Hen with tail down

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by llgage, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. llgage

    llgage New Egg

    Feb 4, 2011

    I have a 6-7 yr old americona who didn't come down from coop until 1 -2 hours after all the others on Wednesday. We are having an unusually cold spell and this was the morning after below freezing temps 21 degrees. She was walking very slowly with her tail down. She scratched around and ate with the others then later in the day the others went up in their coop but she did not. I brought her in and got her warm. I'm keeping her in. She is eating normally, pooping normal, seems alert, no swellings or enlargements, no visable signs of frostbite. But she seems unstable and maybe is using her tail to help prop her up while standing.

    One thing I just remembered, about 1-2 weeks ago, I noticed some mold starting at the bottom of the lay pellets. I threw them out but there could have been some in the day before meal that I didn't notice. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  2. azhenhouse

    azhenhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2010
    North Eastern Arizona
    Sorry to hear about your chicken. [​IMG] The only advise I can give you is to maybe look up mold in the search engine. Maybe you can find some answers there.
  3. Davidisinaband

    Davidisinaband Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2011
    Upstate, SC
    A week or two ago sounds like a big time frame for a problem from the pellets to manifest. How's her face color? Have you wormed lately? It sounds like you freerange them, so it might just be that she got a hold of something she shouldn't have. Also, I know everyone says their natural lifespans are up to 14 years, but that's relative to a lot of conditions. 6-7 years old is no spring chicken! lol

    Age aside and without further symptoms, it's really hard to tell. I will say this though. When I got mine, they came with worms. Some of those can be so small you won't see them right away. It was only after I brought one in to keep an eye on her did I see the heavy infestation. You couldn't see them from top view, but from straight on, you could see them moving. I've read the cecal worms don't cause loss of condition, but then there are places that say they do, and I'm 90% sure that's what mine had because they were so small and I can tell you they DO cause problems. If she's losing weight, along with the wobbly tail down behavior, and I had to guess at anything I would guess worms. If it goes that route, make sure it's not gape worm, and I'm sure you would have noticed tape worm segments, so injectable Ivomec 4cc(mL) per gallon for two days, then repeat in 14 days. That way, if it's mites or lice doing the damage (also sometimes hard to diagnose.. I've read people post "no mites" then have an autopsy done and come back saying mites were the culprit) the Ivomec takes care of them as well and it's good for your flock.

    Of course, I know you've probably had the hen for 6-7 years since you know how old she is so the above info is probably insulting. I'm just throwing stuff out there and seeing if anything sticks for you! Start with the most likely culprits and eliminate things ASAP before the conditions get worse. [​IMG]
  4. llgage

    llgage New Egg

    Feb 4, 2011

    Thank you for the suggestions, they are greatly appreciated, I would never be insulted by anyone trying to help based on limited info. The best I can tell is she must have gotten injured. She is doing ok, eating well, pooping good, no worms, no lice/mites, no stuck egg. She still keeps her tail down most of the time while standing, but lifts it up when she's eating or walking. Her walking is better, in fact she can still open a can on woop ass on the other hens if they try to bother her. She walkes slower than normal and she is not scratching around, she just picks at stuff. She hasen't gotten any worse and is maybe just a bit better. I am hopeful she will recover.

    Although I have had my hens for 6 -7 years, this is the first problem I have encountered. So I really don't know that much about problems. I guess I have been really lucky.

    Thank you all again for the help, what a great place to find help when you need it.

    Laurie [​IMG]

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