Houdan wilting


7 Years
Nov 24, 2012
I have a Mottled Houdan hen that is about 1.5 years old. She's always been healthy and always laid well.

About 2 weeks ago, I noticed she was suddenly being picked on by my flock (5 hens total). She has always been low-man on the totem pole so I assumed she had commited some chicken crime. Normally, this kind of thing goes on for a day or two and then peace is restored but I noticed that she kept getting picked on and picked on.

Around this same time, she stopped laying. She laid an egg with a soft shell one day and then I haven't seen anything since. She has also started to moult, so I didn't think too much of it. Her neck, face, and undersides are nearly bald and covered in 'sticks' for new feathers.

About 5 days ago, I noticed she looked 'droopy.' She had some poop on her butt too. I isolated her beginning 3 days ago, provided her own food and water as well as extras that she usually likes. She hasn't been eating with much gusto -- just picking here and there.

Yesterday, I pulled her out, cleaned her up (the poop), checked her skin for parasites (none), wormed her, and squirted about 1 tsp of buttermilk down her throat. She seemed marginally improved for the rest of the afternoon & evening (she ate some, sipped more buttermilk on her own). This morning, she's back to being depressed. I'm concerned because she seems to be dropping more weight. She was never a big chicken to begin with but now she feels much lighter.

The other hens (another is also a Houdan) are all looking strong and healthy (even the ones that have started to moult).

Ideas? I don't want to lose her.
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My Houdan improved considerably after being wormed (was eating and moving around more within about 24 hours). But, I noticed today that she was back to looking depressed. I picked her up and although she's been eating fairly well, she doesn't seem to be putting on much weight.

Her back end (about 4-5 days ago) was clean and dry and it's back to looking wet. I wormed her on the 11th and did another dose today (0.5 cc of Valbazen). I also noticed, when I picked her up, that right above her vent there were a bunch of cream-colored mites or something (lice?) running around. I checked her chest and neck but didn't see any. I dusted her very generously with DE and put a bunch more in the nest boxes. I checked two other hens and didn't see any similar bugs on them.

Could these mites/lice/bugs be what is causing her to look so lethargic (she is also moulting)? What are these things and how do I get rid of them? I've seen some posts on various Ivermectin treatments. Does DE do the trick or should I bathe this hen? What about the rest of the flock?

Any answers would be great. I'm getting mixed info online.

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