Hen w/ tail down - not sure what's wrong

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Michigan1229, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. Michigan1229

    Michigan1229 Just Hatched

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    Aug 3, 2016
    Anyone have any ideas on what's wrong with our hen?:

    She is almost 1 year old. I noticed her tail was down Sunday morning and moved her into a solo pen. She is eating & drinking no problem. On Sunday her poops were runny and she had white poop over what is usually her fluffy butt. I gave her electrolytes & probiotics mixed in water. She also got her usual food mix (includes oyster shells) and mixed in some DE. As of yesterday, she has normal looking poo but her tail is still down. She seems to be in good spirits, chatty like usual and not weak or lethargic. Her comb is isn't pale.

    I included a few photos of her, her feathers are a little wet in the pic as I gave her a bath to clean up her poopy butt fluff. Anyone have any ideas on what could possibly be wrong with her? Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated! Definitely want her feeling better so she can join her friends!
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    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Sorry your hen isn't well.

    When was the last time she laid an egg?

    If you are using DE as a wormer in your feed... it is COMPLETELY ineffective! And I will provide proof upon request and just mention that DE is a very porous and soft rock that get's ground down by harder stuff when it goes through the gizzard, thus having no effect on internal parasites.

    I would consider taking a fecal sample to the vet, usually around $15-25 and can check for worms as well as some other stuff.

    If she isn't being picked on, I would return her to the flock. The longer she is out the harder her return will be. If she does have something they have already been exposed.

    Are you mixing the OS in your feed... or is it layer? Is that scrambled egg you are feeding her?

    What IS her usual feed? What percent protein? Do you provide treats or supplements on a regular basis? If so please describe, including quantities please.

    Great looking out and noticing something is wrong! A lot of things can be beat if caught early. [​IMG]

    Any other symptoms besides tail down?

    I know I already said this once, but I would return her to her friends and just pay attention. [​IMG]

    Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  3. Michigan1229

    Michigan1229 Just Hatched

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    Thank you for the reply! The last egg she laid was Wednesday or Thursday of last week.

    Thank you also for letting me know about the DE thing. I've had chickens for 1 year now and definitely have been learning a TON so I appreciate your knowledge. I will reach out to my vet about bringing in a fecal sample.

    Her normal feed is 16% layer feed & scratch grains. Since she hasn't laid in a couple days, I was worried that maybe she was egg bound and needed the extra calcium and added the OS to her feed. I also gave her scrambled eggs w/ the shell added as well for the calcium since I'm not sure how much of the OS she actually ate, she knocked over her food within a couple min [​IMG] This is my first time dealing w/ an issue like this so I wasn't exactly sure what all I should be doing to help her get better. In addition to her layer feed, scratch & grit, the flock treats include: kitchen scraps, oats, corn, sunflower seeds, and dried meal worms. Not sure on the quantities since we just throw them out for the entire flock: 6 ducks & 13 chickens total. They all free range and forage around the yard.

    No other symptoms besides the tail being down. No one else in the flock is acting unusual. She did have the runny poo on Sunday it that has cleared up. I will definitely put her back with her crew. She will be very happy about that!
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  4. Michigan1229

    Michigan1229 Just Hatched

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    Still getting the hang of BYC, not sure if my reply comment showed up as a notification for you since I didn't reply your reply? Thanks again for the advice, it's greatly appreciated [​IMG]
     
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    The learning never stops! Even if I don't know the answer or get it wrong, I'm here to learn as well. [​IMG]

    So you feed both scratch and and corn? Do you know the protein content of them? Is the grit separate and on the side? Even though you don't know exactly who gets what... how much would you say you throw out... 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, whole?

    Since layer feed is only 16% protein, that is the minimum needed and you want to be careful not to reduce your overall value with treats. It's actually the amino acids in the protein that is important. Corn is only around 8%.

    If you haven't had the chance to check for external parasites (which are a part of the environment) try doing so in the evening and hold her on her back legs bent towards chest, with a flashlight and spread the feathers close to the vent to see if you see anything running away. This is much more accurate for me than a day time inspection which actually makes it harder to see them. These will be things like mites or lice. [​IMG]

    It' true that calcium can help egg binding (in certain aspects). I don't suspect that to be your case as it should be more serious by now, I would think.

    It's probably good that you provide grit (assuming it isn't mixed in with anything else), as the ground may become depleted... I have never provided grit for my free range birds. They get it from the ground (when I had a smaller flock). Now I have around 50 (or so, we don't ask don't tell at my house!), and I use washed river sand which has pebbles in it in my coop. So I still don't use commercial grit.

    One other thing I will mention is... What works for me might not work for you or my neighbor, and that's OK! We are all here to share our experience and no one way is THE right way except the way that works for YOU. And sometimes what I thought would work for me doesn't and vice versa. Chicken keeping is a very dynamic thing and you gotta be flexible sometimes. But always do what seems to make the most sense for you and don't be afraid to get a second opinion or a third... So many of us here are all too happy to give out opinions!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Michigan1229

    Michigan1229 Just Hatched

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    I've already learned so much from BYC! It's awesome learning from other people and their experiences [​IMG]

    We have the grit separate. The washed river sand is a really good idea! I will have to look into that. The scratch we feed them is 8% protein; I would say I throw out about a cup. The corn would be mixed in the cup that is thrown out. I didn't think about the treats reducing the overall value so thank you for that info! I would say I am a bit of a pushover when it comes to the flock. They know momma gives the food and usually they surround me looking for handouts [​IMG] So I will definitely work on not giving them too many treats.

    I did inspect her feathers the other day and didn't notice anything but I will try again tonight with a flash light. When I inspected the other day, I was really focused on her vent (since she had the runny poo & poo on her fluff) and feeling for anything abnormal.

    Thank you taking the time and replying to my post. It was very helpful [​IMG]
     

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