and feces were sometimes yellow in the past few days (she's pooped several times today though, and nothing unusual). I know this post is all over the place, but does anyone recognize these behaviors/know what's happening to her? Thank you!!
     
  2. Criticalicious

    Criticalicious Songster

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    Have you considered whether she may have vent gleet?
     
  3. rugbee15

    rugbee15 In the Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2017
    I read about vent gleet for the first time a few days ago before giving her a bath, and honestly, it makes a lot of sense now that I'm connecting the dots! The droppings stuck to her resemble discharge photos I'm looking at now strongly, and her abdomen is feeling "solid." I think I disregarded this as a possibility because her vent (minus the droppings on it) looked perfectly healthy (not red or swollen). Does that still line up with vent gleet?
     
  4. ellenscoop

    ellenscoop Chirping

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  5. rugbee15

    rugbee15 In the Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2017
    Update: We went to the vet today, expecting a treatment regime for vent gleet. Unfortunately, it was far worse. I had no idea how old this hen was since she was a rescue, but apparently, she is much older than we thought. She has two half- formed eggs stuck amongst her twisted ovaries and uterus, along with several water cysts. Without a four figure surgery, the best we can do is treat her with anti-inflammatory prescriptions and give her a few good final weeks. I'm heartbroken, but happy that she went from an extremely malnourished older hen that was dumped on the side of the road, to a happy loving girl who got to the point of laying almost daily. Thank you both for your help ♡
     
    mixedUPturk likes this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Did they do an ultrasound to see this?
    Not sure I'd wait a few weeks.
    She's probably 'uncomfortable' already and the meds probably won't do much.
     
    mixedUPturk likes this.
  7. rugbee15

    rugbee15 In the Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2017
    We did do an ultrasound. It was more than I was expecting to pay for a vet visit, but I'm glad I did in the end. Her vet appointment was four days ago, and since then, she's been following us around the garden "helping" with yard work like her old self, but at a much slower pace. In the last 24hrs, she's also barely eaten. I have a euthanasation scheduled two days from now because I know it's not going to get any better than this. I'm devastated, but obviously don't want to put her through any more suffering.
     
    aart likes this.

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