Hen with diarrhea, shriveled comb

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KatInAz, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. KatInAz

    KatInAz New Egg

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    Hi there. I am relatively new to chicken keeping. I have an Easter Egger hen who has been sick for at least a week. I do not know her age but she has not laid eggs in several months. When I noticed the poop stuck to her vent and feathers I isolated her in a warm dry room in a crate. She's been in there for one week. I've been bathing her in warm water with epsom salt every day and trimmed her feathers around her vent. The poop is not sticking very much anymore but her poop is now almost completely liquid. (green and white) I went to the feed store and purchased tetracycline which i have been putting in her water every day. I've also given her greek yogurt, peas, layer crumble and some solidified coconut oil with feed. She's eating pretty well but rarely finishes what I put out for her. She doesn't seem to be as puffed up and lethargic but her comb is still shriveled and whitish and of course, still has diarrhea. What else should I do for her? My other two hens and rooster are perfectly fine.
     
  2. RulingTheRoost

    RulingTheRoost Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm sad to say your darling might be passing away soon. It sounds like your hen has a case of being egg-bound, meaning an egg is stuck in the chickens bum. It is very painful for the hen, and usually if it is not caught in the early stages it could be fatal. If you think you might be able to still help her, try soaking her rear end in a bucket of very warm water, massaging it. Gently try to push the egg out by massaging it if you feel a lump near the end. If that doesn't work, try reaching in (believe me, this will feel very strange) with two fingers and some lubricant to moisten them. If you feel an egg, do your best to pull it toward you and out of her.

    If all that fails, there's nothing else you can do for her. We have had three chickens become egg-bound before, one of which made it but the other two passed away. A red sex-link that we had started out with got a single egg stuck, and another egg formed around that one and so on until it was too big to ever imagine pulling out and she passed away. Another one we didn't catch until it was too late, and we kept her in a cage until she began pooping green and white liquid, and finally stopped eating and died peacefully in her sleep. [​IMG]

    I hope you can save her in time, best wishes to you and your feathered friends!
     
  3. KatInAz

    KatInAz New Egg

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    Thank you Ruling the Roost for your reply. As far as the no egg laying, could it be that she's just at that age where egg production stops? I guess you'd call it "HENopause"! [​IMG] Out of my 3 hens, only 1 is still laying. Edwina (the sick hen) only laid an egg a day for the first year that we've had her. Her production after the year slowly dropped until it stopped all together over 6 months ago. We've had her since Spring of 2013.

    Another thing I forgot to mention in my first post is that her tail feathers and wings seem to be a bit droopy too. I wonder if the tetracycline is making her poop watery. She's been on it for 7 days so today will be the last day. Or could it be stress from being away from the flock? Maybe probiotics would help?

    I'm so frustrated!
     
  4. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A hen can lay for 5 - 7 years if well cared for. How old is your mama? If you mentioned it, I missed it.

    MrsB
     
  5. KatInAz

    KatInAz New Egg

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    We have no idea how old she is. She was full grown when we got her. Is there any way to tell roughly how old chickens are?
     
  6. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lordy, I have no idea how you could tell the age on a chicken after a year or two... I know you can count the rings on a tree. :p

    If you could include a picture of your mama, it may help determine age, if a more experienced member flips an eyelid over it.

    Do you feel any lumps in her abdomen that shouldn't be there? I'm unsure if an egg-bound hen can live for a week, but definitely check... If there IS an egg in there, she's either on her way out, or you'll have to take the risk of gently crushing the shell and hoping it passes on its own (with generous amounts of lube - yes, THAT kind)... This can also be fatal if an infection sets up, but being egg bound will kill her anyway, so you've got a 50/50 shot, either way. You can find a bazillion threads on here about relieving egg-bound hens.

    Have you wormed your flock recently?

    Does she have any nasal discharge, bubbly eyes, sneezing, wheezing, or anything? Have you noticed any change in her pupils?

    Does she have any scab-looking places on her comb/wattles/eyes? https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/685695/pale-combs <-- Here is a thread on causes of pale combs... See if you can find some symptoms that match yours. Color changes in combs is caused by blood flow or laying/hormonal issues. You may want to up her protein intake with some chopped up boiled egg. :)

    MrsB
     
  7. KatInAz

    KatInAz New Egg

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    Update: I got some help in soaking Edwina today and I was able to get a good look at her vent area. I noticed a large, almost tennis ball sized lump above and to the right of the vent. It feels fluid filled like a water balloon. There are no feathers on it and the color is somewhat bluish. I'm wondering if this could be a tumor. [​IMG]She doesn't react when i touch it. And she really is no better after 7 days of tetracycline and electrolytes. Any ideas of what it could be?

    I was thinking that I might just put her back in the coop tomorrow. She seems anxious to get out of the "infirmary". She made a beeline for the door when I opened up her crate and tried to go outside! I think she may be super stressed away from her buddies. Plus, if it was contagious the others would be sick by now I'd assume.

    Help!
     
  8. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    If possible, post a clear photo of the affected area. If this is an emergency, I'd suggest getting the bird to an avian vet as soon as possible. I have removed infections and performed minor surgeries on birds before. A photo would be helpful.
     
  9. KatInAz

    KatInAz New Egg

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    I'll post a picture later today when I have my husband here to hold her. Thanks!
     
  10. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, please do!! You can also wrap her front in a towel and do it that way.

    I would refrain from putting her back out with the others. If they notice something is wrong, you could be dealing with far worse than what you've got now if they decide to peck at her.

    Chickens will hide their pain and discomfort. It's a defense mechanism. Sick birds get pecked, so it behooves them to at least ACT well. If you investigated her lump, and she didn't react, it may be that it hurt but she didn't want you to know. Chickens are weird that way.

    Keep doing what you're doing. <3

    MrsB
     

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